Youth Sport Podcast Episode 13: Omar McPherson

img_5094Youth Sport Podcast

Episode 13

Omar McPherson

I’d like to thank Omar McPherson for having a serious conversation with me about many things in this chat, but especially, our main topic: racism in sport.

Omar has a really cool story about coming to the United States from Clarendon, Jamaica to pursue his love of soccer and to get an education. Omar played soccer at California University of PA, coached and worked at Cal and now coaches youth soccer in the State of California!

I listened to our conversation a few times after the fact, because each time I did, I picked up on something new that Omar said. I really hope that this episode inspires you to go and have your own conversation about how we can make an impact on youth athletes, and have, as Omar puts it, “exponential” positive change in their environment.

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Here’s what we talked about:

  • Youth Sport in Jamaica
  • Finding an opportunity to continue to play sports and get an education
  • First time in a cold climate!
  • Recognizing that only 1-2% of kids will go on to the next level in sport and the importance of creating an environment for everyone to enjoy youth sport while they can.
  • Omar’s coaching philosophy: “Making good humans”
  • Same sport, difference ways to play based on where you come from.
  • Always being prepared when an opportunity comes along
  • Being aware of what someone else might be going through
  • Being an international student and feeling homesick
  • Growing up with morals and respect for others
  • Racism, Ignorance, not knowing, education
  • Getting outside of your geographical comfort zone
  • Having conversations with teams, coaches and parents early to set expectations
  • We have to lead by example. “How we treat other people is how kids are going to treat other people”
  • Creating the environment for kids to feel safe to talk to you when they need to.
  • “When you see something, say something”
  • “As coaches you actually have to listen”
  • Having an open line of communication between coaches, players and parents.
  • You don’t look good as a coach unless everyone looks good.
  • Representation in coaching
  • How to parent in order to support people of colour.
  • “If I could change someone’s perspective on a daily basis, I would do that.”
  • Giving people grace to understand but not letting it go on.
  • How to have a conversation in order to understand someone else’s perspective.
  • What we can learn from the BLM movement
  • The current conversation around the police, what’s making the headlines and what kids need to know
  • The reality of certain situations with people of colour and what kids need to know.
  • “Understanding is the key to most of the misunderstanding that we have.”
  • Having conversations about race in coaches courses
  • Making an impact with exponential growth.

And finally…our conversation:

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