A couple of Sunday’s ago I saw a game of football played by a group of under 14’s. What completely blew me away was the enthusiasm, purpose, passion and ball skills of these boys, they had so much potential, but they lacked emotional stability. They were suffering the same challenges as all adolescents during transition from primary school, but it was so obvious that if they had more self belief it would give them more confidence, and with the right training would be able to develop football gold – composure.
Self-esteem, self-responsibility and growth mindset
I did some research and found it was crazy there was no training for emotional development for teenagers in football. What is even worse is this training is not in schools, what is needed is a strong foundation in self-esteem, self-responsibility and a growth mindset.
There are major opportunities: the focus on youth development by the FA and the boys are invested in their success to win, become professional footballers with status and having all the trappings they desire. As adults of these small people we have the responsibility to nurture that desire and inspire them to become the best they can be, not just in football. Our training will give them valuable transferable social, emotional and life skills to empower them to maximise every opportunity they create.
Create a community ethos
We need to create a community ethos of positive energy where all the Committee, coaches, parents (the hidden asset) and players are role models for their colleagues. When adults change, children follow. We know how emotionally fragile youths are, especially boys being faced with criticism, we all need to create a positive environment for them to flourish and grow. They will enjoy more of what they’re doing; build confidence and composure in the boys, win more matches and engender a collaborative team community playing for each other.
“Everything we do in life is about relationships. We all win for each other. If you have a bigger group to do it for the better it feels for yourself. Give real support to people around you, that’s what leadership is.”