S3EP2: John O’Sullivan

Changing the Game

John O'Sullivan is the founder of Changing the Game Project, whose mission is to ensure that we return youth sports to our children by providing the resources needed to make sports a healthy, positive, and rewarding experience for kids. After two decades playing and coaching soccer, John is an expert at training high-performing athletes by creating player-centered environments. He is also the best selling author of both Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids and Is it Wise to Specialize? John offers some really practical advice on how parents and coaches can help bring the fun back into youth sports.

For more about John and Changing the Game Project, visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Books, Blogs, Studies, and Resources mentioned in the episode:
Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids, by John O'Sullivan
How to Raise an Adult, by Julie Lythcott Haims (6:29)
Is it Wise to Specialize?, by John O'Sullivan
Way of Champions, John's Podcast
Changing the Game Project Blog 
Venus and Serena Williams, and Tiger Woods (7:18)
Stats on youth competing beyond highschool (16:08)
Article about Amanda Visek's "Fun Integration Theory" (23:17)
Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell (19:30)
"How Belgium went from #66 to #1 in the World Rankings," Way of Champions Podcast episode (26:10)
Shaq Water Polo Program (28:00)
Advice for first-time coaches (32:11)
Resources for Coaches and Parents (38:15):
Changing the Game Project
Positive Coaching Alliance
Proactive Coaching
"How to Transform the Culture of Your Youth Sports Program with Nate Baldwin," Way of Champions Podcast episode and "Winning the Race to the Right Finish Line in Youth Sports", Changing the Game Project blog post about Nate Baldwin (40:06)
Dr. Jim Taylor (43:28)
Youth athlete specialization (46:40)
Kobe Bryant (52:56)
Eric Cressey (54:43)
Key Takeaways (1:00:21)

One thought on “S3EP2: John O’Sullivan


    As an untrained parent volunteer coach, how do you handle the kids that don’t want to be there? (Middle school girls basketball)

    As a parent, how do you talk your child through having a coach that isn’t really committed to coaching?

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