“From the Field to the Boardroom: The Unconventional Path of a Footballer Turned Executive”

Foundational and Professional Development: From Village Football Player to Professional Football Administration!

If you approach and view personal and professional development from a conventional perspective, you might not see the relevance between my past involvement in football and my current profession in human capital, management, and leadership development. It’s understandable to think this way, but such an approach does not align with the principle of holistic personal and professional development. This TikTok video will unveil some of my hidden communication and public relations skills that I acquired from football, which I am now applying in my professional career – Mr Sam Tsima

Often, when discussing sports development, the focus is placed on technical skills rather than on holistic human development. For Sam Tsima, football has always been central to his holistic personal and professional development. This journey began in his childhood villages of Moripane and Madibong, located outside Jane Furse in the Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Village football was instrumental in shaping his survival skills, relationships, and self-esteem. Sam successfully integrated football and education throughout his developmental journey, although it occasionally distracted him from his university studies. He continued this path, even while overseas in Germany, undergoing further training in commercial business administration. During this period, he played amateur football at SC Goldstein in Frankfurt am Main.

Upon returning to South Africa, he rejoined his football club, Wits University FC, as a Public Relations Officer (PRO), while simultaneously working at Siemens Ltd as a Commercial Administrator. He collaborated with the technical team of Coach John Lathan and Absalom Scara Thindwa. It was in 1994, the year in which Wits University FC triumphed over the two Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, winning both the BP Top Eight and Coca-Cola Cups.

It was during this time that Sam decided to use football as a launching pad for his human capital consulting business. When he left Siemens Ltd for Absa Banking Group, he immediately established his development football club, 1.FC COMETSA Goldstones 1997 (Pty) Ltd, in Hillbrow – Parktown, Johannesburg. Young boys from all over South Africa residing in Hillbrow, Park Town, and Johannesburg joined his club. The club emphasized the importance of education, with all players participating in a weekly Saturday Leadership Development Programme at the Park Town Campus of the Central Johannesburg College before their training sessions. This practice became a cornerstone of his club’s culture, laying the foundation for COMETSA GoC International (Pty) Ltd.

Transitioning from being employed to running his own company has been one of his most challenging projects, yet it proved to be deeply inspirational. The experience was invaluable. In July 2009, he left full-time employment permanently and has never looked back. Transformation consciousness requires accountability, innovation, continuous learning, and emotional resilience. Shifting from being self-focused to becoming focused on people, community, and society necessitates practicing authentic expression, cultivating community involvement, and living a purposeful life. Mentorship and coaching play crucial roles in supporting individuals to reflect on their holistic personal and professional development journey.

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