A FOOTBALL organiser has hit out at a “defeatist attitude” in the grass-roots game, reports MIKE DELANEY.
And Paul Spacey claims players could learn from the ‘can do’ spirit of Americans.
The East Fife Soccer Sixes league secretary’s comments were sparked by the recent withdrawal of two teams from the Fife Institute-based set up.
He said: “The reason they gave was that they did not want to continue losing.
“I personally cannot understand that attitude as I grew up wanting to win every game, but didn’t give up when we inevitably lost some matches.
“I believe this is a real issue at grass roots level in Scotland and, to be honest, in my experience there is the same problem in England.
“When players and teams just give up, how can they expect to improve?
“You improve by making mistakes, losing and learning from your mistakes in order that you don’t make them the next time. “
Mr Spacey has spent long periods in the United States over the last two years
He added: “During my time in California, one thing you couldn’t avoid was how ‘in your face’ and confident the Americans are, regardless of their ability.
“They are still quite a way behind Europe in terms of footballing quality, but they make up for this by actually believing they are the best and being mentally strong.
“They genuinely talk and act as though they invented the game and will stop at nothing to keep improving and become the best as winning is literally everything for them.
“It is instilled into kids over there at a very young age that they have to be the best.
“Their attitude perhaps borders on arrogant at times, but given the choice between that and being a quitter, I know which one I would choose.
“We need to learn from the Americans and become stronger mentally, as this can only benefit our football players, our other sportsmen and society as a whole.
“If players continue quitting when the going gets tough, many of whom are young players, then it does not bode well for the future of football here and that is something which needs to be addressed in my opinion.”