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How Far Along the Autism Spectrum Are You As a Leader?

A provocative discussion on one of my favorite blogs has got me thinking again about Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

First of all – in its moderate manifestation Asperger’s Syndrome need not strike fear in the heart of parents, teachers, nor in the heart of the individual directly concerned. There are many relatively happy, ultra high functioning people who fit that description, including the world’s youngest (newly-minted) multi-billionaire

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Coaching Researcher Martin Toms on Creating a Kids-First Culture

Positive coaching for young athletes
sports_psychologist_dr_martin_toms_birmingham_youth_sportsOur guest this week is Martin Toms, senior lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He’s one of very few people in the world who can call themselves a “sports ethnographer.” I looked the word up and it means someone who systematically studies people and cultures from within, rather than as a non-participating outsider. Among the many sports Martin is involved in, cricket, golf and soccer are at the top of the list.

He is also an expert in teaching sports to kids, ensuring that sports remain fun and helping coaches see their sports from the point of view of their young athletes. One of Martin’s key area of focus recently has been whether young children should specialize in just one sport or rather sample a wide range of sports until adolescence – a topic we discuss extensively in this interview. His Twitter handle is @drmartintoms

Sports Coach Radio dot com is a weekly series of interviews with world-leading coaches, sports scientists and writers. It’s hosted by Glenn Whitney, a mentor to coaches and a leadership advisor. Twitter is a good place to keep up with us – the handle is @sportscoachtalk.

Topics: Positive coaching, youth sports, young athletes, coach development, mindful coaching, coaching research


Decathlon Coach Harry Marra On Working With Two of the World’s Best Athletes

World Records and Olympic Champions
marra_eaton_theisenHarry Marra of the Oregon Track Club is arguably the best active decathlon coach in the world right now. He’s certainly one of my favorite interview guests. And what is indisputable is that he and his charges – Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton have had one heckuva year.

Ashton, of course, won gold in the decathlon in London last year and set a world record. But this year has been an even greater achievement, winning the World Championship in Moscow, the only time a decathlete has done so after topping the Olympic table the year before. Brianne shot up from a respectable 11th in the heptathlon in London all the way to the silver medal in Moscow.
Brianne and Ashton also tied the knot early in the season, with Harry playing a special role in the wedding. You’ll hear all about it in this interview. Of course you’ll also  find out how this power trio managed to recover so strongly from London and their plans for  next year and for Rio 2016.

Sports Coach Radio is hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching and leadership psychologist. You can follow us on Twitter, where we post useful articles and coaching tips just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

You can also can find  the first interview with Coach Marra in the Sports Coach Radio dot com archives almost exactly a year ago, on October 23, 2012.



Marathon Man on a Mission: Frank Shorter Part 2

Mental toughness, anti-doping crusader
Frank_Shorter3Here’s Part 2 of our interview with Olympic Gold Medal Winning Marathoner and distance running guru Frank Shorter, which took place at his home in Boulder, Colorado.