Episode 027 Don't Retire Kids with Travis Dorsch, PhD

As folks may remember from the earlier podcast, you were a multi-sport kid through high school and went on to be a punter for Purdue and in the NFL. I also know that you have completed several triathlons

Ok, let’s delve into the survey. I think many of us know that survey results can be misinterpreted or misunderstood. Let’s get into the methods. While methods are boring to a lot of folks, I think they are kind of important in providing context to the survey and understanding its limitations. For instance, who was surveyed? How were they found? How representative of the population are they?

The big message is that the average kid who is involved in sports stops playing at age 11. Project Play has created a campaign around #Dontretirekid. 

How do the results of this survey compare to previous surveys? (I had seen previous ages of kids quitting to be 13).

Another number from the survey was that the average spending per year was just under $700 per child PER Sport with a HUGE range ($0-35,000). The question I have there is was the median around $700? Also, when I first saw this reported I saw it as $700 per child per year and I thought “well that seems really reasonable” but if that is per sport then a multi-sport kid means $2100 on average. 

Do we have average spending from previous years? If so, where does this fall when adjusted for inflation ( if it is older info)?

Any data or anecdotal evidence on what is causing the early dropout? If not, any thoughts based on the survey data?

https://www.aspenprojectplay.org/national-youth-sport-survey-1 (Link to Project Play tables)

Utah State University Families in Sport Lab

To find Travis on Twitter, @BigSkyBoiler

Episode 026 IOC Consensus Statement on Mental Health with Claudia Reardon, MD

This episode with Claudia Reardon, MD is being hosted both on the USCCE podcast feed and the Smartercoaching feed because I think it is a really important topic. During the podcast we cover the following topics and then some. Mental health is pretty broad and future episodes will address many of the topics not addressed in this episode.

What was the catalyst for forming this committee to create the consensus statement?

Who were the people on the committee in terms of backgrounds and expertise?

How does cultural/ethnicity impact the diagnosis or for coaches in recognizing symptoms?

What are the mental health issues the paper addresses? What are the issues that may have greater prevalence in the athlete population than in the general population?

What about the distribution of issues amongst sports types (combat, aesthetic, CGS, team, etc.)?

What should coaches, trainers, et al., be on the look out for?

What recommendations do you make for sport organizations from clubs, teams and NGBs, NOCs?

How do we distinguish between overtraining/overreaching and depression since the symptoms can be similar?

Let's focus on depression and suicide, what are the symptoms of depression?

What makes depression different from just having a rough day or two or perhaps dealing with a life event (retirement, major competition loss or loss of a loved one)? What are signs of suicide?

If I am in a person's life (athlete or not), what can I do if I suspect the person is considering suicide.


IOC Consensus Statement

NCAA Resources

About Dr. Reardon

Episode 025 Spanning the Globe in Coach Development with Troy Engle

For the June 2019 podcast, I talked with Troy Engle. Troy is an American track and field coach who is now working in Singapore. He has been involved with developing the Singapore coaching education and development system and has also recently moved into working with academies.

We discuss his past coaching experience in the US from being a college track and field coach to a Paralympic coach.

Troy attended the NSSU Coach Development program that he describes as a life changing experience. The USCCE/ICCE Coach Developer Academy is modeled on this program (albeit in a shortened format).

We discuss the sporting culture in Singapore where a challenge is to change the view that sport is just something kids do (more my words than Troy’s). We also discuss the other challenges and opportunities in Singapore.

Troy can be found on Twitter @CoachTroyEngle

Special episode (024) on Coach Developer Academy Teach and Learning Facilitation workshop

In this excerpt from Episode 023, Kristen Wright and I (Sam Callan) discuss our experience at the Coach Developer Academy workshop put on for USA Hockey in April 2019.

We discuss what we expected and what we got out of it. Kristen talked about how the active listening and review and feedback process were her takeaways. I shared that I had heard it was a long and draining few days. For me the micro-coaching was a great experience.

To learn more about the Coach Developer Academy process, visit the USCCE website.

Episode 023 Talking Hockey and Coach Development with Kristen Wright of USA Hockey


Kristen Wright, the ADM Manager for Female Hockey, joins the podcast to discuss her youth sports experience (multi-sport athlete) and playing hockey on all-girls and co-ed teams as a junior. She played in college at Connecticut College and later was an assistant coach at CU-Boulder. She shares her experience being the same age or younger than some of the women she was coaching at the time.

We discuss how she became involved at USA Hockey and her role as the ADM Manager for Female Hockey. She provides a short description of the USA Hockey ADM program (for a deeper dive see the links below).

Kristen talks about her experience as an assistant coach at a Colorado Springs high school for its boy’s hockey team and dealing with teenage boys (bless her!) and how she took to the philosophy that you have to show them you care first.

We finish up with a discussion about the Teaching and Facilitation workshop that she and I attended (thanks USA Hockey for letting me crash your workshop). We both share our experiences and takeaways. She really took away the art of active listening and the feedback process. (This part of the interview is also available as a stand alone audio both in the podcast and on the USCCE website).


Kristen Wright bio

USA Hockey American Development Model

Link to an interview with Ken Martel from USA Hockey on the ADM program.

Link to an interview with Kevin McLaughlin from USA Hockey on the ADM implementation

Teaching and Facilitation Workshop information

Episode 022 Catching Up with USCCE President Kristen Dieffenbach, PhD

Dr. Dieffenbach and I discuss the following topics as we edge closer to the USCCE Coach Developer Summit June 17-19, 2019 in Colorado Springs, CO.

We discuss:

What the Summit is and who should attend.

Kristen previews the keynote speakers.

The Action Tanks

The Master Classes

The Monday evening social that includes the awarding of the Coach Educator/Developer Legacy Award

The Coach Developer Academy with a session before the Summit and one after the Summit

Her appearance at the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition

The USCCE book series

audio Block
Double-click here to upload or link to a .mp3. Learn more

Episode 021 Being a TrueSport with Jennifer Royer, PhD

I talk with Jennifer Royer, the Director for TrueSport Programming and Olympic Education, about the mission of TrueSport.

It takes all of my strength not to wander off and talk about US history.

About 10 years ago, USADA did a research project on What Sports Means in America. The report pointed out why parents put their kids in sports is disconnected from the experience that the kids actually experience in sport.

TrueSport’s mission is to alter the culture back to where it ought to be.

TrueSport seeks to provide resources for coaches, parents and athletes. Subscribe to the TrueSport newsletter!

The cornerstones are sportsmanship, clean and healthy performance, and life skills. Lessons are available in areas like teamwork, ethics and nutritional information. TrueSport provides the options of having someone come out to a camp or club for a deeper dive into the above topics. (This is a fee-for-service option).

We discuss the TrueSport Ambassador program and how it focuses on character development. The Ambassadors are Olympians, Paralympians or hopefuls. They believe in the power of sport.

TrueSport has online modules for coaches.

You can find TrueSport on Facebook. Also on Twitter, @TrueSport.

We talked about mental health as a growing concern among youth sports. The NCAA has some excellent resources.

(Lastly I apologize for my sniffles and coughing—-I thought I had muted my mic).

Episode 020 Communities of Practice with Diane Culver, PhD

Diane Culver, PhD, from the University of Ottawa, discusses communities of practice in coaching education.

We discuss a history of social learning theory and how this was once a common way people learned including guilds and apprenticeships.

We discussed the requirements to develop a community of practice including creating value and learning imperatives. Some of the key attributes for a successful community of practice include:

  • People checking their egos at the door

  • People willing to share

  • That it does not have to lead to complete agreement by everyone

  • It needs to be a judgment free zone

Diane highly recommends a workshop from Wenger-Traynor to learn about communities of practice and facilitation.

You can follow Diane on Twitter at di_culver.

Episode 019 Talking LTAD with Joe Eisenmann

Joe Eisenmann, PhD left academia to put what he had studied as a pediatric exercise physiologist into practice. Joe is currently working for Volt Athletics along with consulting for some companies and a guest lecturer at Leeds-Becket University.

Joe is not one to hold back on his criticisms when it comes to a lack of implementation of long-term athlete development.

We discuss:

  • His sports, academic, and professional background

  • The bases for LTAD from the old Soviet Union through Bompa and Balyi

  • The science, such as it is, behind LTAD.

  • The limitations and potential pitfalls in the LTAD model

  • What we are missing out on when it comes to LTAD (hint: system alignment and integration)

  • The LTAD Playgrounds that Joe, Rick Howard and Tony Moreno are hosting around the country

Episode 018 What Really Motivates and Persuades? Daniel Pink, author, January 2019

Daniel Pink, the author of "Drive", "When" and "To Sell Is Human" is this month's guest.

We discuss the new ABCs of sales: Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. Attunement is the ability to look at something from another person's perspective and involves what Pink calls the curse of knowledge. Buoyancy is accepting rejection. Clarity is finding the right problem to solve.

Daniel shares his findings from Drive about motivation. Human motivation is pretty complex and involves biological motivations (e.g., eating), Rewards and Punishment, and also we do things because we intrinsically like to do them. So how can rewarding someone for something he/she likes to do backfire? We also discuss autonomy, mastery and purpose as it relates to coaching and athletes.

We finish up talking about the subject of "When" (out in paperback on January 9, 2019) about learning your best time to do different tasks. A key here is that how you end a task, like practice, has an important effect on how people view the entire practice. Hint: end on a positive note!

You can learn more about Daniel Pink at www.danielpink.com and follow him on Twitter @danielpink


Why You Should Always Skip Your Kids' Baseball Games

YouTube Video Version

Episode 017 The Adulteration of Children's Sports Kristi Erdal Colorado College

Kristi Erdal, PhD is a professor at Colorado College. We speak about her recently published book, The Adulteration of Children's Sports. The book is published by Lexington Books and can be found at https://rowman.com/lexington. Use the discount code LEXAUTH18 to receive a 30% discount!!!!!

We discuss:

What led her to write the book?

What are the key takeaways?

How did we get to where we are where youth sports are worth in excess of $10 billion and are adult led?

What happens to kids when adults get it wrong in youth sports? What can we do to "turn the ship"?


Project Play talks

US Center for Coaching Excellence Summit Information

Kristi Erdal Bio

Episode 016 The Vehicle for Someone Else's Journey with Sergio Lara-Bercial

Sergio Lara-Bercial, PhD is a reader at Leeds Beckett University and also involved with the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) and the iCoachKids program. Sergio is a retired professional basketball player and former Team GB women’s basketball coach. He earned his PhD in Positive Youth Development in 2018.

During our conversation Sergio talks about the etymology of “coach” and says about coaching that it is “the vehicle for someone else’s journey”.

We discuss:

His background as a player and transition to a coach

His interviews with coaches who are “serial winners” from across sports. Human Kinetics has a webinar with Sergio on his work.

How he became focused on youth sports after a career in high performance sport and the gap that he saw in working with 5 to 12 year olds

The iCoachKids project and the upcoming MOOCs with the first one set to launch in late 2018.

MOOC #1 Developing Effective Environments for Youth Sport

MOOC #2 Child & Youth Centred Coaching

MOOC #3 Coaching Children: Planning, Doing and Reviewing

The iCoachKids literature review is also available with a practical guide.

Sergio tweets from @DrSergioLaraUK

You might also be interested in following @iCoachKidsEU on twitter as well.

Another website of interest might be www.coachlearn.eu.

Episode 015 USCCE President Kristen Dieffenbach The State of USCCE

Kristen Dieffenbach, PhD, the President of the US Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE), joined me to discuss the state of the USCCE, good things happening in coaching education, and what we as coach developers can do going forward.

The USCCE is partnering with many organizations including the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) to offer the ICCE Coach Developers Academy here in the U.S. The USCCE is working with a publisher on a book series on coaching; if you are interested in writing a book, please visit the USCCE website for more information. Kristen talked about the free Raise the Bar program that allows organizations to commit to provide quality coaching.

We moved into some of the good things happening in coaching education amid all the not so good news about bad coaching behavior. We discuss Project Play and the Knight Commission as well.

We wrapped up with what we can be doing better moving forward.

Of course, all are invited to attend the USCCE Coach Developer Summit in Colorado Springs, CO June 17-19, 2019. If you are interested in being part of the ICCE Academy you can apply for that as well. The ICCE/USCCE Academy will be held June 14-16, 2019 in Colorado Springs.

Links of interest

USCCE Coach Developer Summit

Project Play 8 Plays

The ICCE/USCCE Coach Developer Academy

To reach Kristen at the USCCE, her email is info@uscoachexcellence.org

Episode 014 National Coaching Standards Lori Gano-Overway

Lori Gano-Overway, PhD has been involved in developing national coaching standards.

Lori discusses the origins, history and purpose of the national coaching standards starting with their development under AAHPERD, now SHAPE America and its progression to NCACE under the USCCE. (She also explains the alphabet soup).

The national standards are currently under revision and will be open to review until the end of October 2018. They can be found at the SHAPE America website. The revised standards are scheduled to be unveiled in April 2019 at the SHAPE America.

Coach Developers Network Chat Special Episode

On this special episode recorded in March 2018, I speak with three professors who head up coaching education programs at Xavier University, University of Denver and Michigan State University.

We discuss their programs, how they came to be and what they hope to gain.

All three have a masters in coaching program that are largely online.

If you are interested in pursuing a masters degree in coaching, this interview might offer some insights into what to expect even if you are interested in a program at another university.

The guests are Brian Gearity from University of Denver, Ron Quinn from Xavier University, and Andy Driska from Michigan State University.

Episode 013 Trickle Down Professionalism with Travis Dorsch

Travis Dorsch, PhD, is the founder of the Families in Sport Lab at Utah State University. Travis was a consensus All-American punter at Purdue University and former NFL player.

Current research includes a complementary focus on: (a) the role of youth sport participation on family relationships and family interaction (i.e., sport socialization); (b) Evidence-based parent education in competitive sport, in youth, adolescent, and early adult settings; and (c) the role of internal factors (e.g., motivation) and external factors (e.g., families and social contexts) on sport, physical activity, and recreational behavior.

What was your sports life like as a kid and how does that compare to what you are finding now?

How have you seen youth sports change since you were a kid both from your research and observations?

In your TEDx Talk from March 2018, you reference Dan Arielly’s work on motivation. Please share that snippet on how play became a job.

Now that you research this, what are you finding in terms of parent engagement.

What does the drive for the scholarship or to become a pro from the parents potentially do to a kid’s sports experience?

What is the connection, if any, between parental involvement (more spent) and kids’ attitudes toward sports?

What tips can you offer those of us seeking to engage parents to get them on board with being supportive but not sucking the fun out of sports?

Episode 012 The Gift of Failure with Jessica Lahey

Jessica Lahey discusses her book "The Gift of Failure" and how it changed her as a parent and a teacher.

We explore how failure makes children better learners and touch on the works of Carol Dweck and Daniel Pink.

The gist is that parents and coaches should allow children more time to learn on their own versus jumping in and solving the problems.

For coaches this might mean asking questions more than just telling them what to do. The latter will be useful in the short run, but it stunts learning in the long run.

Episode 010 US Lacrosse ADM and Parent Engagement

TJ Buchanan is the Senior Manager for ADM-Technical Director discusses the history of lacrosse (it is THE original American sport), American Development Model (ADM) and some of the programs US Lacrosse is pursuing with athletes, coaches and parents.

TJ also summarizes a meeting of representatives from several NGBs (and one sports parent representative) to discuss how to engage parents. A key point here is that we are (pretty much) all dealing with parents of youth athletes so let's have a common message. Also a goal is to get as many kids as possible in sports for as long as possible and to have the best possible experience.

Links mentioned during the podcast

USA Swimming's Flex Membership with a great video promoting multi-sport development

US Lacrosse ADM site (with lots of available information) 

Link to Amanda Visek's paper about what kids want out of sports (winning is not #1) Fun Integration Theory

TJ Buchanan email

Episode 009 Norwegian Sports Culture with Stephen Seiler

At the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea in 2018, Norway earned 39 total medals setting a record for the Winter Games. Many stories were written in the US press about how Norway became so successful.

In this podcast I discuss Norwegian sports culture with Stephen Seiler, PhD. Stephen is an American sport scientist who has lived in Norway for over 20 years. He offers his perspective on how Norway goes about developing athletes, the truth about keeping score in youth sports, funding and team culture. Since Stephen is very knowledgeable about sports in the US and Norway, he can offer a great perspective on the differences.

You can follow Dr. Seiler on Twitter: @stephenseiler