WYC 120 – Youth Sports – Kevin Jans talks TEDx-level mental toughness & Knowing your why

Kevin Jans is a youth sports coach who has seen both sides of rec and travel ball and shares his stories and great experiences with youth sports on this episode of the WYC podcast. He also hosts his own podcast and is a TEDx speaker, in which he featured the WYC podcast as an example of finding your micro-niche.

Website/podcast: contractingofficerpodcast.com

Contact info: kevinmjans.com

TEDx: Youtube link

Twitter: @ContractPodcast

Facebook: /contractpodcast/

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Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link


‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened’ – Dr. Seuss

Coaching your own kid

  • Try to find a different coach to talk to your kid

Celebrate learning

  • Double high-five – High Five up high for the team, down low for yourself

Travel vs rec

  • A balance of winning and fun is the key. Keep perspective on the end goal, competition is part of life, but you’re not trying to have your child peak in middle or high school.

Mental toughness – learning from giving a TEDx talk

  • Understand your why – As a coach, I will never give you static for trying and swinging.
  • Preparation is everything – practice game-like situations as much as possible. Prepare for uncertainty  – use Commanders Intent – so kids can play free and embrace uncertainty.

3 main elements of coaching

  1. Know your why – Why are you coaching? Tell the kids why.
  2. Be clear not clever. Example: Be on the front half (of your feet) instead of be on your toes
  3. Embrace conditioning – Don’t use it as a punishment. Also  – the harder you practice, the more fun the game is.

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Kevin worked with a young man who was struggling to throw, and 2 years later watching his progress is really exciting.

The one that got away

  • Kevin is a firm believer in ‘It’s not one thing, it’s a bunch of things.’ – Don’t get hung up on one play deciding an outcome.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Celebrate progress and completion. Keep stats that can be measured and improved.

Parting Advice

  • Pace yourself. Teach 1 thing at a time. It will take time.

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