Every player dreams of and wants success. How that success is measured is quite personal. Some consider having a (failed) trial a success; others actual medals, records and trophies. It can be said that success is age specific.
A 25 year old, who has not been part of a trophy winning side, may be happy with being top scorer for their team.
Similarly, getting the most assists in a game can be praise worthy. An 18 year old can put an FA Cup medal on a pedestal and claim to have done it all.
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Success is personal, subjective, objective, special and universal. Especially when you're a child.
Professionally organised games, structured training sessions, stringent coaching techniques, constructive feedback, strict rules, constant encouragement; grassroots football has never had it so good.
Every child from five onwards is now considered a future professional. Great efforts have been invested in grassroots football that, it is hoped, will bear fruit in the future.
A look at the stats shows genuine progress for fledglings all over Europe. Once, youngsters would be publicly berated and shouted at when they made mistakes; how things have changed.
Any mistake is looked at and the player encouraged to do something different next time. Especially arranged feedback sessions are specifically designed for children to express their views and state their opinions, a far cry from the 1980's method of the shout-as-loud-as-you-can method.
Also, anyone working with children in football must be CRB checked every year and if coaching, must gain an FA Level 1 qualification. It has all become very professional.
Grassroots football is being encouraged due to one thing, the future of football. We want our future players to be intelligent, classy, cultured, educated, skilled and self motivated.
Pining for excellence
Each and every club in the country is pining for excellence. More academies than ever are realising that nurturing, training and developing home grown players is great for the local community, and also great value; after all, why buy an orchard when you can grow your own?
And this all begins from grassroots. Producing your own talent is a world away from simply buying it.
Grassroots teaches us that people are not just taught passion, they are born with it. We must nurture the nature and, in time, success will be felt. What is more, each and every one of us, the players, coaches and parents will absolutely revel in it.
To think otherwise is surely naive.
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