Tag: kevin jans

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/

Listen Now:

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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WYC 064 – Martial Arts World Champion – Melody Shuman talks Developmental Stages by Age

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Melody Shuman shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Melody Shuman is a martial arts world champion. She started and ran a successful chain of martial arts schools, then re-invented her entire business and has created a booming business teaching martial arts, and teaching others how to start their own schools.

Website: skillzconnect.com; Coming soon: skillzworldwide.com

Facebook: /MelodyShumanPage

Twitter: @mastermelody

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


‘Have every student become a better version of themselves’ – Melody Shuman

The evolution of martial art schools

  • Most martial art programs were developed for adult males. Melody has studied teaching and designed her schools to teach males and females at the appropriate age level.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun


  • Identify 7 or 8 skills appropriate for their age:
    • Pre-schoolers – Kicking, punching, blocking, crawling, hopping, running, catching
    • Kindergarten/1st-grade: Focus, teamwork, control their body, memory, balance, discipline, fitness, coordination
  • Then focus on one of these in each practice.  Then they have a test at the end of the practice, and if they pass they get their ‘stripe’ for that skill. To earn

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance


  • Creating age-appropriate challenges is the key
  • Goldilocks concept – Not too hot, not too cold.  Create just the right level of challenge that is a slight challenge, but attainable.
  • Catch kids having a great attitude during practices – and prop them up and let them know that that attitude is great and what is going to make him/her succeed

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • #1 rule – Mutual respect amongst students/teachers and each other
  • Our goal: ‘Have every student become a better version of themselves’

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • One kid Melody coached would get nervous and cry when in pressure situations.  Melody and her team kept supporting him, and it slowly got better and better over time.  Melody emphasized: ‘You’re measured best by how you carry yourself under pressure.’  When this boy took his first black-belt test – he was the first student she ever had achieve a perfect score.  He has gone on to win national level competitions.

The One that Got Away

  • Melody was competing in nationals as a 21 year-old.  She made it to the championship round, and they went to extra-time. Melody got cocky and spit out her mouthpiece – her competitor knocked out 2 of her teeth and chipped 5 others.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Vince Lombardi: ‘The greatest accomplishment is not in never failing but in rising again after falling’

Skillz Connect

  • Website: skillzconnect.com
  • They license out the children’s curriculums they have created.  1,000’s of drills, planners
  • Currently martial arts, they are expanding to other sports and will soon launch at skillzworldwide.com

Parting Advice

  • Focus on the athlete’s mind.  When creating drills – make them age appropriate and make them competitive and fun.
  • Recommended reading: The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel

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