In this episode of the Art and Science of Developing Athletes, guest host and Chair of the UF Department of Sport Management, George Cunningham, talks with Linda Flanagan, a freelance journalist, researcher, former cross country and track coach, and author of the book "Take Back the Game." Linda shares her lifelong journey as an athlete, starting from organized sports to her present-day 20-mile weekly running routine. Drawing from her experiences as a coach, she discusses the state of youth sports and the pressure on kids to specialize early due to the monetization of the industry. Linda highlights the importance of parents reclaiming their agency in their children's sports life, suggesting the need for a 'Ministry of Sport' to regulate. She provides insights on the Positive Coaching Alliance, a nonprofit focused on reshaping coaches' approach to working with kids. Linda emphasizes that despite the concerns around youth sports, its potential in making a difference in kids lives asserts the need to rectify these issues.
Flanagan holds a degree in International Relations from Lehigh University, a Master of Studies in Modern History from the University of Oxford, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University. Now, Flanagan is an author and freelance journalist, with published work in credible news outlets such as The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. More about Linda Flanagan can be found on her LinkedIn page.
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