EP 70 – Matt Hunter – Director of Youth Sports Performance at Athletic Lab


“If you not keeping them around because your training sux, or you’re not a good guy to hang out with, then you don’t get the opportunity to have everything that you know happen.”

On the show today, I chat with Matt Hunter, Director of Youth Sports Performance at Athletic Lab in North Carolina, US. Matt has a BA degree in Health and Human Kinetics from Ohio Wesleyan University and is a recognised as a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). He has also completed numerous coaching internships including Athletic Lab, Cressey Performance, and Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning.

In this wide ranging conversation, Matt and I discuss the importance of being curious in coaching, how to build rapport with your athletes, the approach he takes for the long-term development of his athletes, and much more. I hope you enjoy it.

We also  discuss:

  • The business of strength and conditioning;
  • Matt’s journey into strength and conditioning and why he love working with kids;
  • Growing up making bow and arrows in the yard;
  • The struggles Matt had at schools;
  • The significant influence Matt’s father played in helping him get to college;
  • Parents, and how Matt and the rest of the Athletic Lab team interact with them;
  • The benefit of games for developing athletic competency;
  • Why time and consistency are the two most important pieces of a youth athlete’s development puzzle;
  • The tests Matt uses to monitor his athlete’s progress;
  • The key movements Matt bases his programme around and how he progresses them with his athletes;
  • Why being a good person is the most important thing when coaching kids;
  • The importance of teaching work ethic;
  • The power of cooperation;
  • The joy Matt finds in facing new challenges every day in his work;
  • Way every young athlete should play chess; and
  • More.

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Thanks so much for listening!

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Craig’s passion is helping athletes become the best that they can be. In February 2014, Craig completed his PhD, with a focus on athlete development, at AUT University and lead Athlete Development from 2010 to 2019.