As with all things football choices have to be made for development and giving your child the best experience they can have in football.
Lots of things to consider. Ambitions, potential, ability, cost, time. All valid reasons to choose a professional football academy but is that the right option for your child.
Grassroots football offers so much to each and every child who plays in it.
1. Coaching. It's not just about the badge on the tracksuit that makes a great coach. Most grassroots coaches are FA qualified and all are DBS checked before starting but Coaching requires much more than that. More important is the ability to develop the individual and group that will develop character and confidence.
There are some great coaches in grassroots football and they are not that difficult to find.
2. Social. Playing with their friends is a massive selling point to children who always perform better when they are happy in their environment. It's a competitive and safe learning environment.
The social side involves meeting players from all backgrounds all with different goals for themselves and their team.
3. Community. The sense of community at grassroots clubs is developing all the time. Parents become friends, spend time together and work hard to make their children's football experience as good as it can be. A sense of belonging for parents also helps teams and players stay together longer term.
4. Fun. Let's face it, this is what it's all about. Players will learn to win well and lose equally as well. It develops their competitive nature in line with their respect for others.
With professional academies getting bigger every year and taking ever younger children, parents don't need to worry if their child is not with one as grassroots offer all that academies do, and much more.
Let your child enjoy the game. It will benefit them in ways you can't imagine
Written by Matt Easton