CHANGING THE GAME
Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids
“Where did the fun go?,” asks coach John O’Sullivan. Children no longer simply ‘play’ sports. The rise of expensive youth sports programs, and the myth that athletics is the ticket to a top college have led parents and coaches to shift values to focus on wins instead of enjoyment and trophies at the expense of development. Fast forward and our children will be the culmination of the messages they have received, the opportunities they have had, and the values they have learned from being an athlete. In his talk, O’Sullivan will introduce us to his “7 C’s of a High Performing Mindset” that help ensure that athletics is a positive and rewarding experience for children. His message is based on information learned from kids, when asked what they want from sports; from experienced coaches and parents, who have successfully (and at times unsuccessfully) navigated their way down the youth sports highway, and from the latest science and research about athletic development and parenting.
John O’Sullivan started Changing the Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach at the youth, high school, college and professional level. He is the author of the bestselling books 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’s work has been featured in The Huffington Post, CNN.com, Outside Magazine, ESPN.com, Soccer America and numerous other publications. O’Sullivan brings a wealth of practical, hands-on knowledge garnered through years of working with players and their families on sport specific development, fitness and nutrition, college recruiting, and most importantly, training high-performing athletes by creating a player-centered environment.