Alex McLeish believes the Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) programme is the perfect way to create the right environment for young people to make the most out of playing football.
The former Scotland national coach urged individuals and clubs to pledge their support as he delivered the keynote speech at the PCS Success through Effort: Mastery Coaching seminar at Hampden Park this week.
The PCS vision is a football culture in Scotland where young players are developed in a positive, safe environment, where they learn to win through effort and where valuable life lessons are taught.
“Football has taught me a lot about life and the PCS programme recognises the power of the game to impact positively on peoples’ lives,” McLeish said.
“Coaches and parents have such a huge responsibility to develop kids’ confidence.
“I was lucky, when I was growing up in the Glasgow area I had terrific coaches around me who brought out my enthusiasm for the game.
“I then had great mentors when I broke through at Aberdeen. It was the ideal environment to do well in.”
The PCS programme, incorporated into all Scottish FA grassroots programmes, has a double goal strategy.
The first goal is teaching young people vital character building skills through football.
The second goal is winning. Learning to compete effectively is a necessity in all areas of life. The PCS way is to win, just not at all costs, but through applying concerted effort to achieve set goals.
McLeish recognised that competition was a vital part of being involved in sport and said performance only came from the correct guidance off the field.
“You only get a good performance from a player who is confident,” he added. “PCS looks at how to make that player feel confident.
“It focusses on mastering the sport and getting better rather than focussing on the scoreboard and winning.
“Winning will come from a team of players who have mastered their sport and are confident.
“Players need to respond well from their mistakes and I think the PCS programme helps them to do this.”
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher has given his support to the programme by signing up to the PCS Club Pledge.
And McLeish also said clubs and individuals across Scottish football should show their backing by signing up too.
“This is a programme which can shape the Scottish football culture for years to come, people should get behind it”, he said.