Joe Gomez has urged youngsters to make sure they get as much fun as possible from football whatever the level, to help form a positive mindset from the start.
The Liverpool defender was speaking on the latest Positively England podcast this week, as he looked back at his days growing up and learning the game in the courts and cages of south east London.
And for the millions of youngsters across the country looking to emulate him and his team-mates in their own games and sessions, the former Charlton Athletic man has a clear message.
"Just have fun,” he said.
“It's a journey to enjoy and sometimes we can make the situations feel bigger in your head than they are.
The next episode of Positively England with @AskNationwide is here! 🎧@J_Gomez97 joins @saunderscb and @MicahRichards to talk about his early football experiences, staying positive and his advice for aspiring young footballers:— England (@England) February 1, 2021
"Football is a sport to enjoy and you've just got to embrace it, now more than ever is proving that.
"While it's here and you've got the chance to play football and do what you love, just enjoy it.”
Gomez also revealed how he looks to maintain a strong and positive frame of mind in his career now, with the pressures and expectations he puts on himself combined with the outside noise from other sources making it a perilous mental space for any footballer at the elite level.
"I just have a vision in my head of wanting to have that sense of fulfilment,” he revealed.
"There's always going to be opinions so if you chase outside recognition, it can come but then it can go just as quickly.
"So chasing my own personal fulfilment, feeling and satisfaction in how I'm playing or what I can improve on is what it is really.
"You do your best to appreciate being in a team because football is about luck at the end of the day, being in the right team, at the right time with the right manager - it's not easy at times.”
The 23 year old, who is currently recovering from a knee injury which he picked up in training with England last November, also revealed he’s started to avoid too much personal use of social media platforms particularly in the aftermath of games.
"It's difficult nowadays with social so if you can master that side of things and detach, it helps,” he added.
“It's obviously a good tool and a big part of the game now, but personally I just try and switch off.
"It can be just as poisonous to go on there to get praise after a game. If that's what makes you feel fulfilled after you think you've had a good game, and then you don't get as much praise as you think, it's just as bad as getting hammered and it hits you negatively.
"So, for me, it’s just trying to stay away from that and having that detachment from football, just being a normal person and not worrying about social when you go home.”
The campaign celebrates the importance of building a positive environment in grassroots football by encouraging players to enjoy the game. The campaign is supported by Nationwide Building Society, and is all about promoting mutual respect on and off the pitch.
You can listen to the episode with Joe below and for more intimate, insightful and inspiring interviews with our Three Lions and Lionesses search for 'Positively England' wherever you get your podcasts.