Your Wealth is in Social Capital

Over my many years of working closely with Athletes, Executives and Business Owners, I have observed that everything ‘happens through a person’.  Your network, or as we will now call it, social capital is the key to creating opportunity. Opportunity to engage in fulfilling activities and generating a sustainable income during, and well after your athletic career is over.

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John Hierlihy
From the Playing Surface to the Sidelines

Over the course of my athlete transition practice, I have come across a number of athletes who are considering re-entering their sport in a coaching role. On the surface, this appears to be a great idea: to parlay a lifetime of experience and skills into a new career developing those skills in others. However, connecting those dots may not be a simple, easy, or natural as it appears. In the process of trying to develop good athletes, the development of good coaches may often get overlooked.

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Jay Harrison
A look at the State of NCAA Men's Gymnastics

In April 2018, the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Flames hosted the 2017-2018 men’s collegiate gymnastics championships. 16 teams were in attendance. Four months later, on August 31st, 2018, The UIC men and women's gymnastics teams were informed that due to the cost of sports “rapidly rising with no sign of slowing down” their programs are to be dropped at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season. Garrett Klassy, the UIC Athletic Director, assured the University that “...this was a move toward progress that needed to be taken.”. This decision will affect 11 women and 25 men from the university who will still have NCAA eligibility. The effect it has on the sport of gymnastics, specifically for men, is much greater.

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Harry Mclellan
Mentoring and Athletes

Learning that there is knowledge and wisdom to be found everywhere is something that seems to come with age; a fact which can be very frustrating when working with young people who often don't want to listen - no matter how important or useful the information you're trying to convey!

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Dan Jackson
A Peek Behind the Curtain of Team Athletics

There are many things to miss about being a collegiate athlete but personally, the hardest thing to leave behind is the camaraderie and environment that brings. Being a member of a college team is, I think, unlike anything in the world. Members are brought together from all over, joined, in the beginning, by nothing more than their love for a sport that frequently doesn’t love them back.

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Harry Mclellan
The FIFA World Cup: The World’s Biggest Stage

The FIFA World Cup is by far one of the most significant global events other than the Olympics.  The meeting of 32 teams of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and training reminds the world of their love for soccer: the competition, the upsets, and the sense of nationality that brings people together as nothing else can.  The World Cup also acts as a distraction from the pressing world issues we face today. For example, the Saudi Arabian attack on Yemen. With so many countries competing in this tournament, one would think the conflicts between nations or situations impacting the athletes would be brought into the spotlight along with the teams.  But with the 2018 World Cup entering its final weeks, have the athletes and fans taken advantage of this global platform the World Cup provides to promote the global issues that need to be addressed?

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Athlete Approaches to Athlete Development

Working regularly with professional athletes, I am constantly amazed at the diversity of interests, skills, and ambitions these athletes have outside of their sport. For me, these experiences put the proverbial nail in the coffin of the old stigma that athletes are dumb, uneducated, and one-dimensional.

More than ever athletes are diversifying both their personal and professional interests.  That approach pays huge dividends to both their current careers and life beyond the game, which is a great thing.

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Benefits of Travel

It’s 6:00 AM. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Time to train. 12:00 PM - eat again. Talk to trainers and coaches. 3:00 PM - Go to class. 5:00 PM - Eat dinner. Do homework. Sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Routine; it’s something every successful athlete needs. Constantly planning out every minute of every day helps keep someone on track to where you want to go. What happens if you never get off the endless cycle of routine? 

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A New Dismount

When I was a sophomore at the University of Illinois (UIUC) my Men’s Gymnastics team coach and mentor, Justin Spring, gathered the team and asked, “What’s a belief?” Following minutes of consideration and several incorrect answers he divulged “A belief, is nothing more than a recurring thought.” This quote stuck with me for my entire collegiate career and thus began my fascination with the simple concept which forever changed my perspective.

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Setting Young Athletes up for Success in Sport and in Life

There's no secret to how the most successful athletes get to where they are. They work hard. Discipline is what turns talent into ability. Yes, talent, opportunity, perhaps luck, all help on their journey to success, but in the end, athletes who make it to the elite level have all done the hard work required.

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No Time For The Future

It dawns on players (in most cases) that spending all their downtime watching movies, shopping at the mall, playing video games, going to the mall, playing cards, hanging out at the mall or just driving around isn't necessarily the most productive use of one's time.  As one player once noted, 'There really are only so many times you can go to the mall or watch Sports Center."

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An Aussie and a Canuck walk into a bar...

Athlete development seeks to address the development of the athlete as a holistic person. The objective with athlete development is to not only better prepare the individual athlete to compete but also assist the athlete in addressing the other areas of his life which can impact athletic performance and personal self-efficacy. We did a Q & A with our two resident athletes, Jay and Dan, to discuss athlete development topics both narrow and broad.

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