The Ambitious Coaching™ Podcast

Whether you’re a part-time volunteer coach or coaching is your full-time profession, the Ambitious Coaching™ Podcast provides practical takeaways for coaches of all levels and all sports. The podcasts are derived from a series of interviews with experts in coach-development, medicine, psychology, and more. 

Throughout these interviews, you will hear ties to the Ambitious Coaching™ Core Practices, knowledge-in-action routines, strategies, and activities that effective coaches use to foster social-emotional growth for young athletes and elicit peak athletic performance. These practices are derived from the Center’s Ambitious Coaching Project™, research conducted to identify exactly what sets excellent coaches apart.  

The creation of this podcast is the Center’s effort to share knowledge and information that can help coaches become more effective and maximize the potential that sport has to offer.  Please take a listen, and join us in the journey to be Ambitious Coaches!

Listen on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud.

Dan Taylor: Culturally engaging coaching

Dan Taylor, head girls' basketball coach at King's School, joins us to share how he approaches culturally engaging coaching. Dan serves on three diversity, equity and inclusion committees within Washington State, and mentors coaches on relationship building and community engagement. In our conversation, Dan shares about mentorship, leading during a period of polarization and cancel culture, and how to connect with Generation Z.

Dr. Kelly Schloredt: Mental health in emerging adults

Dr. Kelly Schloredt, a team clinical psychologist for the University of Washington's athletic department, discusses mental health in emerging adults with an emphasis on the pressures faced by student-athletes. She explains why emerging adults are at elevated risk for mental health disorders, the signs and symptoms we might see in an athlete whose mental health is compromised, and how coaches can support mental health for their athletes and teams.

Dr. Joanna Michelson: Tools for managing the emotional ups and downs of learning

Dr. Joanna Michelson—an expert in adult learning and teacher education—unpacks the emotional experience of learning while highlighting how coaches can best support their learners. We discuss biases, blind spots, and other interferences to teaching and learning while contrasting those with
environmental and relational elements that strengthen the learning process. Whether your focus is on athlete, staff, or personal development, our conversation pinpoints how educational leaders can facilitate learning and growth for themselves, as well as for those they lead.

Sam Moore: Supporting Female Athletes (Part 3): Adolescent Development

In our final segment, we explore how the changing hormonal landscape of the adolescent female athlete can impact movement patterns and skill development. Sam shares insights into how coaches can teach healthy movement patterns while simultaneously boosting athlete confidence, resistance to injury, and longevity.

Sam Moore (Part 2): Why Traditional Periodization Fails Female Athletes

The human endocrine system acts as a conductor over all other systems in the human body—including the pace at which we build muscle tissue, heal from injury, and recover from training. So why wouldn’t coaches factor in athletes’ hormonal landscape when designing their sport training? In Part 2 of our interview with Sam Moore, we discuss why traditional models of periodization can be harmful for female athletes while examining alternative methods that honor—and leverage—female physiology.

“We have to leave behind the antiquated outline of how to optimally train and treat our athletes when it comes to women, because it’s all based on research and application with men. It simply doesn’t apply to us as women.”

Sam Moore: Supporting Female Athletes (Part 1): Equity in Applied Sport Science

The ratio of strength and conditioning professionals at the NCAA level has been 85% male and 15% women for the last 15 years. While the numbers are both growing, the low percentage of women in the fields of strength and conditioning and applied sport science remains low. In this conversation with Sam Moore, we discuss the representation of women in these science fields while exploring ways to work toward a more equitable model.

“Gender equity in sport means creating and fostering an environment and structure built for, and by, the woman athlete…”

Dr. Brian Gearity: Supporting Healthy Identity Development in Athletes

In this conversation with Dr. Brian Gearity, we examine how coaches use their power, and the role athletic leaders play in helping young athletes develop their identity, both in and outside of sport. We discuss the difference between toxic vs. healthy masculinity, as well as the consequences that young male athletes face when immersed in toxically masculine sport cultures.

Lifting up Voices of Color: Da'Mon Perry

Join us for this conversation with Da'Mon Perry, Assistant Athletic Director at University Prep middle and upper school in Seattle, as he shares with us about innovative online learning, his personal experience as a Black athlete during today's fight for social justice, and how he keeps students feeling connected and supported.

"We have to come to terms with the fact that this school year will not be like others in the past. If you're going to try new things, I think this year is the year to do it." 

Lifting up Voices of Color: Marcus Jackson

Marcus Jackson of the Boys and Girls Club of Seattle shares about personal and cultural identity, his experience as a first-generation college student, and supporting youth through painful emotional experiences.

"Just because you don't look like someone, or come from the same  background as them, doesn't mean that we can't experience the same range of emotions."

Lifting Up Voices of Color: Talia Walton, Make It Happen

Talia Walton joins us for the second interview in our series: Lifting up Voices of Color. Talia is Athletic Program Liaison for Seattle Public Schools, as well as Executive Director at Make it Happen, a nonprofit youth organization that Talia founded in 2018.  

“Genuineness, and having a relationship with your players, is the pivotal piece to really being able to support them and empower them.”

Lifting Up Voices of Color: Victor Johnson, Fenix Basketball

Join us for our first in a series of conversations with voices of color in educational and sport leadership: Victor Johnson of Fenix Basketball:  
“We each have a role in deconstructing our systems and rebuilding a society that speaks a language of love..."

Dr. Kevin Alschuler: Pain Psychology, Building Resilience, and Coping with Uncertainty

Pain and sport psychologist Dr. Kevin Alschuler discusses adaptive vs. maladaptive pain coping strategies, the behaviors associated with resilient athletes and teams, and methods for coping with uncertainty during COVID-19. 

Dr. Laura Kastner: Fostering SEL and Emotional Flourishing in Young Athletes

An expert in the fields of child, adolescent, and pediatric psychology, Dr. Kastner sheds light on the neurochemistry of emotions, including the types of emotions we should expect to see in young athletes whose brains are rapidly developing. Dr. Kastner shares specific strategies that coaches, youth leaders, and parents can deploy to successfully navigate emotionally-charged moments in ways that strengthen relationships and foster social-emotional growth. Conducted in the fall of 2019, this is another of our most popular interviews.
Additional Resource: Core SEL Competencies 

Dr. Julia Mahfouz: Social-Emotional Learning During COVID-19

Student-athletes need the leadership of coaches now more than ever. Dr. Julia Mahfouz, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Idaho, shares how coaches can use the challenges of COVID-19 as an opportunity for social-emotional learning, as well as methods for helping athletes cope with the loss of their sport season.

Additional Resource: Core SEL Competencies 

Dr. Julie McCleery: Building Bridges with Parents

Conducted in the fall of 2018, this interview has been our most popular with the ACCEL Coaching Certificate participants, which speaks to the complex and emotional nature of the coach-parent relationship. Dr. Julie McCleery, principal investigator of the Ambitious Coaching™ Research Project, veteran coach, and parent of three active teenage boys, shares win-win strategies aimed to align coaches, parents, and athletes in ways that benefit everyone and center athlete well-being.   

Tara Peerenboom: Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Navigating the Coach-Trainer Relationship

In a recently conducted interview, Tara Peerenboom, who oversees the Athletic Training Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, talks with us about the complex challenges athletes face when rehabilitating from sport injury, including impacts to identity and mental health. Whether or not you have access to the support of an athletic trainer, this interview shares essential steps all coaches can take to mitigate risk and support athletes.