Ep 77- Rick Howard – Professor and Expert Youth Fitness Coach


“I have a kid who could be a pretty good athlete, but if he gets a 97 on a test, his parents ride him because he didn’t get 100… to the point that he’s so completely stressed that we spend a lot of our time doing things that help him change his mindset, so that he can actually compete.”

On the show today, I chat with youth fitness coach and university professor, Rick Howard. Rick is currently a full time academic at West Chester University, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US, as well as the Fitness Director at the Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. Rick presents on youth fitness topics nationally and internationally, and in 2016 co-authored the NSCA position statement on long-term athletic development.

In this episode, Rick and I discuss Rick’s long and illustrious career working with kids and why he is so passionate about youth sport, the motor skills every kid needs to learn and how to develop them, developing a champion mindset, the pressure young athletes are under today, and much more.

Please say hi to Rick on Twitter @rihoward41 and enjoy the show.

We also discuss:

  • Bridging the gap between academia and coaching;
  • The high stress that comes with pursuing excellence in both academics and sports;
  • The pressures kids feel regardless of socioeconomic status;
  • Growing up in the 60s outside of Philadelphia;
  • The adult-centric youth sport model and why it’s causing so many problems;
  • How youth sport organisations can be more successful;
  • The importance of both free and structured learning;
  • Sharing the NSCA’s position statement on LTAD with the community;
  • Rick’s thoughts on skill acquisition;
  • Key skills for coaching and developing kids; and
  • Why health and well-being are the most critical pieces of the development pie.

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Thanks so much for listening!