Engineer Mahdi Ali, Head Coach of the UAE national football team, highlighted the significant role that innovation and creative thinking play in fulfilling the planned goals in life during a special presentation he delivered while participating as a guest of honour at the Borouge Innovation Awards 2014 which was held at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.
Engineer Mahdi shared his sports experience as a player and as a coach with the senior management and officials of Borouge, the Official Partner of the UAE Football Association (UAEFA). He pointed out that his professional expertise as a former engineer at Dubai Municipality and Road and Transport Authority (RTA) enabled him to develop a creative thinking skill and an ability to benefit from the latest innovative technologies which he perfectly applied through his coaching career. His innovative mind and commitment to promote his country in the local, regional and international football arenas helped him lead his team to victory.
“My experience taught me that achieving success in sports and in any other stream of life requires serious determination, hard work, dedication and a creative mind. Working as a team, triggering the innovative areas of your ways of thinking and focusing on the techniques that enhance your performance and sharpen your skills are the best ways that enable you to achieve your goals in life.”
Mahdi started his career as a coach in 2008, 10 days prior to the start of the Asia Cup finals held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where our national football team was crowned champion of the finals for the first time in its history. Mahdi continued leading the UAE national youth football team to Egypt Youth Mondial in 2009, Al Khaleej Olympic Teams Tournament in Doha, Asian Games Tournament in Guangzhou in 2010, in addition to leading the UAE Olympic team to qualification for the London Olympic Games in 2012 for the first time after 28 years before moving to coaching the UAE national football team with whom he won the championship title of Khaleeji 21 held in the Kingdom of Bahrain last year.
Engineer Mahdi assured that his success in coaching is attributed Allah’s grace and to the great support he received from the leadership to the national sports, especially football, in addition to the keen interest of the UAEFA management to develop the national teams. He also noted that the team’s good preparation for championships, defining the right vision, values and objectives, using the modern technology to help create innovative ideas of training and adhering to rules and disciplines by each and every member of the team are the main factors that helped fulfilling these achievements.
“The star of the team is the team itself when they play in unity like one man, and that is why it was important for me as a coach to deal equally with everyone in the team to encourage them and provoke the their sense of responsibility and loyalty to promote their country in the international sports world,” noted Mahdi.
“I had to apply all the creative ideas available and use all the possible electronic technologies I could reach and these have effectively benefited me in monitoring the physical capabilities of each member of my team aiming to enhance their performance and develop their weaknesses. The main goal was qualifying all the players who are selected to get ready to face any football team.”
Our national football team coach said that science and knowledge are very important in his career as a coach. He added that it is not enough to qualify a player physically, but it also needs to make him satisfied and confident with himself to be able to play in harmony and high performance with the rest of the team. He highlighted the important role of psychological incentives which could provoke the players to show their best capabilities. “Winning starts from losing, and losing is the biggest provoker that motivates the players to play with their best to achieve victory and compensate their loss.”
“Motivating the players is a very important and sensitive process. It requires a coach with a creative mind because sometimes one word could have a huge negative impact on the players, and that is why I try to keep my team away from external effects and to expose them to only positive and encouraging situations that instill in them good impression and ideas that are kept in their minds and work as a very significant psychological provoker to enhance their self confidence and belief in winning.”
He noted that being a UAE national is a big advantage for him because this helps him react better with his team who shares the same language, culture and environment, but it still needs him to help the team show their passion for winning.
Commenting on the participation of Engineer Mahdi Ali in Borouge’s Innovation Awards celebration, Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), said “We are pleased having such a UAE national sports icon like Engineer Mahdi Ali with us while we celebrate the Borouge Innovation Awards 2014. His inspiring efforts and endless attempts to lead the UAE national football team to victory reflect the strong determination, amazing commitment and creative thinking of a man whose name is linked with ambition and innovation.”
Engineer Mahdi concluded his presentation by extending thanks to Borouge for its continuous support to the UAE Football Association, especially with supporting the national team in their external training camps in Europe, adding that Borouge is a real partner for the UAE national football team. Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), and Wim Roels, CEO of Borouge’s Marketing & Sales Company, handed over a commemorative gift to Engineer Mahdi Ali who in turn presented them with a model of the Khaleej Cup and the official shirt of the UAE national football team.
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