The majority of Scots believe positivity equals success – and aren’t as glum as stereotypes suggest

Scottish Gas/Scottish FA
Nine in 10 Scots believe a positive outlook is crucial to success in life – disproving the stereotype that we are glum.

A poll of 1,000 Scottish adults found 65 per cent want to radiate a positive energy to others to help brighten their day - yet more than half struggle to keep an assured attitude all the time.

And although the weather might not always permit, 85 per cent believe exercising and playing sport positively impacts their day-to-day mood.

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Scotland’s sporting heritage shines through in respondents, as nine in 10 view sport as a great way for children to develop their communication skills, with teamwork and respect featuring highly on the potential benefits of playing sport as well as self-discipline and commitment.

And 86 per cent also value the role of coaches or PE teachers in sport, with 82 per cent of parents believing coaches have a vital influence in their child's development.

An overwhelming 92 per cent said it was vital to be positive in front of young children, to help set a good example.

Positive influences on negative behaviour

The research findings were released as Scottish Gas teamed up with the Scottish FA to encourage positive energy amongst children at Scottish Gas Football Camps across the nation.

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It has funded the provision of 33 camps across Scotland this October half-term, enabling children from all socio-economic backgrounds free access to football during the school holidays. 

Young players who display positive energy traits – including respect, fair play, teamwork, and positive communication have been rewarded with a string of amazing prizes, including tickets to Scottish Gas Scottish Cup fixtures across the 2023/24 season.  

Former Scotland men’s team captain Charlie Mulgrew, who took part in the energy company's holiday football camp coaching session at Drumchapel United FC, said: "Football has brought me a lot of happiness from an early age and taught me some really valuable life skills beyond the pitch. 

“It’s great that we’re working with coaches, who can be hugely influential on a child’s development, to encourage and reward kids for displaying positive traits at these holiday camps across Scotland.”

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Nearly 9 in 10 parents say they have a deep respect for PE teachers - as they prove to be a positive influence for their children's behaviourNearly 9 in 10 parents say they have a deep respect for PE teachers - as they prove to be a positive influence for their children's behaviour
Nearly 9 in 10 parents say they have a deep respect for PE teachers - as they prove to be a positive influence for their children's behaviour | Scottish Gas/Scottish FA

Resetting attitudes

The study found 46 per cent of adults believed having a positive attitude impacted on physical health while 65 per cent insist it contributes to better mental health and 49 per cent to social relationships.

But 17 per cent described their attitude as negative, while 49 per cent struggle to keep self-assured all of the time.

In challenging times, 45 per cent turn to exercise to improve their mood, and 50 per cent seek support from friends and family. 

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found eight in 10 adults feel that if children witnessed someone being negative or rude to others, they would be likely to copy that behaviour. 

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But 23 per cent said having a parent with a positive outlook made them less likely to misbehave.

Of the 367 parents polled, 92 per cent rewarded their little ones for playing nicely with other children or showing support and respect for their peers.

Chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on the Future of Football, Fulton MacGregor MSP added: “As the convenor of the Scottish Cross Party Group on the Future of Football in Scotland, I am acutely aware of how beneficial sport can be for our youth, both physically and mentally. 

“The initiative launched by Scottish Gas and the Scottish FA to reward our young players who exhibit respect, fair play, teamwork, and positive communication is an excellent way to teach our future generations all the tenets of a positive attitude both on and off the field.”

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