Mon 12 January 2015
We can honestly say that we fully endorse our players collecting the cards for the following reasons:
- It helps children make friends! I remember as a child collecting football stickers, wherever I went I would always have them in my pocket. If I met a new kid one of the first things I would say would be "do you collect stickers?". After a short while of swapping stickers, we would then have been introduced and begin playing football together or riding bikes! It was the common interest of football stickers that made the initial connection though. As football coaches we see it all the time with children nowadays making friends using Match Attax.
- From a football point of view, we love that our players look up to their role models. It's inspiring for the young children to idolize these professional athletes, many of whom have overcome massive obstacles to get to where they are today. The majority of footballers live very disciplined, focused lives and do a lot of good charity work. In our opinion we see it as a very positive thing that our young players look up to these individuals.
- The idea of swapping and understanding the different values of cards, we believe, is a very good principle to get our young children to comprehend from a young age. Later in life they will have to negotiate, barter and exchange items and money. To understand that some cards (Hazard shiney for instance) would have more value that others (Clint Hill for instance - no disrespect intended) can teach children important life skills. It will also help with numeracy skills and dealing with adding and subtracting numbers.
- Its such a tradition! Football is part of life in England. We play it after work, at weekends, children play at the playground at school and football is a common topic of discussion for most of the country. Thousands of people go to football matches at weekends and evenings in the week. There are traditions within the game, such as eating a pie at half time, wearing your team colours in the form of a scarf, using jumpers for goals at the park and children collecting playing cards of their favorite footballers is part of the emotional connection we all traditionally associate with the game; It's part of the make up!
- We don't feel that giving children money is a beneficial way of parents rewarding children. However using a small gesture like, one pack of Match Attax for a man of the match performance or good training session, is a nice way of letting your child know they have done well without forming a habit where they play just for a prize over the feeling of winning and succeeding.
- The final benefit I see is the fact that on Match Attax card players get different points for their abilities. We are always trying to get our players to analyze their own game and work on their weaknesses. With Match Attax children can see that Rooney has 99 for shooting but only 85 for defending for instance - this helps the child see that there are different attributes that make a player.