In Kenya, a lot of the tacticians have had a smooth transition from their playing days to good managers off the pitch. Former Kenyan international volleyball player and Malkia Strikers coach Paul Bitok reminisce on his professional playing days in Tunisia which opened the doors for him. \u201cBack then I was just an ordinary player who got an opportunity in the process to learn basics of coaching. My coach then was a PE Teacher and sometimes never got a chance to come for training. As a senior player, I was requested to step in his absence and that is how I got interested.\u00a0 \u201cAfter my retirement, I got a job with KCB and in that state, I continued playing then coaching before the Rwanda job came calling. All this time, it has been about building my profile through taking coaching lessons like (IOC and FIVB) but I cannot say the transition was straight forward so I have learnt to be patient,\u201d says the 46 year old. Others may have not had quite a stellar run with the game but ended up proving all doubters wrong. Rosemary Owino; the current Davis Cup coach with Tennis Kenya is one such kind. Interestingly she played not so much prestigious tournaments for her country but when the opportunity for a coaching scholarship came through from University of Pretoria, all things changed.\u00a0 Zedekiah Zico Otieno at the touchline with Harambee Stars. Photo\/PD\/DAVID NDOLO \u201cI will not say the transition was smooth because I never got to enjoy much as a player. What I have learnt in the past 10 years is about having discipline and patience with players as a coach. Studies on areas like psychology and sociology are a critical component in today\u2019s coaching and I have been teaching my students that knowing full well that our times and today are different,\u201d said Owino who is the first lady coach to lead the men\u2019s team to a Davis Cup show in 30 years. Former Rugby Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba will go down in history books as the man who won the 2016 Singapore Sevens after thrashing Fiji 30-7 to bring the coveted cup home. This was a feat nobody has ever achieved in Kenya. His real love with rugby began while at Maseno School and afterwards joined Impala Club and later a cog in the Shujaa team as player and later coach.\u00a0 For him, the transition was natural because back then, not so many coaches were available and so he quickly dug in. \u201cAs an insider, it was easy and I am glad I had support from the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) management. Besides the union did not have money or sponsorship then so we stepped in because we loved the game and wanted to impart it to the rest.\u00a0 \u201cSo as such, there were no major challenges but I can say the transition was natural for me. I think it is tougher to be a coach as opposed to a player, but I think in the process I built my resilience and purpose while learning,\u201d he said. Zedekiah \u2018Zico\u2019 Otieno is a household name in Kenyan football going by his accolades on the pitch as a player and off it as a coach. He is a three time domestic cup winner with Gor Mahia and Jack Johnson and it is from him that he picked leadership lessons. \u201dFirstly passion is everything in sports management and I am glad I picked up this early in my career. If you think about it also, most coaches were once upon captains in their previous lives so effectively leadership has to begin early. My best experience was earlier on when I became the first coach to get Nairobi City Stars to the premiership and that felt like an achievement. For me the transition has been exciting and I have learnt to deal with pressure,\u201d said the KCB coach who has had stints also coaching Sony Sugar and Gor.