When I was a lad, many moons ago, football was very different at the professional level. Poor equipment, even worse pitches but playing for England (or your national team) still meant something. Aston Villa were very good and the FA Cup was very much a worthwhile trophy. Unfortunately, hooliganism was rife and a blight on the game. Football itself was certainly more primitive, less tactical but diving didn’t really exist … and grassroots football … was basic, with poor facilities and very little coaching.
Fast forward to today’s professional football and players are quicker and fitter, pitches are like carpets and football boots are soft and comfortable. Money dominates the game though and playing for England (or your national team) has taken something of a back seat. Aston Villa are not so good, the FA Cup has been tarnished but thankfully hooliganism is much more isolated. The game itself has been rather overtaken by TV money … and grassroots football … is still pretty basic, although football education and coaching has greatly improved.
So what’s this all about?
Well some aspects of the game have clearly improved and some have not. That’s the way all things evolve. However, at junior level we must always retain and encourage fun, development and performance with less emphasis on results. The philosophy at EJFC has consistently been to create a safe and fun environment for everyone to enjoy football. We let results take care of themselves. I accept football is a competitive game, especially when players get to 11 v 11, but please remember, all players at EJFC are still children (even at U17/U18), so please give them that chance to grow and develop without pressure. They will thank you for it.
Now to try and keep everyone happy!
I do understand those of you who still want to keep a more competitive edge and I know you’ll still find yourselves looking at the final result. For you, please try to adapt this approach instead … it’s a subtle change in outlook because it puts the emphasis on trying your best but without the end result being the only thing … and it’s this: ‘Winning isn’t everything – but making every effort to win is’. This is a quote from Vince Lombardi, the legendary NFL Coach. I recommend you Google ‘Famous Quotes by Vince Lombardi’. It’s a fascinating insight to high level sport, to work and to society. So there you have it:
‘Winning isn’t everything – but making every effort to win is’.