How to become a professional athlete

Once a professional athlete himself, John O'Sullivan explains some important steps in helping your child train to become a professional athlete. This video adds some great tidbits and resources for parents.
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How to become a professional athlete

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I think every athlete who has become a pro is taking their own path in a way, but I’m amazed how the vast, vast, vast majority of them take a multisport path and again, every sport is different, but I would say that there’s crucial ingredients. Crucial ingredient number one is that early on they are in what we call this early engagement path. So, they fall in love with the sport. They play it more than they practice it. They play with freedom. They’re intrinsically motivated. They get great enjoyment out of it. Number two, they play lots of sports and they find the one that is the best physical and social and psychological fit for them and then number three, when they decide on their own, they have ownership over the experience, that I’m going all in, I want to be a pro. It’s their decision and their parents and their coaches become the people who help them reach their goals rather than determining their goals for them. I’ve read some amazing books. There’s a recent one called Raising Your Game by Dr. Andrea Corn and Ethan Skolnick where he interviewed a hundred pro athletes and every single one of them credited playing lots of sports as a kid so that they could find the one they truly love and truly excelled at, was really a key thing to helping them. Love the game enough and not burn out too early so that they were able to really get to the next level.

Once a professional athlete himself, John O'Sullivan explains some important steps in helping your child train to become a professional athlete. This video adds some great tidbits and resources for parents.

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John O'Sullivan

Founder of Changing The Game Project

John O’Sullivan founded the Changing the Game Project in 2012 in order to help parents, coaches and youth sports organizations create a more child-centered sports experience for our young athletes. John is a former collegiate and professional player, and worked for 20 years on the youth, high school and college level as a coach and club Technical Director. He holds a USSF A License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and a US Youth Soccer National License. His blog is now one of the most popular youth sports websites in the US, and he has been a featured presenter at TEDx Bend Oregon, IMG Academy, and this week at the NSCAA Convention. The Changing the Game Project provides live and online parent and coaching education workshops, webinars, and consulting services.

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