It went into overdrive when he smashed a shot past the outstretched arm of David Seaman at Goodison Park in October 2002, aged just 16.
More after the break
Wazza has since gone on to become one of the best players in the world, winning a treasure chest of honours with Manchester United.
Under the spotlight, Rooney has had to deal with a whirlwind of pressure and criticism. The psychological demands have been as draining as the physical.
How did the Rooney's youth coaches prepare him for such a weight of expectation? Former Everton Academy coach Tosh Farrell played a key role in the development of the United striker and in this video he reveals how he develops mental strength in young players.
Learn from the man who discovered England's talisman and helped him reach the top of his game.
The Freeradio Grass Roots Football Show is the biggest grass roots football event in Europe. For more information on this year’s event at the Birmingham NEC on May 25-27 visit www.grassrootsfootball.co.uk
Damien Comolli: Get the best out of young players
Tosh Farrell: Get the best out of young players
Building mental strength in young players
Getting the best out of young players
Eric Harrison's 3 top tips for young players
How to catch Wenger's eye
Building confidence in young players
Tony Carr: Dealing with a step up in class
Peter Taylor's 3 top tips for young players
Damien Comolli: How to make it as a young player
Tony Carr: Psychology for young players