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An upper body shot of Lucy Bronze smiling while running during training.

Centre-back Harry Maguire started his journey at Brunsmeer Athletic. His dad was the coach. An enjoyable environment kept him coming back for more. 
Today, he says a positive atmosphere is just as important at the top of the game.  

Fun with friends helped goalkeeper Dean Henderson fall in love with the game. At grassroots, he often played outfield. His football coaching environment was all about getting involved.  

Developing his footwork, says Henderson, made him the modern goalkeeper he is today. It’s something he still works on in training.

A past winner of The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award, defender Lucy Bronze knows what it takes to succeed.  

She credits a football environment where her coach understood players as individuals. She says this helped get the best out of the team.

Former Arsenal, Chelsea and England left-back Ashley Cole thrived in an environment where the coach understood the players.  

He believes a good environment is friendly, fun and engaging. Get this right, and players will progress and come back for more. 

Steven Gerrard: welcoming and comfortable

Former England midfielder Steven Gerrard says the welcoming football environment at Liverpool put him at ease as a young kid. Being comfortable in his surroundings made him eager to return. 

As a manager, Gerrard tries to create the same feeling for his players. 

What does it mean for you?

Grassroots football is different to the professional game. But it takes the same environment to create success. As a coach, it’s your job to get this right.  

Need some inspiration? Check out England’s training to see what a positive, safe, fun and inclusive environment looks like.