by Ayo Tunde
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The game of football that we have come to know, to love, and which, through the advent of all sorts of manner of coverage, has been hoisted on some of us forcibly (even if some people tried, they can’t get rid of the game because it is on most TV screens all hours of the day), is very strange. There is a dynamism in our game that can be very captivating, but which, when you take the time to look closely, can easily relate with any other sector or facet of endeavour.

It is in football that players – fully grown adults, men and women in their own rights – are bought, like commodities! Can we actually get that term to change? Why is it acceptable for us to use the word ‘buy’ for a talented human being because he has football skill and ability, and no one sees any wrong in it? We even go further and place a price tag on such player, and negotiate the purchase like he/she has no voice! Weird.

In my beloved sport, we even find the word ‘loan’ to describe the acquisition of some players where a club does not need the services of such talent and where the receiving club can probably not afford the price with which to buy the player!

It really is strange when you talk about living human beings; adults – in the context of buying, selling and loaning.

But that, my apologies, it’s a digression. The terms are there and have been used for years, and if I use my terms to replace the ones that the whole world has used for years, I will lose more than half my audience who would not be able to fathom what in Heaven’s name I’m on about!

I digress again….my apologies once more.

Back to what I was saying: consider this scenario. A young player starts his playing career at a club. Goes through the youth progression ranks and is seen as a bright prospect in this big club. But as he emerges on the fringes of the “A” team which will signal his breakthrough, he stutters, and the team never picks him as worthy of a starting shirt as he felt.

And next thing he knows, he’s passed on, on loan to a smaller club – to ‘go gain first team experience’, being the excuse. He returns after a year, and is sent off on loan again. Then the borrowing club takes an interest in him and buys him.

He leaves his boyhood club, unable to make a mark. He departs the country, unable to play a part in the topmost league where he always dreamt of playing.

He had desire, gave his all, but was not picked.

But he proved his worth in the club where he went, and within a short time, a club in his home country wants him to come back, and pursue him, ask for him, and he makes a return to the country of his birth, to the old stomping ground where he grew up, and to play in the top league he dreamt of playing at, and where he thought his dream of playing in had died as……as just a dream!

This time, though, he has a different status. There was a desire for his service, for his skill, for his talent. And he feels wanted.

It is a different feeling from when you are there, playing to be noticed and trying to impress.

It applies everywhere. The message is that you create a mindset where you put everything into whatever endeavour you are involved in. Give it your best shot. Whatever you do in Place A, you are laying foundations for yourself on what you will be known by, recognised for and perhaps desired for in the future.

Our football example laid the foundation for his future, perhaps inadvertently, by showing steadfastness, professionalism and a desire to succeed which perhaps was missed by his ‘A’ club, but was there for others to see, and he became a desired player, from his previous position of a ‘surplus’ one.

We can all apply the same mindset to all that we do. And my call to us all today, is to establish a mindset and a desire to work towards being the ‘desired one’ in all that we do.

Our aim; our ultimate aim, is to adopt the right mindset, to keep winning!

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