Series of four webinars starts on April 19.
Helping Student Athletes Succeed
in the Digital Age:
A Webinar Series for Coaches and Parents
Virtual, Interactive, & Live!
Being a kid—and a parent—today really is more challenging than in past generations, and it can be especially difficult for student athletes. Join us for a series of four webinars on “Helping Student Athletes Succeed in the Digital Age,” presented by Jeff Levin, of Jeff Levin Coaching and The Reconnection Project, with special guests retired N.H. Chief Justice John Broderick, now Senior Director of External Affairs for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, and Coach Sean McDonnell, recently retired longtime coach of UNH Football. The series will focus on the cultural factors that are the primary causes of student-athlete stress and offer no-cost practical tips on how we all can start to reduce our childrens’ anxiety, focusing primarily on how we can best support them as athletes.
As we all know, COVID has exposed another, more insidious epidemic that is affecting so many students—a mental health crisis of previously unimagined proportions.
This crisis is no one’s fault. It’s a cultural problem, and it has come on us so fast, no one was prepared for it. These cultural circumstances both affect children directly and also cause parents and coaches to treat kids differently.
Because of these cultural changes, there are emotional skills crucial to success on game day —such as mental toughness, selflessness, and leadership—previous generations (we!) learned by osmosis that today’s children aren’t learning. The result is an entire generation of stressed and anxious kids, and student athletes are no exception. These emotional/mental deficits can really hold students back when they pursue their dreams in athletics. Naturally, this seems overwhelming and unfixable, but we’ve found it is not.
Thankfully, young people are hard-wired the same way they’ve always been. We can teach these emotional skills remedially, and the kids will get better. Athletes perform even better when both their parents and coaches understand and support this process. That is the purpose of this webinar series.
The webinars will be live from 7–8 P.M. on April 19, May 3, May 17, and May 31. All the webinars will be recorded so will be available on demand for coaches and parents to watch anytime.
The first webinar is free to all. The rest of the series is $100 for schools, $30 for individuals. Payment information is below.
Topics to be covered:
- Understanding why kids (and adults) feel so much pressure from “Outcome Fever.”
- Develop a felt sense of the granular difference between our childhoods and the students’.
- The importance of working with the truth: develop a full understanding of the Digital Age and what we call “Digititis,” as well as a discussion of the iceberg of student anxiety.
- The New Parenting Playbook, which can have negative effects on kids.
- Gremlins: the negative self talk we all experience and why it is worse for kids. (Based on Rick Carson’s Taming Your Gremlin)
#2 – May 3: Vulnerability, the Fear of Failure, and Accountability
- The benefits of failure.
- The importance of vulnerability and accountability, especially in athletics, where giving your all on game day is a form of being vulnerable, and how the fear of failure can prevent giving your all.
- How empathy and understanding each others’ journeys are crucial to success in athletics.
#3 – May 17: The Anatomy of Leadership: Re-installing the 6 I’s: Imagination, Independence, Intestinal Fortitude, Integrity, Intimacy and Identity and how to give your kids those gifts. Giving Your Child Space.
- Why taking responsibility and having an internal locus of control is so important with athletes.
- The many forms of leadership, and how it is intertwined with an internal locus of control.
- The gift of two lives: how parents’ rediscovery of their own lives can allow their children to form their identities.
- The importance of modeling constructive conflict resolution for their children—and learning when to let their children resolve their own conflicts and when to step in.
#4 – May 31: Being in the Moment—Shedding the Fear of Failure.
- Helping your child be in the moment and get out of their own head.
- The three types of focus: multi-tasking/device work, deep focus, and mindless tasks.
- The importance of fun.
- Finding the Time: Understanding and defeating the “time famine.”
Many thanks to Smithfield, Rhode Island, Hockey for allowing us to use the photo of the sign in their locker room.
To sign up
Contact Jeff to tell him you would like to sign your athletic program up for the free first webinar.
Forward the webinar email we send you to your parents and coaches.
If you’d like to continue beyond the first webinar, the cost is $100 for your school. Payment information is here—contact us to send you an invoice if you need one. Then just continue to forward the webinar email announcements we provide to your parents.
Contact Jeff to tell him you would like to sign up for the free first webinar.
If you’d like to continue beyond the first webinar, please send $30 to Jeff—payment information is here.
Jeff Levin grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Boston College School of Education, and the Smith College School for Social Work. He began his professional career as a middle-school English teacher in Carlisle, Massachusetts, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, and then was a school social worker and a practicing psychotherapist for over twenty-five years.
For the last 15 years, Jeff has been a life coach who works with both individuals and groups. He has helped schools, families, teams, and individuals all over the U.S. His workshops are fun, inspiring, and practical. He tries to find balance in his life by playing and singing blues and rock and spending as much time as possible outdoors.
Jeff’s contact information can be found here.
John Broderick was Chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Now, as Senior Director of External Affairs for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, he is well known in the school community for his work on mental health awareness. Justice Broderick has spoken to almost 90,000 middle- and high-school students at 300 schools about his own family’s journey. He might have already spoken with your students (if he hasn’t, he is well worth having, especially now), but he is equally effective speaking with parents. Although we work independently, we share similar goals and approaches and have co-presented to school groups and parents. We respectfully suggest that if you hire us, you also bring the Judge in for a forum and/or parent program as well as presenting to students. There is no additional cost, because John’s work is underwritten by Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The five signs referred to in the photo above are from John’s work on Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s R.E.A.C.T. Awareness Campaign.
Justice Broderick and Jeff often co-present to groups to help school leaders and parents address and solve the new mental health challenges that we’re all facing.
Coach Sean McDonnell— “Coach Mac”—served as the head football coach of the University of New Hampshire Wildcats football program from 1999 to 2021. McDonnell announced his retirement on December 1, 2021, at the conclusion of his 30th year as a coach for New Hampshire and 23rd year as head coach of the program.
McDonnell won the Eddie Robinson Award, which is given annually to the top head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), in 2005 and 2014. McDonnell ranks third all-time in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) victories. He ranks second all-time in wins at New Hampshire, only behind the College Football Hall of Fame inductee he once coached under, Bill Bowes. McDonnell is one of 13 FCS coaches with over 150 wins all-time as a head coach and also had six wins versus Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents. McDonnell coached as players or had as assistants multiple people who went on to become college football head coaches, including Ryan Day (Ohio State), Chip Kelly (UCLA), Joe Conlin (Fordham), Tony Trisciani (Elon), Dan Curren (Merrimack), Mike Letchen (University of New England), and his successor at New Hampshire, Ricky Santos.