The Leadership Crisis in Youth Sports Today

The Leadership Crisis in Youth Sports Today

Note: This article was originally published in Soccer Today on Jan 16, 2021.

Why are today’s players more mentally and emotionally fragile than ever? Why are there fewer leaders?

I was 12 years-old and playing in my Little League’s championship game in 1988. I was the team’s shortstop and batted third in the lineup, but in the top half of the first inning, I struck out looking (on a pitch that was way off the plate) to end the inning.

I was upset.

On my way back to the dugout to retrieve my glove, I threw my helmet. It skipped off the ground, ricocheted off the chain-link fence, and grazed one of my teammate’s legs as he was emerging from the dugout. Startled, he reactively said “ow” loud enough for the coach to hear. 

My coach turned around, quickly pieced together what had happened, and barked, “did YOU throw that?”

I nodded sheepishly, and he told me to go sit on the bench. The...

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Top Mental Game’s Interview with Julie Foudy

 

This article was published by Soccer Today on May 3, 2020.

Julie Foudy is one of the most accomplished female soccer players in the world. A dominant midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1987 through 2004, Julie served as co-captain for nine years and captain from 2000 through her retirement. In her 18-year national team tenure that included 271 international caps, the U.S. women won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles (1991, 1999), two Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004), and a silver medal in 2000. She began working as an analyst for ESPN in 2005 and founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy in 2006. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in August 2007.


Last week Julie sat down with SoccerToday columnist Bryan Price at the Top Mental Game Soccer Summit to discuss the mental game and its importance to her career.

When were you first introduced to mental skills training and what impact did it have on your career?

Foudy: It is and has...

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