WYC 122 – The Science of Sports Mastery – DeShawn Fontleroy talks Youth Football & Performance Training

DeShawn Fontleroy is a sports performance coach working with athletes in the Portland, OR metro area. Currently, he works with the football team at Jefferson HS. Deshawn also hosts a podcast Sports Mastery- ‘A place where we observe, examine, experiment, and explain the physical, mental, and social dynamics of the world’s best athletes and coaches. My goal is to provide athletes, coaches, and parents with high level systems & strategies to achieve success.’

Website/Podcast: sportsmastery.com

Free Gifts for WYC listeners: Sportsmastery.com/winningyouth
Twitter: @sports_mastery

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link


“Fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.” – 50 Cent in The 50th Law

Cringe Moment

  • Kids are different than adults – have progressions
  • Keep it simple, don’t have too many plays


  • Using your own body weight is a better starting place than jumping straight into weightlifting
  • Focus on the process vs. the outcome

Overcoming Fear

  • Start by having the athlete list their fear on paper. Often when they put them down on paper, they realize many of them are not real.
  • Then list your hopes and dreams. Create a desire map where they list their challenges and limitations. Have the parents do the same thing.

Growth Mindset

  • Bouncing back from hardship is a key to teach athletes. It’s the only way to grow.
  • After a setback, go back and watch your performance, then use positive visualization to picture what doing it right looks like

Accelerate Deep Training

  • It’s a process – the key is the quality of your reps
  • Know where your athlete is at – if they are working on a strength – put them against higher level competition. If they are working on a weakness – put them against some weaker competition.

Building Culture

  • Communication between coaches and athletes is key. Assistant coaches need to be listened to and empowered
  • Immediate feedback, both good and bad – often works best

Rewards and Recognition

  • When athletes do something off the field – in the classroom, in the community – you can use social media to highlight their accomplishments

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • DeShawn is coaching a kid with ADHD, it has challenged him and made him a better coach by working with a kid who has different needs and challenges

The one that got away

  • DeShawn’s team lost to their rival last year because of some poor coaching, they have evaluated what went wrong and analyzed how to make sure that it won’t happen again

Best books

Free gifts:

– PDF of The Desire Map

– PDF of How to Succeed

– Free 1/2 hour consulting

Parting Advice

  • Train and practice more – don’t overdo it with travel sports
  • Play multiple sports

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