Why did the US Women’s soccer team win the World Cup again, and they’re the most successful international women’s soccer team, winning four Women’s World Cup titles?
What they demonstrated is their innate positive culture and belief they can win.
In order to win the next few World Cups we need to change the culture of Youth Football Coaching in the UK.
In an article “Adolescence: a time to sculpt the football brain” for the FA, Dr. Perry Walters has identified why “adolescence is the perfect period to develop young players’ decision-making and cognitive skills and warns of the dangers of thinking players aged 16 or 17 are the finished product.”
A football brain
He also says “From a football perspective, it might be an optimal time to help forge attributes associated with a ‘football brain’, including: decision-making, anticipation, reading the game, composure (managing emotions), motivation, creativity and self-awareness.
All of these dispositions are ‘coming online’ during the adolescent period. It’s also a developmental period when good learning dispositions can be nurtured such as developing a growth mindset, persistence, resilience (mental toughness), practice and taking on responsibility (Allpress and Claxton, 2008).”
Implications for football coaches
Dr. Walters talks about the implications for football coaches and suggests knowledge of their own brain and psychology might be beneficial for elite players.
Develop Your Child CIC (DYC) would contend these areas of the brain are developing earlier, it’s harder to train adolescents and how many of the youth coaches have these dispositions? It’s a National tragedy these dispositions are not in schools and yet they are vital in all our futures, the 4th Industrial Revolution with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning having a major impact on us all.
We would suggest whilst every word of Dr. Walters article is valuable content for everyone, but there is a huge gap in its relevance and application in the youth coaching area at grass roots level.
Self-esteem, self-responsibility a growth mindset
DYC was established in 2002 to use mindfulness, life coaching and emotional literacy techniques to create self-esteem, self-responsibility and a growth mindset in children, their families and those who support them.
Our suite of unique, evidence based, experiential programmes has the potential to empower all of the youth football community.
Access higher order thinking skills
Participants take responsibility for themselves and unleash their innate abilities, wisdom and hidden potential. They create personal development skills and abilities like; self-realisation, confidence, are equipped with a growth mind-set, resilience, life skills with a strong social, emotional and mental health constitution. They have the ability to access higher order thinking skills, enabling them to analyse, synthesise, problem-solve and evaluate information: vital transferable skills for life long learning.
Ethos of positive empowerment
We want to create an ethos of positive empowerment in every member of the team and their community. We need every Committee member, coach, player and particularly parents (a hidden asset) and supporters, to imbued the players with positive energy. It all comes down to the right training, regular communication, mutual respect and trust.
“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.”
Gareth Southgate believes that giving ownership and building positive and open relationships with his players can help England develop into a team who can compete with the best in the world.
How much easier, quicker, better and cheaper would it be if Gareth Southgate, Jurgen Klopp and Phil Neville were given a group of empowered teenagers who were unencumbered by emotional baggage?
Let’s get together and discuss how we can make this happen.