On April 26, 2014 I had the honor of presenting a talk at TEDx Bend Oregon entitled “Changing the Game in Youth Sports.” The power of the TED platform, and its international recognition as a brand that brings “ideas worth sharing” to the forefront of conversation, was such an incredible platform to be able to present the 14 minute version of the Changing the Game Project mission. You can see it here:

Some takeaways:

  • The single greatest effect on performance is an athlete’s state of mind
  • Youth sports used to be about children competing against other children; now it is often adults competing against other adults through their children
  • Children play sports because it is fun; winning comes in way down the list
  • Children quit sports when they don’t get to play, and when winning becomes more important than enjoyment
  • 90% of children would rather play on a losing team than sit the bench on a winning team
  • Competition is important, but being competitive comes from putting the needs and priorities of our children first
  • We can all start changing youth sports for the better by learning five simple words (watch to learn what they are)

I hope you will take the time to watch the video and if you enjoy it, please share it. Share it with families that have children in youth sports. Share it with coaches, schools and organizations that are struggling to serve the needs and priorities of our kids in a youth sports world that sometimes does not allow our children to “Play” anymore. Share it with like minded people so that we all realize that we are the silent majority, and that youth sports can and will change. We have the power to change it the right way, and make it about our players first.

This is certainly the first, and not the last word on this topic, so I also encourage you to share the message of other amazing organizations and individuals that are changing youth sports. Check out Proactive Coaching, the Positive Coaching Alliance, USA Hockey and USA Volleyball, Rick Wolff, Dr Jerry Lynch, Bob Bigelow, Rob Miller, Bruce Brown, NAYS, and many others who are leading the way.  But we need all of you too.

Please leave your thoughts, comments and questions below, and if you have not already joined the tens of thousands of people supporting our mission, click the box below and join our email list. It’s time to CHANGE THE GAME!


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