MASERU – CAPS United defender Hardlife Zvirekwi hopes he does not suffer from burnout as the season progress since he has rarely had a proper off-season.
Burnout is defined by sport psychologists as a physical or emotional exhaustion which reduces athletic accomplishment due to continuous training and playing intense competitions without rest.
After helping Makepekepe clinch the 2016 season in November, Zvirekwi quickly focused his energies to the national team as he was part of the Warriors squad at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.
In Gabon last month, Zvirekwi played in all three of Zimbabwe’s group matches lasting the entire 90 minutes.
Upon his return from the Afcon tournament, the fullback had no time to rest as he had to join his Makepekepe teammates as they prepared for today’s African Champions League preliminary round clash away to Lesotho’s Lioli FC in Maseru.
“Obviously, I have been going through this same experience since 2013. After the 2013 season finished I went to the Chan tournament at the start of 2014 and I continued with the season,” Zvirekwi told the Daily News.
“It was the same with the 2015 and the 2016 seasons as well. After last season I also did not rest as i went to Afcon this year.
“I think I’m used to it by now; hopefully I’m praying that I will not burnout but I’m ready to give all my best for the team.”
The Warriors players came in for some heavy criticism following Zimbabwe’s failure to progress from the group stages of the Afcon tournament.
Critics and pundits were disappointed by the technical ability of the players but Zvirekwi is not losing too much sleep over the negative reviews the Warriors received.
“As players, all we had to do was to pick the positives from the criticism we received. Obviously that will propel and push us to want to more and rectify on our shortcomings,” he said.
“I’ve picked the positives and I’m trying to improve myself as a player and achieve my goals for 2017. I didn’t take the negatives and focused only on the positives. I focused on the constructive criticism.”
Turning to today’s match, Zvirekwi said they will not underrate the Lesotho champions.
“Being champions it means they (Lioli) have got a great pool of players and we should give them due respect,” Zvirekwi said.
“All we should do is to go out there to show character and try to get a positive result from this first leg. A positive result we would want is to try and get all three points.”
Makepekepe are scheduled to fly out of Harare this morning and will arrive in Maseru just after 4pm.
The Green Machine will head straight to the Setsoto Stadium for a light training session at 5pm to get a feel of the match venue.