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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.

Jul 7, 2019

What does free play have to do with performance? Why does deliberate practice often fail to help a child reach their full potential? Let’s find out! Join John and Ted Kroeten, founder of Joy of the People, as they discuss why free play before structure is the best way to help young athletes reach their full potential. 
Our guest, Ted Kroeten, leads the way in rethinking and delivering player development always championing kids and possibilities based on his experienced, dedicated, and innovative soccer career. Joy of the People’s mission statement provides a clear idea of what they’re attempting to provide: 
To support the idea of play as an important part of a child’s development, to build small soccer spaces for kids to play, to serve disadvantaged youth, and to build community spirit.
Here are some highlights from the Podcast:
  • What happened when free play was introduced into practice?
  • How does the now defunct idea of "10.000 hours” play into free play and increasing performance?
  • The younger teams get beat in competition, but how does it work out when they get older?
  • There is a time for structure, when is that time?
  • What is going on with the athlete that did not grow up in the academy setting but blows away those who grew up in the deliberate practice environement?
  • How can you add free play into your performance development practice plan?
  • What are “kid micro-clubs"?
Connect with Ted Kroeten
Resources Mentioned 
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein [book]
The debate between Epstein and Gladwell [video]
Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use, by Stephen Krashen [book
How to Become a Transformational Coach with Jean Cote, World-Renowned Expert in Youth Sports and Coach Development [podcast]
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