Respect seeks to improve touchline and on-pitch behaviour in youth football across the country. Research from The FA shows that 90% of youth footballers perform better with positive encouragement. 21 Days of Positivity asks parents and coaches involved in youth football to commit to being positive in their approach and to share their positive stories on social media.
In a video released by The FA on ‘Blue Monday’, England Men’s Ross Barkley and Jesse Lingard, England Women’s Toni Duggan and England Blind Squad member Azeem Amir talk openly about how positive encouragement impacted them at a young age, benefiting their lives and careers.
Across the 21 days, which is the period of time it takes to enact a behavioural change and form a habit, The FA will share messages of positivity on their social media channels, with England stars thanking those who have had the biggest influence on them.
England and Manchester United star Jesse Lingard said: “I’d advise all parents to support their child when they’re playing football. At a young age, they are just playing for the fun of it. My Mum and Grandad both did a lot to help and it was a great feeling to have your family on your side.”
19-year-old England Blind Team midfielder Azeem Amir, explained: “Blind football has changed my life in an amazing way. It is thanks to the positivity of the brilliant coaches I have around me and people like my Mobility Officer, Dave Potter, who has always believed in me that have got me to where I am today.”
Lionesses and Barcelona star, Toni Duggan, added: “Growing up, I was lucky to have a great support network in my family and coaches around me. My mum never once told me there wasn’t a future in women’s football. Without their positivity and belief, I wouldn’t be where I am today. There’s no doubt in my mind the importance positivity can have in early football development.”
England and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley also stated: “I had a parent on the side who didn’t really comment whilst I was playing the game. She would speak afterwards and say how proud she was of how I’d performed. She was always there for me, if the weather was really bad, or my mum didn’t feel well on the day, she’d still come with me, she’d still be on the side line. I’ll always be grateful to her.”
Across the 21 Days, coaches will receive E-Mails from The FA including hints, tips and insight in to three key themes; ‘positive environment’, ‘positive practices’ and ‘positive players’. To find out more about the FA Respect Campaign, visit www.thefa.com/get-involved/respect. Follow @England and @FA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for #21DaysofPostivity content.