Kristen Dieffenbach is an associate professor of Athletic Coaching Education and the director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science at West Virginia University. She earned her PhD in exercise and sport science with an emphasis in sport and exercise psychology and is an Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) certified mental skills consultant (CMPC).  Kristen is currently the president of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence and is the director of coaching for WVICL. Her research interests focus on professionalism, ethics and moral decision making in coach development and long term athletic talent development. Learn more about here and her work at the US Center for Coaching Excellence (
Way of Champions Conference date and location coming soon!
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Show Highlights
  • Min 7: When sport and physical education went separate ways
  • Min 14: What can we do better for coaching education?
  • Min 17: Empowering older athlete to coach younger athletes
  • Min 20: The difference between coaching boys and coaching girls
  • Min 24: The ethics of admitting there are differences between boys and girls
  • Min 32: Sport Specific Research and Resources
  • Min 37: Long Term Athletic Development, (right age, right stage)
  • Min 39: Real live example of what happens when we think we can do the same drills for boy and girls and get the same result
  • Min 46: When a coach tells a female athlete “You score too much”
  • Min 48: Why did they wear skirts in “A League of Their Own”?
  • Min 50: Dr. Dieffenback responds to the cliche: “Women need to bond in order to compete and men need to compete in order to bond”
  • Min 52: The difference between men and women when it comes to politics, applying for jobs, and coaching
  • Min 59: Dr. Dieffenback responds to the cliche: “Men are hard to catch, but easier to manage. Women are easier to coach and harder to manage.”
  • Min 1:01: Coaching Middle School athletes
  • Min 1:07: Coaches, you are old now…it is not your cultural landscape. Learn what is important to them, now
  • Min 1:10: US Center for Coaching Excellence
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
  • Anson Dorrance, North Carolina Soccer Coach
  • Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher  Link
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women, by Naomi Wolf Link
  • The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf  Link
  • Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by Michael Thompson Link
  • Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, by Lisa Damour Ph.D  Link
  • Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax Link
  • Taking the Field: Women, Men, and Sports, by Michael A. Messner Link
  • Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Link
  •  Book by Ashley Merrimen
  • US Center for Coaching Excellence
  • Coach Development Summit June 17-19 Colorado Springs
  • Dr. Kristen Nash
  • John Kessel, USA Volleyball
Connect With Dr. Dieffenbach



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