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John O'Sullivan
Works at Changing the Game Project
Attended Fordham University
Lives in Bend, Oregon
183 followers|12,473 views
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Part II of my series on reinventing American youth soccer by creating an early engagement model instead of an early specialization one. 
This week John O'Sullivan continues the discussion how the North American youth soccer community can end the early specialization path, and create an early engagement path where kids don't have to play, but rather want to play. This shift can not only produce more elite players, but grow the game and its fan base for the future.
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My new blog on the difference between early specialization and early engagement in youth soccer, and why it matters. 
When it comes to growing world-class soccer players, early introduction is mandatory and early engagement is crucial, but early specialization can be disastrous. Confused? Let SoccerWire's John O'Sullivan explain.
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John O'Sullivan

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My new blog, the Best Youth Sports Books of 2014
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+Anthony Lanzillo thanks
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My new blog post: Coaching Youth Sports: Not a Job But a Calling
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WOW!  What a great read.  A lot of information and sound advice packed into one article.
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Can we develop not only the talent that shines, but the talent that whispers?
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Great points +Brooks Barron .  That said, I do think education is the key.  That education includes coaches, parents, and often the forgotten piece to the puzzle...the athletes.  If an athlete is old enough to play they are old enough to participate in the decision-making processes that go into playing.  The more we educate the athletes the less over time we will have to educate the coaches and parents because they are the future coaches and parents.
Great article +John O'Sullivan as always !
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I have been asking coaches and sport organizers to consider video games as a model for their practices for several years. I'm very happy to see someone else writing about this idea. Here are two more reasons that kids are playing video games more than sport, which can help us think about how to improve sport:

- Anonymity. Many young girls are playing on-line games using masculine usernames because they are tired of being treated as tourists. When we use masculine pronouns to make general statements about sport, we are unintentionally gendering sport. If you start paying attention, you will notice that this occurs constantly in sport (and even in recent books about sport wink). We need to actively provide ways for genders other than traditional masculinity to be important agents in sport.

- Worlds to explore. Video game designers create worlds than can be explored infinity. This is a good way to think about how to organize and structure sport. Video game designers are perfectly comfortable knowing that game players will become more knowledgeable about the game than they are. They build this possibility into the games's code. We need to start coding sport so that it can be played in ways that we have not already discovered. That is, we need to build indeterminacy into sport.
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My new blog, trying to start 2015 off on the front foot!
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Thanks John very well said my friend. Anthony, glad you enjoyed it!
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My new blog on why youth sports often make a turn for the worse
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I love how you broke this down! Great connection between money and expectations.
Keep up the good work, I really think your (and others with similar messages) are starting to have an impact. 
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Is Social Media Ruining Your Youth Sports Experience? The new blog post from the Changing the Game Project
We can be made to feel like terrible parents when we go on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media site and compare the images of successful, trophy laden kids to our own struggling tribe. But it’s not a realistic comparison. Today’s video teaches you how not to get caught up in the social media frenzy, and just enjoy the ride.
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Great piece !
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Nice!
John O’Sullivan is the Founder of the Changing the Game Project and author of the national bestseller Changing the Game. This is his TEDx talk in April 2014.
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People
In his circles
151 people
Have him in circles
183 people
Sylvia Lima's profile photo
Anthony Lanzillo's profile photo
kebby T Shampongo's profile photo
adrianabrendinha bendler's profile photo
Complete Strength's profile photo
Metros President's profile photo
Mark Baxendale's profile photo
Ann DeWitt's profile photo
Desmond Osullivan's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Author, Speaker and Coach
Skills
Coaching, Public Speaking, Writing, Consulting
Employment
  • Changing the Game Project
    Founder, 2012 - present
  • O'Sullivan Brothers, Inc.
    CEO, 2011 - 2012
  • Oregon Rush Soccer Club
    Executive Director, 2006 - 2012
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Bend, Oregon
Previously
Vail, Colorado
Story
Tagline
John is an author, speaker and coach, and the Founder of the Changing the Game Project
Introduction

John started the Changing the Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach on the youth, high school, college and professional level.  He brings to the table a wealth of practical, hands on knowledge garnered through years of working with players and their families on sport specific development, fitness and nutrition, college recruiting, and most importantly, nurturing positive, healthy, and supportive relationships between parents and their young athletes. He has complied much of this information in his new book Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids.

Originally from New York, John is a 1994 graduate of Fordham University, where he was a team captain as a senior, and a member of the 1990 Patriot League Championship team.  After a stint playing professionally for the Wilmington (NC) Hammerheads of the USL, John began his coaching career as the Varsity Boys Soccer Coach at Cardinal Gibbons HS in Raleigh, NC.  He then moved on to become the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Soccer Coach at the University of Vermont, before delving into the world of youth club soccer.  Since that time, John has worked as a Director of Coaching for Nordic Spirit SC (Vt), Ann Arbor Youth Soccer Association (MI) and most recently as the Executive Director of Oregon Rush Soccer Club in Bend, OR.  He is currently the Central Oregon Regional Training Center Director for the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer.  He holds his USSF A License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and US Youth Soccer National Youth Coaching License.

John received his BA in History from Fordham University, and his Masters in History from the University of Vermont.  He resides in beautiful Bend, OR, with his wife, Dr Lauren O’Sullivan, and two wonderful children and aspiring young athletes: Maggie Shea, age 7, and Tiernan, age 5.

Education
  • Fordham University
    BA History and Communications, 1990 - 1994
  • University of Vermont
    MA US Foreign Policy and Holocaust Studies, 1999 - 2003
Basic Information
Gender
Male
John O'Sullivan's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Is Social Media Ruining Your Youth Sports Experience? | Changing the Gam...
changingthegameproject.com

We can be made to feel like terrible parents when we go on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media site and compare the images of successful,

Changing the Game in Youth Sports | John O'Sullivan TED Talk | Changing ...
www.scoop.it

John O’Sullivan is the Founder of the Changing the Game Project and author of the national bestseller Changing the Game. This is his TEDx ta

10,000 Hour Myth | Deliberate Practice | Deliberate Play | Changing the ...
changingthegameproject.com

A myth is a false belief or idea that is widely held. One such myth that has enveloped youth sports is the idea that an elite athlete needs

Three Things All Athletes Need to Succeed | Mindset | Changing the Game ...
changingthegameproject.com

An athlete’s state of mind is perhaps the single greatest factor that affects performance. In this article, we discuss three things all athl

Friday Night Tykes | The Armpit of American Youth Sports | Changing the ...
changingthegameproject.com

The adult behavior on display in Esquire Network’s “Friday Night Tykes” brings to light the dark underbelly of American youth sports. From b

The Detrimental Effect of Early Sport Specialization | Changing the Game...
changingthegameproject.com

The greatest difference between our children’s sporting experience and our own is the rise of year round, sport specific organizations that