Southgate coaching guide to inspire youth coaches

England manager Gareth Southgate and the FA have produced a handbook to inspire grassroots youth coaches.

England manager Gareth Southgate promotes We Only Do Positive
England manager Gareth Southgate promotes We Only Do Positive ©TheFA

England manager Gareth Southgate has launched a coaching handbook, titled We Only Do Positive, which aims to impart five positive principles of coaching as well as inspire coaches of grassroots youth teams.

To publicise the handbook, Southgate took part in a press conference this week at the English Football Association's St George's Park training centre. He highlighted to local schoolchildren the fundamental importance of positivity, with a focus on the following coaching principles:

• Create the right environment
• Lead by positive example
• Understand your players
• Build a positive team around you
• Instil an 'anything is possible' attitude

Gareth Southgate congratulates his players
Gareth Southgate congratulates his players©AFP/Getty Images

The England manager's positive approach is yielding positive results. Following on from his team's fourth-place finish at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, England recently beat Spain and Croatia to qualify for next summer's inaugural UEFA Nations League Finals.

"We were always thinking how we could win every game, how we could perform as well as we possibly could, and we were thinking about enjoying the experience," he explains in the handbook.

Southgate and the FA's collaboration on the guide stems from research showing that 90% of young players perform better with positive encouragement. "Being positive about a young person's actions or behaviours has a much better effect on their development," says the Three Lions boss in his foreword.

As part of We Only Do Positive, four grassroots coaches who have successfully implemented the coaching principles give an insight into the value of positivity and respect – and the impact these can have in developing youth footballers.