At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the world.
In Episode #72, we are joined by Kelly Sullivan, the current head track and field coach at Seattle University and former Team USA coach.
- Kelly’s experiences mentoring 23 Division III All-American athletes
- Coaching at the World Track and Field Championships and the Olympic Festival
- Preparing athletes for competition beyond colleges and universities
- Traveling extensively overseas and engaging with coaches and athletes from around the world
- Whether elite athletes are “born with” innate excellence inside them
- Listening, and watching recommendations from:
We’ll see you next week for another exciting and informative episode when we sit down with Niels Von Deuten, Attorney-Advisor at the U.S. Department of State.
This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.
Fred Rocafort 0:07
Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance on the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort.
Jonathan Bench 0:37
and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important, the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.
Fred Rocafort 1:02
We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.
Jonathan Bench 1:23
Today we’re joined by Kelly Sullivan. From 1997 to 2003. He served as the head coach at Willamette University, he mentored 23 Division Three all Americans at Willamette including individuals who won five national championships. Kelly, welcome to Harris Bricken Global law in business.
Kelly Sullivan 1:40
Thank you for inviting me. I appreciate being here.
Jonathan Bench 1:43
Kelly, you’ve got such an impressive bio here from being an athlete yourself to many individuals you’ve coached we’d love to hear a little bit more about your background. Can you tell us some of your highlights what you really enjoyed seeing and doing and some of your philosophy as an athlete turned coach?
Kelly Sullivan 1:57
I was raised on the Oregon coast really small town dairy farm kid went to Williamette University myself coming out of high school and in college, really got involved in the whole side of like the interest in coaching, just working with people and in service and I had some really good role models growing up in high school, also in college, that just kind of led me in that direction. So eventually I ended up after I graduated from Willamette University undergrad, I was going to grad school at Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon. And the coaches at Clackamas Community College which was nearby, they asked me if I was interested in coming over and volunteering and helping their programming cross country and track. And I said for sure. And of course, there was no pain involved, but it didn’t matter. And I found myself going in at three o’clock initially. Then I started going in at noon. Then I started showing up at seven o’clock in the morning, going to school full time and working. And I just fell in love with the opportunity and just working around 18 to 22 year olds, actually at that time was 18 to 20 year olds on a junior college team and I was only 23 at the time. And eventually they offered me a full time position. My first job at Clackamas, I was 80% working in student activities and student government. And then 20% coaching, cross country and track and I spent four years at Clackamas. We had some really neat success there. And then I got hired at Auburn University, which is in the deep south in Alabama. So that was a big move for somebody at the age of 27, who was raised in a town of 250 people on the Oregon coast. But I took the opportunity and went down there with the idea that I had no idea how long I would be there. But I was there for 12 years, and I had a great opportunity there. I worked for a guy by the name of Mel Rosen, who eventually became the head men’s Olympic coach in 1992. And if there really is any one person has to take responsibility for who I’ve become as a coach, good or bad. It was. First I worked for one of the greatest people we ever had in the profession and Mel and then moved back to Oregon had elderly parents so moved back to Oregon to help take care of my parents with two of my siblings back in Salem and spend seven half years coaching on my alma mater at Willamette University, which is in Division Three school. And then in 2005, Oregon State University reached out to me to ask if I was in rested in helping restart their track and field programs and cross country programs at Oregon State they had unfortunately dropped men and women’s track and cross country at Oregon State back in 1988. And so 17 years later, I took on probably the biggest challenge I had in this profession, actually starting a pap tan at that time, Pac 12, when I left division one program at a place that they had entered program in 17 years, and we started out with one scholarship, we had no track facility. And over the 13 years, I was at Oregon State, we raised around $12 million, and built a state of the art track facility and they’re fully funded. And it was one of the greatest opportunities that adventures I’ve ever had decided that I miss coaching both genders, because at Oregon State was women only. And so took a step back and was looking to find a location where I could work with men and women, again, and this opportunity at Seattle University came four years ago, I jumped at it and had been up here for past four years. So that’s the journey I’ve been on in this profession.
Fred Rocafort 6:16
So Kelly, part of your very impressive resume includes having served as the Team USA assistant coach at the 2001 world track and field championships in Canada, you are also an assistant men’s coach at the 1994 US Olympic festival in Colorado Springs, we are recording as the Tokyo Olympics are taking place. And certainly for me, these events give me an opportunity to think about all the the logistics that go into planning these events at all levels. I used to work for the State Department and I was in China during the the years leading up to do the Beijing Olympics, and even the US embassy in Beijing would get involved, right, because there’s just so many things that are taking place, you know, you have VIPs that are visiting, you have to worry about making sure that all the athletes get visas and that’s just on the administrative side of things. So looking at the sporting side of things, I’d love to hear more about the kind of preparation and planning that goes into the coaching aspects for these events, just to get things started. I mean, how early do you start preparing for an event of this magnitude?
Kelly Sullivan 7:28
Yeah, I mean, that’s a good question, you know, fortunately I was living, you know, Auburn University was only an hour and a half out of Atlanta. So when the Olympic Games were in Atlanta, first of all, we were close enough that we got a pretty good eye view as far as like what it was taking for a city like Atlanta to put on, you know, the Olympic Games and everything. And, like you said, being on those different staffs that I was on, and then we did a lot of things that we traveled overseas with a lot of teams with USA track and field. And, you know, I, I picture what’s going on in Japan right now in Tokyo, and just seeing how challenging and how busy and all the layers are, were in Atlanta under, you know, a non COVID period of time, and all that sort of stuff. You know, and how regiment they were on processing all the athletes processing all the coaches. You know, most cases, you have your country’s staff, you have your head coaches, your assistant coaches, you have your team managers, and all that sort of stuff that travel with each one of these different governing bodies be it track and field or if it’s men’s basketball, or women’s basketball or something like that. But then you have all the personal coaches that every one of these athletes also have. And so there’s the all these layers down of all these different people, you have one, one person, one person who is qualified for the Olympic Games, but there’s just this series of people underneath them. That also we’re going to ask request for opportunities and access and all of that sort of stuff. And it’s it’s mind boggling how much work and time and preparation that goes on. I mean, the minute any country gets the green light that they have been given a World Championships or an Olympics or any of that sort of stuff. The job has been already in place probably three or four years before that even occurred, right. Because they’ve had to do all the work all the stuff before to put up the bids and do the whole thing. And then the minute they get the okay to do it, then those people I mean, it’s nonstop and now with what’s going on in Japan, just with all the restrictions All that. I know, there’s a lot of personal and coaches for these athletes that now are not allowed to go over. Usually you have training camps for all these different teams that go over and there was no training camps. So it’s, you know, what they’re experiencing right now is really, really, really challenging. And I can’t imagine what this last year and a half has been for Tokyo and Japan and, and all that I know what it how difficult is banned for like our sport, in USA track and field, you know, and the coaches that have athletes who have made the Olympic teams and then the individual athletes who have have been like every twist and turn for last year and a half. But how they’re doing it is over there right now, I’d be curious to just be a fly on the wall and see what some of those is going on.
Jonathan Bench 10:54
So you were involved in the Olympic festival in 1984, which was the penultimate festival before the cancellation in 1985. I was not familiar with the Olympic festival, because I was pretty young when all this was going on. Can you explain a little more about the Olympic festival? What was its purpose? And why did it end?
Kelly Sullivan 11:11
What happened was it was introduced in 1978, I believe. And the reason why it was first started is because the communist countries at that time, had an event themselves that was very, very, very similar to this. And so the United States just felt like they needed to come up with something because those countries were doing so well at the international level. And so the sports festival was started in 1978. And then it grew from there, including almost every every event that they could get that was going to be at the Olympics. And so it ran its course through 1994, I believe or 1995. And then unfortunately, they just decided to stop doing the sports festival. But it was highly successful. It allowed like, you know, you’d have like people who actually had won Olympic gold medals, you know, Carl Lewis competed in these, and then you’d have your developmental athletes, you know, in the same in the same venue. And it also was a really good training and coaching opportunity for people that were eventually going to make Olympic staffs or World Champion staffs. So a lot of it was just preparation as like a dress rehearsal for what the Olympics experience would be like for all these different sports.
Jonathan Bench 12:40
It is interesting, as I’ve been watching the metal counts, I kind of chuckled to myself seeing that we still have the powerhouses somewhat split between the Western and more free governments and nations and communist countries all at the top of the medals boards. And it’s really interesting as you’re talking about the Cold War and how we’re trying to outdo each other, like in a space race. And as I didn’t know, in the sports arena as well, we’re all still trying to produce the top talent to show in part that our system of governance is superior. It’s a very interesting piece of world history baked into this global competition.
Fred Rocafort 13:08
I’m curious as to how the coaching staff is selected, especially in the track and field context, it seems that depending on the sport, and of course, depending on the kind of competition and said there are, it seems that things can vary. For example, I’m a big soccer fan and the national teams are usually permanent establishment try. They’re competing on a regular basis. So so usually their coaching staff will be full time professionals that you know, are hired for a specific period of time and depending on how they do maybe their contracts are renewed. But I remember for example, when I was in high school, for example, one of our basketball coaches would on occasion he drafted to go coach, the National Basketball team, this isn’t in Puerto Rico. And after that, he’d go and lead the team at the Olympic qualifiers or something and then he’d come back and get on with his job. So obviously there’s there’s a whole range of arrangements but perhaps you can shed some light at least within the the disciplines with which you’re familiar you perhaps you can help us understand a little bit better how it is that particular coaches are chosen to lead a team.
Kelly Sullivan 14:18
Yeah, I mean, you’re totally right, because there are sports like soccer and even basketball, right, that have like a continuation of a staff and paid staff. Most of the most of the Olympic sports, though, are similar to what your experience was with, you know, the guy that was your basketball coach, in Puerto Rico. It was the same thing with track and field. What they have is USA track and field has a convention every year. And at those conventions. What they do is leading up to a world championship or an Olympic Games. There’s a committee that gets together and people can nominate different individuals for different positions on upcoming staffs that are going to go world, indoor world, cross country, world, juniors, all these different ones that travel and compete. And, of course, the Olympics is the ultimate for anybody to meet and to make a staff. And so somehow a person gets their name on a list. And eventually on that list, their name is brought up, and somebody has written out why that individual should be considered. And then it just goes through that, that kind of a process and, and normally, what happens is, is that they try to make a staff of individuals that have had past experience, who may have started out as a manager, and then become an assistant and, and eventually move up. And then they also try to filter in new young individuals, or someone who’s really, really having some great success, either with a number of professional athletes, or at the collegiate level. And so it’s really just one of those areas. And there’s some people who have literally no interest in ever getting involved, who if they would get involved would have, would have become Olympic coaches. And then there’s some other people out there who are really driven to get involved and are just really super voluntarily active. And so many different levels that people notice just how passionate they are, and how hard working they are, and want them to be on those kind of those kind of staffs. Swimming is very similar to what track and field does, too.
Jonathan Bench 16:52
So you’ve coached a few athletes who have gone on to become Olympians, including Nick Simmons, who took fifth in the 800 in the 2012. Olympics. He started out as a division three runner under your coaching at Willamette University. So as a coach, how do you prepare these types of athletes for the next level of athletics?
Kelly Sullivan 17:08
You know, to be fair, I had an assistant coach of mine, Matt McGurk, who doesn’t get as good as enough credit for what he did with Nick, the thing I’ve learned over the years is it takes a village to do it. Even when Nick was at Willamette, obviously, he ended up coming out of high school, going to a division three school instead of like a University of Oregon, or, you know, a Stanford or, you know, an Arkansas or something like that. So, his development, it took a lot of a lot of people, you know, and the credit is really to him, because he really kind of like, had a goal had a dream had a passion. And what coaches end up doing is the staff that was there, when I first when Nick first showed up, it Willamette, all of us recognized really early on with him that he had, there was something different and unique about him. And he had a he had a real dream to become one of the best he won division 3 1500, 800 title as a true freshman. And there’s no one had ever done it to that point. There’s no one has done it since, you know, he just took every opportunity he had it Willamete and just got better and better and better, you know, led him to two Olympic teams. But, you know, mammoth work had a lot to do with what he did Sam leprae, who was another assistant on our staff, who still works with Nick with his running Gum company, and you know, so it’s anybody who ends up making the Olympic team, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, and all that. It’s just, you got to have people around you, you know, his parents were big believers in neck and, you know, it really, really does take a village and then once you sit back and you see someone do something really special, which every one of these people that are Olympians, at some point, if you’re coaching them, you’re going to see them do something and you should you know, as you’re walking back to your car that night to go home, you go oh my gosh, that young man or that young woman has got something pretty unique and you know, there’s a lot of reasons why you get into coaching but that is one of the one of the greatest highlights is find a young man like him are you know, the first one I had Brian Abshire ran for me at the community college level and then an dalla he was a division one recruit coming out of high school, he was at a JC and then he went to Auburn. And, you know, he ended up also like Nick made Olympic team and, and that’s what’s exciting. And fortunately, in this country, we’re really privileged and we have, you know, our athletes have a lot of opportunities and so you know, when they do stand out, there’s usually more than one person standing with standing there with their hand up, saying, hey, I want to get involved, and I want to help this young person. So yeah, so it’s pretty fun. It’s exciting to find those people. And then, and then just, you know, for everyone that makes it, you know, 10, for whatever reason, it could be so many variables that go into it. But still, the, the journey is still exciting, even if you don’t end up end up making it.
Jonathan Bench 20:30
So Kelly, I am a mediocre athlete at best. But I am very curious about your perspective as a coach for so many years. What is the relative percentage breakdown between a person’s raw talent, their willingness to work, their family support, their opportunities, and their coaches? You said it takes a village. But I want to drill down in that a little more, if you can tell us whether you think that most people are inherently capable of being great athletes, if they have the right external components? Or do you think that is just a special breed of person that needs that self driving piece to be able to keep moving no matter what?
Kelly Sullivan 21:01
Wow, that’s the million dollar question. Like I mentioned, there’s just so many variables, right. And if you’ve been a coach, a collision, coach, especially for a long time, I think all of us think back on those other young people we’ve had, who had just as much potential, or maybe in some cases, even more potential than someone else did that that did make the breakthrough. So it’s so individual. I mean, you know, even when you have a team sport, like softball, or anything like that, at the Olympics, you know, those Olympic teams are made up of 20- 24 individuals who somehow found a way to reach the top of the of the mountain as a first baseman or a catcher or a pitcher, to qualify to make an Olympic team. So I think it’s really hard to answer that question in the like, breaking it down. But I totally understand what you’re asking because it’s it that is a really curious question, you know, what comes first the chicken or the egg. And, you know, I’ve seen athletes, when we were coaching at Auburn, we had a number of, of young people make Us Olympic teams, but also other countries. And, like, we had one young man that, you know, he ended up being World Champion a couple of times and or foreign hurdles. And he was a very gifted, gifted athlete, obviously. But he was such a diligent worker, he was so focused in a good way. And there probably were athletes out there who had more natural talent than he did. But when you put the puzzle together, and if there was 10 pieces of puzzle, that young man probably had nine and a half of them down, when somebody else may have only had seven of them in piece, and that that little difference, or even eight and a half. But that difference made the difference between him winning a couple of World Championships, and someone else, you know, placing behind them.
Jonathan Bench 23:08
Sure, I suppose that the
egalitarian in me wants to say that most of success in life is showing up and doing the work and trusting that you can adapt to the situations as they get harder and harder, whether that’s in your professional life or your athleticism. That’s just my philosophy. I don’t know if anybody cares, but that’s how I feel about it. And I preach this to my kids as well that you need to show up and work hard. And if you want to do great things you put in the work every day, every time it needs to happen. You put in the work, you just keep going and you look at the results later and you’re amazed at what you’re able to accomplish.
Kelly Sullivan 23:39
I look back and I think back I have a picture here on my wall of four young men that ran for us at Auburn and three of them you know, they ran on a relay for us at Auburn and all three of them made you know, medal in the worlds or Olympics and each one of them, none of it came by accident. You know they didn’t do it because they were mentally stronger but they didn’t put the work in or they were physically more talented than somebody else and they were lazy I mean it is that combination of you can’t get to that level and have it happened by accident. If you do which it has happened you won’t sustain that and that’s that’s probably the biggest thing is you know as people are always trying to like find a shortcut when the reality is when they offseason comes around you just put the old grey sweats back on and go out the door and and just go right back at it again and just follow the follow the process turn one year into three years and three years into five years and if you do it and you stay healthy you got a lot of you have a really good chance.
Fred Rocafort 24:45
Kelly one of the other aspects that fascinates me about a sport in general but but specifically when we’re talking about these large events such as the Olympics or two major endeavors, right as such as coaching and now Team one of the aspects that that that I find interesting is the travel right, both from a logistical perspective, but but also more broadly. And I know that you have experience with that. So I’d love to hear more about your experiences traveling, how was it to compete in different countries? How were the interactions with the other athletes and coaches? What were some of the the challenges and maybe, maybe even just some tidbits that that help outsiders like me understand what it’s actually like. I mean, I imagine that in some ways traveling, as part of, you know, to participate in athletic competitions is very different from, from your, your run of the mill business travel. But then again, I imagine that in some ways, it’s it’s very similar, right? At the end of the day, we, we all have to get on planes. And we all have to go through through passport checks and things of that sort we all have to deal with without our hotel is throwing our way, right. And sometimes, I mean, I know that if I stay at a bad hotel, it It impacts my own performance in my meetings The next day, which are obviously far less demanding from a physical standpoint. So I can imagine that even things like that even seemingly minor aspects can can have an impact. So anything you’d like to share with us on that score, we’d welcome it.
Kelly Sullivan 26:23
Yeah, I think it’s funny, because when you mentioned that, I think about pre internet, no cell phone era. And, you know, initially, when I traveled overseas, I was in charge for a long time like is seven, eight years of taking what we call it as an emerging elite group over to Europe to compete, we did it in the Scandinavian countries we did in Sweden, and Finland, and Norway, and, and the way I communicated with athletes, coaches, and then meet directors and everything across the United States. And then over in those countries was a payphone or an office phone, and then a fax machine. And I think about it now, I was like, I don’t know how we did it, and you’d meet all your athletes, like in New York City, you picked a team to go over, they’d all fly into New York City, you know, you had to go through your governing body to get all the tickets, you had to be in touch with these people over in Busan, outside of Stockholm, Sweden, to make sure that they were going to take care of your lodging and, and you fly and travel and you end up in in places and you’re hoping that the bus that was supposed to pick you up is actually going to pick you up, because the last time yeah, communication was with a fax. And then we traveled all over those areas. And one of the biggest things I learned out of it through my own personal experience was just personal relationships, you know, the personal relationships that you develop with, you know, like, in my case, doing those kinds of trips, those were kind of like they were non USA teams, but they were a part of USA track and field. And so it was myself and one other coach who basically did all the planning, and USA track and field gave us the okay to do it. And they gave us the resources to do it. And so what I had to learn how to do is like, I had to like learn how to communicate with people in developing credibly strong personal relationships through the all these different layers of individuals and other college coaches or, or professional coaches or agents. And then the me directors over in Europe, I mean, it was my first experience of going over to these meets, and going from point A to point B, and getting lodging and getting transportation to go from a meet let’s say that was in Stockholm, to a little town and omya up the north part of Sweden, you had to you had to be able to get plane tickets, and you relied on the meet directions to help you with travel and, and then cage catching a boat to go over to Finland, you know, and, and getting over there and then traveling from one meeting to another and, you know, language barriers that were extremely unique and cultural differences that were extremely unique. But you know, just being really respectful, communicating a lot ahead of time communicating during the process, and then sitting down with the 10 to 12 athletes that we would bring over every summer and say, every single one of you have got to race really, really, really well. You got to have great performances over here because that’s the only way we’re going to get accepted into the next meet or another meet three or four weeks, you know, or two and a half weeks down the line. Because all those meets that you were competing out over in Europe, the next meet that was hosting those meet directors would be at the meet before that, and they’d be sitting up in the stands with their little pad of paper and circling, yeah, we want Joey there. But oh, Timmy didn’t look very good. And they scratch out Timmy. Because it’s all about money over there, our sport in Europe is really big. And there’s a lot of A level means there’s a lot of B level meats. And they all surround especially in those those areas, they surround towns, when the middle of their festivals, you know, there’s summer solstice events, it’s a big part of their festival. So when we brought Americans over, they were always looking for Americans to come over. But if you got dead last in your heat, you wouldn’t go on to the next meet. So it was really, really it was a great learning experience, it still goes on those meats still are all over Europe. But you know, you learn a lot. And, you know, I personally grew a lot and every one of those athletes that we brought over there, most of them, it was the first time they’d ever left the United States and gone overseas. And a number of them ended up making our Olympic teams, eventually those initial personal experiences and travel and you know, jumping on a bus and dropping on it getting in a cab and jumping on a, you know, a train and then on a plane and doing that whole thing. It wasn’t glamorous in any way form or fashion, but it was a lot of fun.
Jonathan Bench 31:16
Kelly, would you say that a coach is a coach as a coach across the world. Would you say that? You noticed idiosyncrasies about coaches from Europe or Germany? or particular parts of Europe or any other parts of the world? What do you think about that?
Kelly Sullivan 31:30
Oh, yeah, they are very, very, very similar. When I was on the US staff for the World Championships, up in Edmonton, I got to know the Kenyan distance coach at that time really, really well. And we ended up planning where we were going to take our groups every day out to do runs and workouts and all that. And it was a lot of fun. I mean, I think the thing that him and I both recognize, even though he was born and raised, and in Kenya and I was, you know, here in United States was as we were, you know, we were both in it for exactly the same reasons. And we were intrigued to find out what I was intrigued to find out what they were doing. And he was intrigued to watch what our young athletes were doing. And, you know, he was very, he was very generous, he was funny, he had a great sense of humor, you know, it was just one of those things that you realize that people are people all over the world, they just come from a different place, because it was fun to meet the international coaches. And, you know, I’m still in touch with quite a few of them. Years later, and And currently, and so it’s it’s, it’s been one of the benefits of being involved in the sport out just outside of college, but at the other levels, and I’ve always had great relationships with, you know, my colleagues in the college level and the high school level, just because of the fact that you can learn so much. And there’s a lot of similarities. And, you know, we all got into this business for whatever reason, and it’s really a neat group to be around.
Jonathan Bench 33:02
Kelly, it’s been so much fun to have you on the podcast with us today. Thank you for reigniting all the old sports memories and desires in my life. Thanks for being a part of it. We always love to close with recommendations, something from you from me and from Fred, what have you read or listened to or watched recently, or something that’s kind of an old go to for you, that you recommend for the audience today?
Kelly Sullivan 33:22
Yeah, during the COVID period, I did a lot of reading. And one of the books I recommend is called Stillness is the Key. It’s written by Ryan Holiday. It’s a fantastic, fantastic book. Another one is called Daring Greatly. And by Brandon brown, brown, I mean, and I enjoyed both of those books quite a bit. I actually I think I read a lot of books that some of my I got a lot out of it, but those two I definitely did. And then one in my profession. Somebody that I just have a tremendous amount of respect and an admiration for is a gentleman by the name of coach Joe Vigil who coached at Adams State University up in Colorado. And fortunately they finally did her biography on him is called Chasing Excellence. And it says the remarkable life and it’s inspiring. Vigil-osophy la Sufi of coach Joe Vigiland it’s definitely a book that even if you aren’t interested in sports and athletics and all that sort of stuff, I think it’s also it’s a great human story of someone who started out very humbly and eventually ended up coaching Olympic gold medalist and, and just his his ability to be successful and, and I knew him, I still know him very personally to this day, and it’s just a fantastic read also.
Jonathan Bench 34:55
Excellent. Thank you for those recommendations. Fred, what do you have for us today?
Fred Rocafort 34:59
So I’m pretty sure that I’ve recommended either specific episodes or the podcast as a whole, the Sam Harris’s podcast making sense. But I’d like to go ahead and specifically recommend Episode 256. And the title of that is a contagion of bad ideas, in addition to the Olympics. The other thing that we are contending with at the moment is, of course, this renewed concern over COVID with the Delta variant. And we’ve been, obviously dealing with COVID for some time now. And in fact, there is some overlap right between the Olympics and that because of all of the different concerns that were expressed regarding the event and how it could turn into a super spreader. The reason I’m recommending the podcast is that it really goes to the heart of many of the issues with which we are dealing with, at least in the United States at the moment regarding vaccines, and skepticism more broadly. So I found that extremely useful. And hopefully, these issues will will go away before too long, but to the extent that that they are still relevant, and they probably will be when you hear the podcast, I highly recommend this episode, really sober analysis of many of the issues that are really troubling a lot of people these days, so I won’t editorialize. I’ll just let listeners tune in. And just generally, I find making sense to be an excellent podcast if this is a tough decision to make. But if I had to only choose one podcast that I could listen to, this would probably be it. And I do listen to, to a lot of podcasts, in addition, of course to global on business. So again, making sense, Episode Number 256. A contagion of bad ideas. Jonathan, what do you have for us this week?
Jonathan Bench 36:55
I’m staying with the sporting theme and recommending a show that I’ve been watching with my kids. It’s called All Round Champion. They just finished season three, and I think it was started in Canada. It’s now been picked up and repurposed by BYU TV. So it’s free, you can find it online, and we’ll provide the link. What I like about this is they take 10 young athletes between the ages of say 11 to 15, or 16. Each of them has won some kind of championship and is very prominent in their own sport. So 10 Kids 10 different sports. And then they make them spend 10 weeks together. Each week, they learn a new sport with the person who is dominant in that sport, being the coach, along with a professional level coach or athlete. And then the other nine athletes compete in that different sport every week. And they get points based on how they rank in the end of the week competition. At the end of the 10 weeks together, you get to see who is the best all around athlete. As a parent. My favorite thing about this is seeing kids who were very elite levels at such a young age, and then really getting out of their comfort zone into sports in areas they’ve never even touched. There’s a lot of crying, which I think is excellent, because it’s good for kids to see other kids work hard and be uncomfortable. I love seeing the kids get uncomfortable and building confidence. And it’s fun to get exposed to different sports as well. So it’s been a great show that I’ve been able to enjoy with my younger kids as they’re exploring their own athleticism now as they get into that age range. So all around champion highly recommended. And with that, Kelly, we want to thank you again for being with us and we look forward to following you and hopefully hearing more about some of your impressive athletes who you’ll be coaching in the future.
Kelly Sullivan 38:22
I appreciate being on the podcast with you and best wishes. So both of you and everybody else, so thank you.
Jonathan Bench 38:31
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