“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” “One minute of patience, ten years of peace.” “With love and patience, nothing is impossible.” “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish”
How hard is it to be patient! He has been through it all, from being the reserve goalkeeper, team photographer,water boy a and a constant benchwarmer. Here is a story of COLLINS ODIPO ,a young hockey player with great aspiration but his rise to the first team at Mvita Xi hockey club will surely inspire you to be patient and appreciative.
Here is his story.
I joined hockey when i was in form three, second term, back in 2012. Two of my closest friends, jack osanya and brian reeds, convinced me to join hockey. I had previously played badminton and lawn tennis, but settled with hockey as i found it interesting.
When i joined Technical University of Mombasa, mvita xi hockey club was training at TUM field, so automatically i joined. I had a lot of challenges at first since i didn’t have any kit. I remember i bought a red beach short to use for training. Mark mwangi really helped me. Gave me my first stick which i paid in installments. With time i had bought almost all kits needed for training.
Greatest challenge you faced.
The greatest challenge was transitioning from high school hockey to club hockey. Those are two different things. It took me a lot of time to adjust.
When i joined mvita, we were at the premier league, but at the third last position at the league. It was really discouraging seeing myself play for such a club, but since i still had a lot to learn, i continued playing.
How was it for you to be on the bench or the youth side patiently waiting for your chance.
I was a benchor for a very long time. The first two years i never played any league game. It was very demoralising. I wanted to leave hockey, but i couldn’t. I loved it too much to leave. My third year, i started getting a little play time. Like 5 minuted the whole game. It was something to go on with, at least gave me hope. Although i used to complain a lot coz of the playtime. I wanted more. Looking back, my game at that time couldn’t allow for more play time.
There is this time brian aura came and joined mvita just from high school. And he went straight to first team. It made me angry that a kid from high school is getting to the first team yet i have been in mvita for years and i still get less than 5 minutes play time. So i became keen on his style of play to see if i could copy it. I remember we could even get the field a little bit earlier and we work on a few things with him. Then came Abu, who also got to the first team. I got the same reaction, anger. But decided to learn his style of play too.
When I was in my final year in TUM, i got elected as the captain of school hockey team. This gave me a challenge. As a captain, i had to lead with example. So i worked extra hard to make sure i led my people well. And through that, i started getting more and more playing time at the club. Eventually i finished campus and went home, but still trained at home. The beginning of last season’s second leg, i wanted to prove that i could make it to the first team. So i told mark to organise for me transportation to mombasa i come play some games the i will sort myself back home. He agreed and i came and played. I played with all my heart, the game against MSC, and scored a goal although it was cancelled. That game made me be recognised and went direct to the first team. Two games that followed, i scored in each, making my stay at the first team permanent. The game against parkroad sealed it. My game impressed coach Bill he came and congratulated me after the game
When you were finally named in the first team…how did you feel?
When i was named in the first team, i was very happy. My dream had finally come true, although after more than 5 yeas. But i was very happy.
What can you tell young players out there crying for game time?
All i can tell young players is just hard work. Look at one or a few players they like how they play, then go to them. It really helps. Self discipline and patience are key to success.
Who are your mentors?
My mentors at the club have always been Mark mwangi and coach oti. I love how the play and for a long time wanted to play as them. Outside mvita, i look up to barry of wazalendo, zack aura of butali and connie of butali, mainly for his drag flicks. I want to be as good as him, or even better, at the drag flicks.
Finally i would like to thank a few people for my growth. Brian reeds for encouraging me to join hockey and encouraging me every time we met in mombasa. Mark mwangi for being there all through, advices, skills and mentorship, both on and off pitch. Brian aura and abu for giving me the challenge to be better. Norbert sije who i used to tell my complains every time but kept encouraging me to play. Lastly coach bill for his coaching and patience with me. Forever greatfull to these people.
Where do you see yourself in three years time?
In three years time i must be playing premier league. I swore ethat if mvita doesn’t get promoted to premier league next season, then i will have to sign to another club. I need the competion at the premier league.