Posted: March 04th 2017

Have you ever heard of the book ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ by Jack Canfield?

It’s a series of short, feel-good stories that are designed to warm the heart. I needed all the heart-warming I could get when I read it...

I had a chronic, ‘incurable’ illness, was in crippling pain and fatigue that just wouldn’t go away.

I didn’t know if I was ever going to recover.

So I was open to anything that gave me ‘hope’ (probably never would have read this type of book if I hadn't got ill - probably would have thought it was a bit 'mushy').


There’s a story in the book that reminds me of something I’ve struggled with for YEARS as a coach/teacher…

(and leads into a BIG lesson for your football-mad wannabe)

Two friends walking along the beach. There’s a load of starfish been washed up on the shore. Just laying there spread out on the sand drying out waiting to eventually… die.

One of the beach-walkers starts picking up starfish and throwing them back in the water.

Friend says: ‘Hey, there’s thousand of these starfish. You can’t save ‘em all.’

Starfish-Saviour said ‘Well maybe but…I made a difference to THAT one’ as he tossed another one back into the life-giving Ocean.

So what’s my struggle as a coach got to do with all this?

I want to help ‘em all!

Even if 99% of them are flying and only 1% aren’t, it bothers me.

I’m a coach who wants to make a difference after all.

But like our ‘Starfish Super Hero’ in the story…I’ve gradually realised that it’s better to focus on the ones you can help.

There’s something else to factor in as well.

How your child…the PLAYER… responds to ‘help’.

Unlike a starfish. YOUR child has legs.


He doesn’t even have to lay there drying out waiting to be saved if he’s struggling as a Footballer.

Here’s a cracker for him:

“Development is a conscious choice, not from the coach, it must come from the player. It is what the player decides to focus on that will have the greatest result”

Frank Rijkaard

Spot on Franko!

Environment is vital in developing players but even the best environments will produce different levels of success among players.

It comes down to how the player chooses to respond to their opportunities to learn and grow, especially as they become teenagers.

So what ‘conscious choices’ do players have?

Here’s a few to get us started. The choice to:

Have a positive attitude
Prepare well
Give 100% effort and focus
Work well with and support their teammates
Listen and respond positively to feedback
Recover from setbacks
Take opportunities to learn
Accept ultimate responsibility for how well they do rather than blame others
Believe in themselves
Enjoy themselves

These choices are all FREE as well.

Of course, even with all that…every player still needs quality coaching to make them into the player and person they’re capable of becoming.

And as a parent, you have choices too…

To help bring out the ‘star’ in your child - for FREE as well – for ONE session only at with the champion’s Soccer Academy, in Swansea.

Spaces going fast – so be quick

Have a cracking weekend


PS - Speaking of beaches, I’m gonna make a visit to the Gower tomorrow…bit of fresh air after watching some of our graduates play for the Swans Academy at Landore.

Then its off to Carmarthen for games against their Academy teams on Sunda. Happy days