Nature will never allow the competitive spirit, which is part of us, to change. Every child has his own personality and for some winning is the most important part of their game, for others the enjoyment is all that matters. Our job as a youth football club is to set the right environment for him or her to learn. How many parents have told managers;
"The sooner the season is over the better, he's been up since 7.30 am wanting to know is it time for the match!".
Only a player of such a tender age has the ability to turn a small 60 x 40 yard pitch, bare of grass and open to the elements into his stadium of light with 60,000 people singing and cheering him on. Only he can bring in players worth millions of pounds to play alongside. Every Friday or Saturday night his dream of scoring the winner lives on and the beauty of his dream is that, if it does not happen this weekend, it is sure to happen next weekend.
We all use sport as an escape from the pressures of our daily lives but for the young child, sport offers the window of opportunity to live his dreams. It is our responsibility to make sure that we do not rob him of this opportunity. We have the responsibility to create the correct environment for him to learn. Unfair and constant criticism will weaken his confidence. Constant demands of a young player will turn what is his dream into a nightmare and he shall be lost to our game forever.
We are competitive by nature and we cannot undo nature. However it is important to encourage our players to learn the skills of their game, accept discipline and to give of their best efforts during the game. It is also important that when they don't win that it is not seen as the end of the world and that there is always next week.
Some of our players today will develop into serious footballers in time. And when playing at Schoolboy level the principles we try to teach them will show. Encouragement to learn and motivation to develop the better habits and the ability to accept discipline in an atmosphere of enjoyment and learning will produce winners for both our game and our society. Thus we can all be winners. It is our duty to make this happen.