How to get your child scouted for football
Tue 22 October 2019
We Make Footballers News
If you’ve got a football-mad child whose dream is to make it as a professional, then you might be wondering what you can do to try and help them achieve their ambitions. The answer is quite a lot.
It should be said though that getting scouted isn’t straightforward, and even once a player has been spotted and signed then that is only the start of an even more difficult journey towards making it. Of all the kids who enter an academy at the age of nine, less than one percent go onto earn a living out of the game.
But if you’re determined to give your child the best chance of success, then here are three ways in which you can help.
Help them with their temperament and attitude
Most parents assume that the most important skills that a young player can have are technical ones. While any individual with hopes of making it as a professional obviously has to be able to pass, shoot and control a ball, there’s much more to it than that.
Scouts will also look closely at a player’s temperament and attitude. There will be plenty of speedbumps in the road from academy footballer to first teamer and often it’s those players with the best temperaments and who can keep their head when the going gets tough that stand a far greater chance of making it than those who don’t possess that grounding.
Teaching your child the value of hard work, team work, respect and a never-say-die attitude will make them a better prospect than a more talented player with a questionable temperament.
Take them to watch as much live football as possible
A child can learn much from playing football, but there is much to be said for exposing them to as much live action as possible. Watching a game on television or the highlights on Match of the Day is a start, but you don’t always get a true picture of how a game works or what is required of an individual when viewing through a screen.
When you watch live, you can see what a player does off the ball. You can see their movement, the runs they make and the way they position themselves. Take N’Golo Kante for example. Until you’ve seen him in the flesh, you don’t realise that the reason he is that good is because of what he does when he isn’t in possession.
Obviously, paying to watch Chelsea play is going to be beyond the budgets of plenty of parents. But a young player can learn a lot from watching any level of football, be it Premier League or non-league.
Take them along to your local club and get them to watch the player who’s occupying the position that they play in. Not only will they pick up ideas that they never could while watching on television, but you’ll be giving much appreciated support to grassroots football and your child will realise the hard work, passion and dedication that goes into playing even at that level. It can be a real eye opener.
Create playing opportunities
In some ways, it’s never been easier for a talented player to get noticed. Not only are clubs pouring money into their scouting networks in an attempt to hoover up the best talent at a young age, but technology can alert academies to the talents of a child who may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
If you’ve got the technical expertise, why not consider uploading a highlights reel of your child’s skills and performances to YouTube? You’d be surprised at the number of clubs who consider this a first port of call for finding talent.
You shouldn’t abandon the traditional methods of being found, of course. Football academies such as our We Make Footballers schools have links forged with professional clubs so if a child excels at these programmes, then they’ll be in pole position for a recommendation to an academy.
Playing regularly for a team will also help as scouts constantly monitor and watch local junior teams in the hope of spotting the next big thing.
The most famous players always talk about how much they love football and the importance of the passion for the sport!