The Hack: Tough time to be a coach

There are those involved in the financial world that will argue that getting involved in the stock market is a tumultuous experience.

While they may have a point given recent trends and the general unease I’d be inclined to interject and argue that being in charge of one of South Africa’s national sides must be an equally, if not more, tempestuous experience.

Particularly if tasked with shaping the fortunes of any of the big three sports.

I’m fairly sure that a number of events throughout this year has led to many sleepless nights for the trio of Russell Domingo, Heyneke Meyer and Shakes Mashaba and it’s probably safe to say that two of them have experienced the phenomenon more recently.

For Meyer the past few weeks have been rough. An emotional rollercoaster I’m sure as he had to first deal with the stress of whittling down his World Cup squad to the required 31 players before being lambasted for his selections and the transformation issue.

And then yesterday people rocked up at the farewell. Lots of people. All adorned in green and gold and wished him Bon Voyage and good luck for the task at hand.

Perhaps he dropped Domingo a line – the Proteas coach is an avid fisherman so pun intended – and asked how to deal with the pressure given that the national cricket side had already gone through it all already during their quest for World Cup glory earlier this year.

After Meyer’s lambasting it was the turn of Mashaba to feel the heat after his tactics – or rather lack thereof – saw Bafana Bafana suffer an embarrassing 3-1 defeat at the hands of lowly Mauritania in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last weekend.

It was only natural that the Bafana boss would face some tough questions upon the sides return but he crossed the line when trying to belittle a journalist in a packed press conference for comments made on social media.

Very often the media are portrayed as the bad guys who are always looking for negatives or trying to uncover the dirt. Sometimes we’re guilty of being very quick to criticise and slightly tardy when it comes to compliments but at the end of the day we’re just trying to do our jobs.

Had Mashaba done his and ensured that Bafana returned victorious he wouldn’t have had to field the tricky questions or lose his cool with the media. It would have been all smiles.

If journalists thought the stress of deadlines was rough I can only imagine what trying to lead a national side to glory – with 50-million people watching and commenting on your every move – must be like.

But nobody puts a gun to the head when the jobs are offered and these guys know full well what is asked of them when signing on the dotted line.

As do those who chuck their money into the world markets.

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