I recently had the undeniable privilege of being interviewed by Chuck Wilson, who among other great career moments, was the first hired by ESPN when they started their radio broadcast in 1991. Chuck went on to be recognized by Sports Illustrated as runner up for “Best National Sports Radio Host of the Decade” and was the only other broadcaster besides Bob Costas to be recognized as a 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport. But — as Chuck will likely tell you — he’s most passionate about fair play and sportsmanship in youth sports which is why he founded Even Field, whose primary message is that The Way You Win Matters® because integrity, trust, and mutual respect are essential to quality relationships and principled leadership.
It was such a treat to be interviewed by Chuck for as you’ll see – he has a wonderful way of making his guest feel comfortable. What’s particularly neat is that Chuck and his team embedded photos, graphics and videos throughout that our pertinent to our conversation. Just know that it’s a podcast that can either be watched or listened to.
We’ve time marked different points in the conversation as our topics shift throughout.
0-5:00 – Overview of “Why 2-4-1 and what led Kerry and I to starting the organization”
6:15 – How 2-4-1 has evolved in terms of our delivery model
7:48 – – I reply to Chuck’s question about why youth led activities are so formulated and adult driven
9:45 – We discuss the advantages of imaginative play and the detriment of only rewarding the “early bloomers” including a personal anecdote about myself being a “late bloomer” and responding to a “message” from my HS coach.
13:40 – Chuck and I discuss “burnout” and other pitfalls of early specialization while highlighting the benefits of sport sampling
14:30 – “Cut” programs get rid of children from sports entirely at too young of an age and poorly aligned school and recreation programs feed this problem at their own detriment
15:45 – A discussion about Long Term Athlete Development with a Tiger vs. Roger anecdote supporting the advantages of one sport building on another
16:25 – What does Sport Sampling mean – in particular at 2-4-1 programs
17:35 – Demonstrating how the skill of one sport that a child knows, helps to hook them on one they don’t including a comparison of the sport of Women’s Lacrosse to basketball
18:45 – How sampling can get kids to commit to a new sport they may have not otherwise considered
19:27 – The importance of coaches having a multisport background
21:50 – The American Development Model (Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)) – why it’s an important approach. Get kids as many “touches” as possible and keep kids involved without coaches talking all the time.
25:45 – Role of coaches in the LTAD and Physical Literacy Development model – and how they both tie together over time.
30:10 – Creating situations for kids to develop confidence and increase desire to be active for life.
31:25 – Increasing confidence by helping kids overcome anxiety through sport
33:00 – the Maya Angelou effect in coaching. How do coach’s make you feel (and a funny anecdote about my freshman year basketball coach).
34:00 – why are we playing so many structured games and putting players and coaches in challenging situations way too often.
35:35 – Our approach to coaching – is the CARE Path to success (Culture, Ability, Relationships, EnJOYment). What you focus on matters!
38:30 – Character development in youth sports and the value of relationships in sports.
41:30 – “Competitive Integrity” – it happens when we focus on process as opposed to winning
44:15 – The Way You Win Matters – Chuck and his team do a great job of showing a clip from last year’s Final 4 as I share an anecdote about “competitive integrity”.
45:20 – What’s on the horizon for 2-4-1 Sports: Creating change one community at a time.
Lastly, if you are able and so inclined, I’d ask you to consider donating to Even Field as Chuck’s Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes integrity, life skills, and leadership through sports — all traits we of course align with!
Thanks for watching!!
About Steve Boyle
Steve Boyle is a visionary leader and advocate for youth sports and physical literacy. As the Executive Director of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc. and Co-Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve stands at the forefront of the movement to transform the youth sports paradigm. His forward-thinking anti-specialization approach has garnered acclaim from esteemed institutions like the Aspen Institute. At the helm of 2-4-1, Steve has skillfully guided its expansion from its flagship location in West Hartford, Connecticut, to a range of locations across the U.S., Canada, and Africa. His leadership has not only scaled the program but also redefined the standards of youth sports Beyond the scope of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve’s influence extended to developing the National Association of Physical Literacy, where his insights as Advisory Board Chair were pivotal. His tenure as Global Lead on Physical Literacy and Athletics for Whittle School & Studios marked a significant contribution to the global community, shaping the athletic and physical education frameworks across campuses in Shenzhen and Washington, D.C. Steve is equally known for merging his expertise in counseling with his coaching acumen to create the TOP Self social-emotional learning platform. This innovative endeavor leverages sports to impart essential social-emotional learning skills, cementing Steve’s status as a national authority in physical literacy development.
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