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Sports Stories: The Leaders We Remember

Why this matters

In the latest episode of the Global Sport Matters Podcast, five voices from sport come together to explain how coaching and leadership made an impact on their journey as athletes and professionals.

Who has shaped your life within sports? In today’s episode of the Global Sport Matters Podcast, retired Australian basketball player Russell Hinder, Global Sport Institute Faculty Affiliate Dr. Victoria Jackson, School of Community Resources and Development assistant professor Dr. Eric Legg, AMP1 tournament director Nick Pryor, and Global Sport Institute CEO Kenneth Shropshire share their own personal experiences with leaders and who have changed their sports life.

From leaders who shaped their lives to understanding why sports matters, these experts reveal unparalleled stories that reflect how management can be detrimental to success.

“It teaches you communication, it teaches you how to work in a group," says Hinder of competing on a team.

Coaches and leaders have an immense impact on how a team connects -- or doesn't. Each guest on the show accentuated the importance of the connection between players and coaches on a personal level.

Hinder explains that even the worst coaches have shaped him to be the person that he is today. With coaches and athletic directors paving the ideal path for athletes, not living up to that expectation can ruin the sport for the players.

Women and people of color are often overlooked and are not given the same opportunities as men. The gender gap and racism in the sports industry have made it hard for women and minorities to even stand a chance of becoming high-level managers or even an AD. Even in this day and age social segregation is a battle every day for women and people of color. Jackson was confident that these issues would have been resolved years ago when in reality, very little has changed.

Jackson describes how the athletic director at her high school in Illinois, a woman named Jill, "baked gender equity into every part of my high school sports opportunities." This allowed Jackson to think big, even if -- as she jokes -- she may have been a little naive as a kid about women's opportunities in sport.

Coaches can make it or break it for athletes if they have a positive role model, these players can strive as individuals. Shropshire defends the importance of respect in coaching and being able to keep athletes accountable is not an easy task.

Still, coaches must balance connections with their players and staff as well as the emotional and psychological well-being of those on a team.

Pryor highlights how valuable it can be to have a "caring coach" who learns how to communicate with different people, champions individuality and makes each component successful.

Is there a coach who inspired you? Click here and follow the instructions to share your story.

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