We’re kicking off season four this week and diving into the coach’s perspective! In past seasons we’ve spoken to the parents, the players themselves, and the experts, and we are excited now to dive into the perspectives of some incredible coaches! Coach Ernie Clark was a high school coach for 14 years, a club coach for six, and now coaches at the collegiate level. He started out as a high school athlete struggling with performance, and through guidance from his coaches became a state qualifier and earned a collegiate scholarship for Track and Field. He became a national qualifier in the 400 hurdles at the University of Indianapolis. He went on to teach and coach high school athletes, breaking school records and growing multiple programs in Indiana. His athletes became 6th in the state during his most successful season, during which he realized his drive as a coach was to help athletes reach beyond what he could do as an athlete himself; competing on a higher national level, such as the USA Championships, and even the Olympics trials or Olympic Games. He became a coach at Ashland University, working alongside four-time Olympian Judd Logan, and currently coaches five national champions - including Myles Pringle. Coach Clark has been named a Regional Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year two years in a row and was recently named Assistant National Coach of the Year. He and Kathy discuss his development from out-working to out-motivating, the massive mentality shifts he’s learned, and how his own struggles as an athlete and becoming addicted to doing a great job became the biggest factors in his growth as a coach. Ernie is not only a coach, but a sports parent himself, with two kids aged 14 and 17. If you enjoyed this episode please share and like Parenting Peak Performers whenever you listen in!
Gordon MacLelland set up the organization Working with Parents in Sport after 20 years as a teacher and as a coach to all age levels from about 7 year olds to Adults. He has a BA in Sports Science from University College Chester and a PGCE from Lancaster University. He is a qualified teacher and has been Director of Sport at an independent prep school in the UK for the last 10 years. He has worked in schools in both the UK and New Zealand for the last 16 years. Gordon is the author of two books, “Great Sports Parenting”, a pocket guide for parents of children in sport and, “Engage”, a coach's guide to building positive relationships with parents. He has recently become a parent to two children and the early sporting experiences of his own children prompted him to set up the company as well as write the two books above. As a speaker he brings a wealth of experience to working with organizations, coaches and parents gathered through 20 years as a teacher and coach as well as a parent currently involved in children’s sport. He and Kathy discuss the importance of perspective for sports parents, the encouragements that are key to athlete’s development, and the two questions NOT to ask post-game. Gordon’s website, http://www.parentsinsport.co.uk also has a wealth of information and resources for parents!
As America’s first ever Olympic Gold Medalist in Whitewater Canoe Slalom, Joe shares strategies to get you outside of your day to day rush of life and bring focus to what truly matters most with simplicity, purpose, and flow. His platform includes performance coaching, writing, and speaking. Joe’s philosophy and values are built upon a 19-year career as an elite athlete with USA Canoe/Kayak that included 12 National Championship titles, two Olympic Game appearances, and an Olympic Gold Medal. Joe coaches high performance leaders, executive teams, and athletes. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of USA Canoe/Kayak - the sport’s national and Olympic governing body. He often says yes to unique adventures and challenging experiences (he once paddled 110 miles in a kayak from Cuba to the Florida Keys), and has chosen innovative paths of education, collaboration, and all-around health and wellness. He shares his expertise in this episode not only as an elite athlete, but also a sport parent and coach! Joe, his wife Lisa, as well as their daughter - an elite athlete in her own right - reside happily in Spain near the site of Joe’s Olympic win in 1992. Joe and Kathy discuss the importance of listening and building daily habits, and talk about the tricky relationship of parent/coach. You will not want to miss this episode, and neither will your athlete!
A father of seven, Rob is the host of the Youth Baseball Edge podcast. Rob is an expert not only in youth sports, but also in podcasting, with the highest ranked amateur baseball podcast on iTunes, and over 100 episodes recorded to date. His children, ranging in from age 20 to 4, have been instrumental to his growth as a coach and sport parent. He has served as a head baseball coach for multiple teams over the last 13 years, beginning as a coach to his own kids, and started his podcast to share what he has learned along the way. Kathy and Rob talk mental game, fixed vs. growth mindset, and the influence others have on athletes - especially parents. He shares ten questions he uses to check in with his children annually (check out Youth Baseball Edge ep. 105), when and how to push, and the 20-hour rule; committing twenty hours of practice before giving up to give the athlete time to see success. Be sure to listen in to Youth Baseball Edge (we loved the Brian Cane episode on mental game), found here: https://www.youthbaseballedge.com/podcasts, and if you enjoyed this episode, please like and review us on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play!
Greg Bach is the Sr. Director of Communications for the National Alliance for Youth Sports and the author of 10 books. His latest book is, “Secrets of Successful Coaching” features his personal conversations with 50 top professional and college coaches, as well as former Olympic athletes who are now coaching. Greg has been at NAYS for 25 years, and oversees the SportingKid Live website, a free resource NAYS provides with new content daily on topics and issues pertaining to youth sports coaching and parenting. He is a proud graduate of Michigan State University and an expert in youth sports. He shares wisdom on offering great support as a sport parent, especially in honing non-reactive responses - whether it’s a good or bad day, providing open communication, learning the importance of failures, building confidence, and finding ways to incorporate the entire family into the process of growth. If you enjoyed the episode please like, rate, and comment on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play! We also want to encourage our listeners to connect with Greg by visiting http://www.nays.org/sklive!
Welcome back to season three - our season of experts! Kathy’s conversation this week hones in on how the context between high school and college athletics can differ, and how to act as an advocate and guide for your students during that important time of transition. Dr. Angel Brutus is a member of Mississippi State University Sports Medicine and Performance team, serving as their very first Director of Counseling and Sport Psychology. She serves in this role after managing a private practice based in Atlanta, Georgia where she provided clinical and sport performance services to individuals, teams and organizations. Her training includes Licensed Professional Counseling in Georgia and Mississippi, Certified Rehabilitation Counseling, and Sport-Performance Psychology consulting, which gives her the opportunity to provide holistic services based on clients' clinical and performance needs. She currently serves as coordinator for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology's Race & Ethnicity in Sport Special Interest Group and is a member of the Women in Sport, Eating Disorders in Sport, Adaptive Sport & Physical Activity groups and multiple committees within the Association (Nomination Leadership Development, Ethics, and Community Outreach). She spends her time out of the office serving as a community volunteer with philanthropic organizations targeting at-risk youth, and mentoring students interested in pursuing careers in the helping profession. If you liked this episode, remember to rate our show and leave a review for us on your favorite podcast app!
Dr. Lindsey Blom is an Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology and the Graduate Program Coordinator at Ball State University. She focuses on the psycho-social aspects of youth sport and sport for development and peace. For the past decade, she has investigated positive youth development through sport and using sport to promote peace at the individual, community, and international levels. Specifically, her research focuses on maximizing the benefits of sport participation through a mastery and cooperative approach fostered by trained coaches and supportive parents, emphasizing a holistic, long-term athletic development model. Her projects include conducting sport for social change programs in Jordan and Tajikistan, the NASPE task force for the position statement on Maximizing the Benefits of Youth Sport, and running local after-school sport for peace leadership programs with elementary school children. Additionally, Dr. Blom has been an invited expert on using sport for development to counter violent extremism for two closed roundtable discussions hosted by the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation and Hedayah. Throughout her academic career, Dr. Blom has co-authored journal articles, book chapters, and the book, “Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Soccer”. Talk about an expert! Dr. Blom also serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Soccer Foundation, Dream Sports Africa, and the Ball State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Lindsey has over 12 years of consulting experience as a certified consultant for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and over 15 years of experience as a youth soccer coach. As a consultant, she has worked with administrators, coaches, and athletes from the youth to collegiate level on issues in creating a positive sport environment and maximizing performance. Furthermore, she has led numerous team-building workshops and presented at coaching conferences. As a coach, she has worked with children ages 4 to 18 in recreational, competitive, and school-based settings using her experience as a semi-professional and Division I soccer player. Kathy and Lindsey connect on breaking down ingroup and outgroup interactions by leading as parents and normalizing supportive environments, asking curious questions on and off the field, and creating empathy for both fellow sport parents and athletes alike. She emphasizes the importance of feeling heard and finding common ground in communities that can be precarious. Her episode is full of incredible insights into her research on supportive parenting - you won’t want to miss it!
Words are powerful. They have the ability to inspire, motivate, and lift kids, but also the power to do the opposite. The considerable work of our expert in this episode has helped coaches and parents become more aware of their words, teaching how they can build confidence and self-esteem in athletes and avoid the pitfalls of imprinting. Coach Reed has dedicated his life to youth sports as the developer of the Excellence Equation Education System, co-creator of Positive Discipline Tools for Coaches, and the lead speaker and Chief Content Officer for Changing the Game. With 30 years of experience as an educator and coach, and dual master’s degrees in Sports Psychology and Early Childhood Education he offers a wealth of practical and science-based experience to aid coaches and others in leading athletes to excel in and beyond sports. Since the release of his TEDx talk “Echoes Beyond the Game”, he’s become a trusted educator and advisor to sports organizations worldwide. Coach Reed’s gifts are in creating passion and purpose in others, and in distilling complex theories into understandable and easily implementable practices. His interest in brain health and language led him to research how important the echos left on the field have on the psyche of athletes. He shares that for every negative word it takes nearly five positives to reduce the imprint, the immense importance of allowing athletes to guide post-game conversations, and creating the vital role of team parent to act as a liaison between parents and coaches. To connect with Coach Reed, learn more about the 3 myths of youth sports, watch his TEDx talk, listen to the Way of Champions podcast, and learn ways to create a more athlete-centric playing environment, find him here:https://changingthegameproject.com!
Betsy Opyt is a registered and licensed dietitian with a background in clinical nutrition therapy. She is a certified diabetes educator who has paved her way as a mom, fitness trainer, former gymnast, and the president, CEO, and founder of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut and Seed Butters. She is an active daily ambassador for the brand, and its driving force. In 2015 Betsy was named the Florida Young Mother of the Year by the American Mother’s Incorporated Florida chapter, and acts as an ambassador, traveling the state and raising awareness around women’s issues. Betsy was also crowned Miss Indiana in 2000 and spent her reign traveling her home state to inspire and engage children to develop healthier lifestyle habits. She shares with us how a lifetime of observing how nutrition aided her performance and fueled in her a passion for the health of athletes. Betsy has always been an incredible advocate for the connection between fuel and performance. She has excellent recipes and recommendations on her website, along with her delicious line of nut butter - you can find them athttps://betsysbest.com! She recommends complex carbohydrates like oatmeal and fruit smoothies in the morning, snacks at the ready right after practices and games, hydration always, and most of all making eating fun! Betsy emphasizes that working on these skills is all about planning, and encourages parents to involve their athletes in prepping for healthy eating, inviting them to come along to the grocery store, cook together, and think about nutrition as a family. We hope that you share this week’s episode with your athletes, and start to make fueling up right a whole-family effort!
Dr. Brandonn Harris is the Program Director and an associate professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Georgia Southern University, where he is also the graduate Program Director for the department of Health Sciences and Kinesthesiology. Dr. Harris teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of ethical issues in Sports Psychology, psychological aspects of peak performance, Sport and Exercise Psychology interventions, and Social Psychology of sport. At Georgia Southern he also supervises graduate students in their practica in Sport and Exercise Psychology. He is a current member of the Association for Applied Sports Psychology and a member of the American Psychological Association Division 47. He is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC), and listed on the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. As a Sport and Exercise Psychology practitioner he has consulted with youth and collegiate athletes, teams, parents, and coaches on a variety of vital topics in the field. He holds a BA in Exercise Science, with a Sport Psychology specialization, from Truman State University. In addition he completed two master’s degrees in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Community Counseling, both from West Virginia University, and a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology from West Virginia U. His work with how Sport Psychology consulting can support athletes and educate both parents and coaches is groundbreaking. This episode he joins Kathy to discuss the pivotal role parents have in guiding their athletes around the current state of youth sport, and specifically the challenges of early specialization and burnout. This episode is one we urge you not to miss! Dr. Harris shares his incredible expertise on specific ways parents can support their athletes, backed by some amazing research!
Friend of the podcast Lindsey Hamilton joins us today to share her wisdom! As a mental performance coach, Lindsey dedicates herself to empowering others to build the best version of themselves. In her role as a mental conditioning coach at IMG academy in Bradenton, Florida Lindsey works with elite youth athletes to develop the mindset they need to perform at their best. She specializes in women’s sports to help female athletes build confidence, maintain composure, and develop a rich connection in ways that transcend sport. Lindsey relentlessly encourages those around her to pursue their dreams and have a fun time doing it. Lindsey completed her master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sports Psychology from the University of Utah after completing dual BA degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Chapman University. She has dedicated a great deal of professional expertise to working with parents, highlighting in this episode the importance of being a good teammate to the athlete, building the value of humility in and out of the arena, role modeling, and how the athlete’s performance is not a reflection on the parent’s technique.
Dr. Bell is a mental toughness coach who has worked with champions on the PGA tour, Olympic medalists, Notre Dame athletes, and Indy Eleven players. He has written six books on performance and joins Kathy this week to discuss his book Don’t “Should” on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness, sharing some amazing wisdom for both parents and athletes on how to support your athlete and focus on being on the journey together. Dr. Bell also hosts the podcast Fifteen Minutes of Mental Toughness - if you loved this episode please like and listen to his show as well! Dr. Rob Bell has been a keynote speaker for sports organizations and corporations across the country, and we can see why! He was an incredible guest, sharing game plans on how to handle stress, control emotion, and create routines as a family. Dr. Bell emphasized that building confidence comes from setting a precedence - making sure that athletes feel supported even when they make mistakes. He shares that mental toughness skills come from athletes teaching themselves, supported by sport parents. We encourage all our listeners to huddle the whole family for this week’s episode (Try on the car ride home!).
Connect with Dr. Bell on his website: https://drrobbell.com
Professor at Boston University, researcher, and consultant Len Zaichkowsky joins Kathy this week to talk about the importance of perception, decision making, and engaging your athlete’s cognition; helping them to hone the skills of a playmaker. Dr. Zaichkowsky has been a professional in the field of Sports Psychology for almost four decades. He acted as a pioneer, bringing together the research fields of Cognitive Neuroscience and Sports Performance as an interdisciplinary science. His academic textbooks and research publications demonstrated the importance of the athlete’s brain in anticipating and acting on opportunities during competition. He has consulted with teams in the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, Australian rules football, Spanish men’s national soccer team, and Olympic sport organizations across the globe. His book, released this year, “The Playmaker's Advantage: How to Raise Your Mental Game to the Next Level” focuses on the elements of quick seeing, thinking, and action-taking by the athletes who lead in their respective sports. Dr. Zaichkowsky is a former president and fellow of the Association for Applied Sports Psychology, and currently the section editor of psychology for the International Journal of Sport and Health Science. Recently the American Psychological Association honored Dr. Zaichkowsky with the Distinguished Service to the Profession Award. Today, Len is co-founder and senior consultant at 80% Mental Consulting, advising on developing athlete cognition. You can connect with both Dr. Leonard Zaichkowsky and his co-author Daniel Peterson by visiting http://www.80percentmental.com/contact. We hope that you will share this episode and connect with the authors, as Dr. Zaichkowsky’s expertise is matched only by his kindness - and don't forget to try the app (available here: https://www.gamesensesports.com) to practice your skills at bat!
Author and expert in sports performance Carrie Cheadle is our guest this week! We want to encourage both parents and athletes (especially those navigating injuries) to listen in together to this episode. Carrie is an incredible guide who employs a real-life approach to her work, and we think you’re going to really appreciate her expertise. A resident of Petaluma, California, just north of San Francisco, Carrie has been working on the performance of teams, organizations, and individual athletes and exercisers since 2002. She is the author of the book “On Top of Your Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performance” and co-author of the upcoming book “Rebound”, which will be released in 2019 and focuses on helping injured athletes regain confidence and build resilience through injury recovery and return to sport. She has been interviewed as an expert resource for articles in publications such as Outside, Shape, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycle, and The Huffington Post. She is an incredible speaker who has spoken for and consulted with many collegiate teams, cycling teams, and triathlon teams, as well as corporate organizations like Camelbak! Carrie is an expert in mental skills training, working with athletes at all ages and levels from recreational athletes to elite and professional athletes competing on national and international levels. She specializes in working with athletes and exercisers with Type 1 Diabetes and is the Director of the mental skills training program for Diabetes Training Camp. She received her BA in Psychology from Sonoma State University, and MA in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Carrie has also taught at the collegiate level, currently serving as an adjunct professor at John F. Kennedy University. Carrie has a life-long commitment to her athletic performance and shares what has been most beneficial in shifting her mindset through injuries.
Welcome to Parenting Peak Performers season three! Now that we’ve heard from sports parents and the athletes themselves, Kathy kicks off the new season by diving into the expert perspective! First up is Dr. Jose Colon, sleep expert and dual board-certified physician in sleep medicine and neurology, with special qualifications in child neurology. He is a member of The Institute for Functional Medicine, The American College of Lifestyle Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Dr. Colon is also an award-winning author of several books on sleep, children’s mindfulness for sleep, and infant sleep. He shares incredible information on sleep deprivation, injury, EMF, and why it is that much more important for athletes to exercise - that is exercise healthy sleep habits (hint: you’ll want an alarm clock)! We look forward to sharing more perspectives from coaches, clinicians, and other experts in the field this season, get ready!
Dr. Colon is dual board-certified in sleep medicine and neurology, with special qualifications in child neurology. He is a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) and American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). He is also a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM) and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). Dr. Colon is an award-winning author of for books for sleep, children’s mindfulness and sleep, and infant sleep.
This week’s guest is an excellent example of peak performance, as an athlete, and as a collegiate coach!
Joey is the head softball coach at Bucknell University, and has been a member of the Canadian national softball team since 2010. During her collegiate career she was a 4-year letter winner at Williams College in both ice hockey and softball. Joey was named to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship team for both softball and hockey, and was a four-time All-Conference New England Region First Team selection shortstop. Lye set five all-time school records for Williams in batting, with some very impressive stats! During her senior season she led the nation with a 563 batting average, setting a single-season record at Williams. She also set a record for 22 stolen bases in the very same season! In 2009 Joey was the NESCAC and ECAC Division Three New England Player of the Year, and joined the Canadian National Softball Team the following season. She has been very successful on the team, batting a 611 average at the 2012 Women’s World Championship and aiding Canada in their silver medal win at the 2011 Pan American Games. Kathy and Joey discuss responsibility, coaching, playing, and the importance of allowing athletes to lead.
Cailin is a former collegiate swimmer and mother of three. She began swimming at five while participating in multiple team sports and found a love for both the water and the routine. In middle school her focus shifted to swimming solely, resulting in three-practice days as a high school student and the desire to swim on the collegiate level. When she began swimming for The College of the Holy Cross she was named Rookie of the year for her Freshman season but began to notice that her desire for routine was creating anxiety and Tendinitis in both of her shoulders. By her Sophomore season, her heart and mind were not in the sport, causing her to walk away. Cailin and Kathy discuss her journey of discovering a love of sports, how living up to expectations affected her drive and finding herself as an athlete. Cailin shares how as a mom she is navigating allowing her own children to love what they’re doing and easing off pressure to perform both for her children and as a parent, all while she is currently training for an Ironman triathlon!
Licensed Clinical Sport and Performance Psychologist Dr. Julie Wiernik comes on this week to discuss the mental game of being a top performer and her own journey with perfectionism. Julie competed on two high school state championship teams for volleyball and basketball and was a four-year varsity softball starter before earning a scholarship to the University of North Florida. She was a 4-year starter for the Women’s Osprey Softball team and excelled off the field. Julie was a Rhodes Scholar, earned All-conference and All-region honors, and was an Academic All-American; graduating Magna Cum Laude. In 1996 her UNF Flag Football team played in the Nike Flag Football Championships, and she earned All-America honors for being the best female quarterback in the country. Julie holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and owns The Texas Center for Sports Psychology, where she works with incredible athletes to optimize their performance. She comes on to share her thoughts on how her internal motivation impacted her athletic career, and how parents can help athletes learn, rather than perfect. She shares healthy tools for building the parent-child relationship, autonomy, confidence, and self-awareness, and encourages parents to let their athletes take risks, but match goals of the student with the expectations of the parent.
Sofia is a spectacular tennis player, and a rising Junior at Division I Florida Gulf Coast University. She began playing tennis at the age of 10 with her father, who became her full-time coach the following year. Ten years later, Kathy and Sofia discuss the value and importance of her parents as role models, how communication between parents and young athletes is a key factor, and all the lessons she’s learned both on and off the court in the last decade of play. Parents! This episode is one the team at Parenting Peak Performers would highly recommend listening to as a family - Sofia highlights ideas she wish she’d heard competing as a youth athlete, especially her parents’ belief in her as an athlete, their support in building her confidence through rigorous challenges, and how they made decisions as a United front that helped her consider and succeed in her goals. Sofia is looking forward to the upcoming FGCU season, and we look forward to watching her future in tennis!
Myles began running through a lifetime love of soccer and team sports that transformed into a career in Track and Field in middle and high school. Myles was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd column for his accomplishments, which are numerous. He is the National Champion in both the indoor and outdoor 400m dash, holds All American honors in several events, and has achieved school records in the outdoor high jump at 2.14 meters, indoor high jump at 2.17 meters, indoor 400m at 46.11 seconds, and outdoor 200m at 21.28 seconds. He was awarded the USTFCCCA Men’s Midwest Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2017, and is a rising senior at Ashland University. Myles and Kathy discuss the importance of support from all sides, keeping healthy expectations and perspective on success, and seeking opportunity to improve over perfection. Myles is a true champion of growth mindset thanks to his relationship with his mom, who helped him cultivate focus within whatever arena he found himself competing in. Myles is looking forward to his final year of collegiate competition, the 2019 World Championships, and the opportunity to run for Team USA in the 2020 Olympic Games.
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