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Hart: Mistakes are the true mother of learning

Published: 
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Former national coach Stephen Hart addressing students during the 2016 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) annual awards ceremony yesterday at the National Cycling Centre in Couva. Photo: (Courtesy SPORTT) .

Stephen Hart, the ex T&T football coach has challenged students who participated at the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) last year, to educate themselves by learning to think situations out for their benefit.

Preceding that Kedie Johnson of St. Augustine Secondary School and Tyrell Emmanuel of Shiva Boys Hindu College, were adjudged as the Secondary School’s Football League - 2016 Players of the Year 2016. The duo during yesterday’s SSFL annual awards ceremony.

However, Hart in a sterling feature speech at the ceremony, reminded the young budding footballers and future professionals that they are the only ones to make them better. He urged them to decide how they can get the edge in their profession of choice, and how they can polish their strengths, and attack their weaknesses.

Using a quote from famous German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, Hart, who also travelled the road as a young footballer before his entry into football as a coach, said, “Education is not the learning of fact but rather the training of the mind to think.”

He explained that education is all around them, pointing to the sport of football which he said is filled with rich education. “There is cultural diversity education in it. It has science in it, now more than ever- the mechanics of the body and what you can do with humans who play the game?. It has physics in it. If you want to know how to bend a ball and how to strike it properly, believe it or not it has physics in it. And most of all the sport is a thinkers’ game,” Hart said.

He added, “It is not a game about muscle. Muscle does not think, the brain tells muscle what to do.” He told the large gathering of students, teachers, coaches and supporters that he only learnt a few things after his graduation from university, which was to gather information, process it, which he described as the difficult part because of the amount of misinformation out there, and how to reproduce it for the benefit and delivery of what he had to do.

He credited his mentor, Hungarian Roman Nayabecky, a well educated lover of the game of football, for encouraging him to take coaching courses, absorb what he liked and discard what he did not. He said it was Nayabecky who told him to create his own unique style and quality to the game, which has stayed with him for the rest of his life.

This education Hart brought to T&T football three years ago and managed to stabilise the game in the midst of turmoil and controversy, saying as a coach he has learnt that it requires influencing behaviours.

Though he was sacked as national coach, Hart who has guided the Soca Warriors to the Final round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, encouraged the young footballers to be not afraid of making mistakes, saying ‘Mistakes are the true mother of learning as it will only make you stronger and better.’

“A person who never made a mistake, has never tried anything new,” Hart told the young players and in giving them some tips on how to be successful he urged them to write their goals down and pin it up so that they can see it every morning, seek out a mentor and listen more and talk less.

WALTER ALIBEY

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