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Marcus Rashford & Unshakeable Confidence

Updated: Nov 17, 2023


Imagine having unshakeable confidence in your own ability for those rocky moments in your life when things get tough and you begin to question everything?

'An umbrella can't stop the rain but it can make us stand in the rain, confidence may not bring success but it gives us the power to face any challenge.' Unknown quote

Here at Future Action, a key area we help inspirational teachers develop in their young people is building a strong foundation of self confidence so that they are able to cope with whatever life throws at them.

How many times have you taught a young person and you just couldn't get them to see the power and brilliance that they could use to change the world for the better? For our founder & current Director of Sport, Neil Moggan, the answer was far too many to mention until he came across the Mental Fitness Model by Dorothea McCarthy and started to incorporate her teachings into his lessons.

Rashford under fire

Here at Future Action, we are huge fans of Marcus Rashford. We love what he stands for and what he has achieved around child food poverty and children's literacy. He has achieved incredible feats already at such a young age yet even he gets heavily criticised.

Just weeks after making the UK government reverse their decision with his free meals in school holidays campaign, he was criticised by national newspapers for spending £2 million on property to protect his family's financial future. For us, this was absolutely the right thing to do with our financial literacy hat on, but that's a blog for another day!

Then he missed a penalty in the Euro 2020 Final and he had to deal with the horrific racial abuse thrown at him for having a kick of a football saved. If someone as awesome as Marcus Rashford has to process that level of criticism, then you can imagine what us mere mortals will need to deal with throughout our lives, particularly children who are not well suited to the mainstream education system.

An unshakeable foundation of confidence

Therefore, we think establishing a foundation of confidence is one of the most important gifts a teacher can give to a child. Here at Future Action, we help great teachers build their children's confidence by introducing body scanning and getting them to reflect on what they are good at, what they get praise for, and where they have had personal success before.

We encourage teachers to look at all aspects of their children’s lives to develop their sense of self rather then just being awesome at academia, a fantastic footballer or marvellous at music. We do this by breaking it down into different aspects, such as their hobbies, characteristics they possess, roles they play in life, and subjects at school.

Self identity

It is important that it is holistic so that when one skill falters they don't lose their whole sense of self.

For example, the gifted footballer in your school who is destined for a career as a superstar until they rupture their anterior cruciate ligament and don't know who they are anymore.

Here at Future Action, we are delighted to be collaborating with Improtech Soccer Elite Academies to give more young people the support they deserve around this area.

Improtech are helping develop young footballers within the education system. They offer an innovative, long-term development programme delivering the highest standards and best training. They have recently set up two more academies at City Academy Norwich and United School International, Qatar to go along with their 6 academies in the North East of England. The new academies give young people hours of high-quality coaching every week.

The Year 7 students at City Academy Norwich are loving taking part in the programme and it is having a hugely positive influence on their mental wellbeing from being part of an inclusive team and being so physically active as well as their progress in lessons across the school.

Former Sunderland & Manchester City striker and now Director of Improtech, Stephen Elliot, said "I have come across so many footballers who have either retired or lost their careers due to injury and have lost their own identity at the same time. Here at Improtech we feel it is vital to develop the whole person not just a footballer and working with Future Action helps us to do that brilliantly."

Every group we ever teach this confidence lesson to struggle to list what they are great at. It must be UK modesty, so we get their teachers to ask their friends and teachers to talk about what they admire about the student. You can see them visibly grow in confidence immediately.

Positive affirmations

We then help teachers guide students how to create positive affirmations so that they can continue to build this rock solid foundation of confidence that they will need to get through the rollercoaster of life.

It is so satisfying when one of your year 8 students says this about their confidence:

'‘My best subject has been PE because my mental health has gone from really low to the highest level it has ever been. I’ve realised that I can turn my problems into solutions for my future. The RISE Up unit has helped me in many ways such as building my confidence and my self esteem. Now my body knows that it can go further than I ever expected and my confidence about my mental health is higher than ever before."

This was said by Sam, a student from City Academy Norwich, after his 'RISE Up' mental wellbeing unit.

How we can help you

Establishing this foundation of confidence is Step 4 on our '9 Step RISE Up Roadmap'. The Roadmap is an online course that guides inspirational teachers on how to create an award winning early intervention programme that will reduce anxiety, build confidence and transform schools within 90 days.

If one of your priorities this year is improving the mental well-being of your young

people and staff, then we have got a range of taster resources for you.

We have got a scorecard so you can evaluate your current early intervention well-being provision within 3 minutes, Taster online teacher training courses so that you can help your school become more proactive in identifying those students who are struggling as early as possible, case studies to provide inspiration of how other schools have gone about boosting the mental well-being of the young people, as well as a series of blogs on current well-being issues in schools.

To find out more about Improtech Soccer Elite Academies visit:

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