The Scottish Football Association

Player Tools to Making the Game Better

Scotland U17s celebrate

 Making the Game Better


Positive players are committed to honouring our game, playing the game fairly and making it better for all.


The ROOTS of being a positive player

Rules - Obey and uphold the rules and play the game fairly

Opponents - show respect to opposition - Play hard and play fair

Officials - Value a referee’s role and always show respect

Teammates - Give teammates praise & encouragement - Work together to achieve team goals

Self - Lead by example by your manner and behaviour on and off the pitch


Player Tools to Making the Game Better

Moral Courage

What would you do if a player in your team did not honour our game? Would you stand up to them or play down to their level? Positive players believe in the concept of moral courage, standing up for what is right even when others disagree with you. Moral courage is doing the right thing because it's right, not because you might win the match. Positive players would do what's right even if it meant losing the match.

How do you feel when an opposition player has dived to win a penalty? Cheated, Angry, Frustrated?

How do you feel when your own team mate has dived to win a penalty? Are you still cheated, angry & frustrated? - Positive players would!

Is there a player in your team that you know cheats? Have you even questioned him? Positive players have the moral courage to speak out to players within their team that cheat and dishonour our game. Every team loves to win a match, but there is a right way and a wrong way to win. Positive players would rather lose the game with dignity as opposed to winning the game by cheating.

Positive Routines

One of the ways that positive players make the game better is by building positive routines. These routines can include:

Shaking hand with officials before and after matches

Shaking hands with opponents before and after matches

Encourage your team-mates to show respect and play the game fairly.

Compete hard during game and respect the performances of your opponents

Positive routines encourage sportsmanship throughout football. Good sportsmanship is not just what you do on the field, it is the way you conduct your life both on and off the field.

Self control

Are you the kind of player that reacts easily to bad decisions or gets upset during games? – If yes, you need a self-control routine.

A self-control routine is a technique you can use to when you feel something might trigger your temper, such a refereeing decision against you or an opposing player fouls you when you are through on goal. A self-control routine helps you control your temper and keep your mind on the game.

Losing your temper is highly unlikely to do you any good, in fact it will have a negative impact on your performance. By protesting you are out of position, not concentrating on the game or your performance and possibly disrespecting the referee.

Football is a wonderfully emotional game, but we need to control our emotions to help improve the game. Use a self-control routine to do this.

-           Count to 10

-           Take a deep breath

-           Have a drink

-           Tie your laces

-           Self-talk

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