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Welcome to the Way of Champions Podcast hosted by John O'Sullivan and brought to you by Changing The Game Project.


Each week we connect you with the top minds in sport, coaching, leadership, and creating championship programs so you can take your athletes and teams to the next level.

May 5, 2019

Stuart Armstrong is the Head of Coaching for Sport England. Prior to Sport England, he was the Player Development Manager for the Rugby Football Union. He is one of the world’s top experts on player development pathways and skill acquisition, and has helped thousands of coaches in the UK create better learning environments and develop deeper relationships with their players.
His sports coaching experience is in golf, cricket, field hockey, rugby, and soccer. He leverages the knowledge gained from the various sports he has coached to help create multi-sport, player-focused training programs that assist athletes in not only developing sold skill foundations but great off-field skills to help them succeed in life.
Highlights from the Podcast:
Min 10: What is Talent? OR Talent vs Ability
Min 18: Why it is important for a coach to develop more than just the technical and tactical 
Min 24: How to shift the coach mindset from ignoring the psychological side of coaching athletes 
Min 31: Finding the balance of sports knowledge and people skills 
Min* 41: The difference between technique and skill
Min 47: Checking for understanding 
Min 52: Combining the art of coaching with the Science of Coaching
Min 1:13 What if we identified players not just during competition, but at practice?
Min 1:20 Examples of great Programs that are “doing it right”
Resources Mentioned
  • The Talent Equation, The Podcast [Link]
  • WOC #16 Stuart Armstrong, Head of Coaching for Sport England, “Learning Happens in the Ugly Zone” and other coaching factors [podcast
  • WOC #96 “Success is Not an Accident; Success is a Choice” with Alan Stein Jr., author of Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best [podcast]
  • WOC #31 Mark Bennett, Founder of Performance Development Systems, How Coaches Can Shape Behavior, Influence Training Habits, and Build Accountable Teams [podcast]
  • WOC #50 It’s Time for Coaching Educators to Start Teaching Coaching and Stop Teaching Sport Science with Olympic Coaching Educator Wayne Goldsmith [podcast]
  • 'Carving nature at her joints' - A conversation with Andrew Wilson [podcast]
  • Non-Linear Pedagogy and Skill Acquisition, by Jia Yi Chow[book
  • Playing with a 'clumsy pig' using a 'sandbox' in a 'fishtank' - A conversation about games with Amy Price [podcast]
  • Coaches are terrible at Talent ID, so we must be architects of an optimal learning environment: A discussion with Dr. Joe Baker [podcast]
Connect with Stu Armstrong
Announcements for Changing The Game Project:
Way of Champions Conference will be in Denver, CO on August 2-4. Visit for more information! 
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