Youth Sport Podcast
On this episode of The Youth Sport Podcast Dean and I discuss his story growing up in a diverse area and then moving to where he was the only minority kid in his school. He discusses how his coaches didn’t think there were any racial issues in their program not knowing what Dean’s experience was growing up. We discuss how to help a kid overcome adversity, to put in the hard work in order to see the success that comes with it…even if it comes years after the work. Dean now works with kids in Strength and Conditioning and he’s helping shape the next generation of amazing athletes and people.
Dean considers himself a Pittsburgh native as that is where he spent the majority of his youth. He was a three sport athlete in high school playing baseball, football and track and field. Dean was recruited to play football for Otterbien College in Columbus OH where he majored in Sports Medicine. After his sophomore year he transferred to California University of Pennsylvania where he completed his degree in Athletic Training and attended Graduate school. It was there that he developed his passion for injury prevention and performance enhancement during his undergraduate and graduate research. Post graduation he took on several different Athletic training rolls but always ended up in the Strength and Conditioning world. He recognized the impact of a proper strength and conditioning on not just athletic performance but also injury prevention. With the new found mission of improving athlete’s overall health with a more holistic approach to training the concept of The Grind was born. It is Dean’s hope that someday soon The Grind will be one of the top Training and Sports Medicine facilities in the MidWest and hopefully the US.
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Here’s what Dean and I talked about:
- How we met in University
- Dean’s younger years in sport playing with the kids of an MLB baseball player, Bobby Watts
- Finding a love of football in order to bond with his step dad
- Juggling football and school
- Dean’s experience moving from a military base at 8 months old in Korea to the US
- Dean’s story living in a garage after his parents got separated and not having a lot of money
- Learning life lessons early and becoming a strong man because of it
- Dean’s first experience with racism
- How it’s hard to navigate being mixed race
- How to help as a coach
- Getting a minority perspective to better understand life differences
- What non minorities are missing (what they don’t see)
- “Racism is very complicated”
- “All I can do is be the best person I can be, and then hopefully you see me as another human being vs. some Asian guy.”
- “We just want to be treated just like any other human being”
- “If you are a mixed race person, you don’t fit anywhere”
- “Even if you grow up in a house full of racists people you still have the capability of making your own decisions”
- Being steps behind due to race and the work it takes to catch up…and the excel
- “I felt this pressure to be better than everybody and not just by a little, I had to be really good in order to play”
- “The work you put in today…it may not benefit you today, but it may 10 years from now”
- “Just because a door seams to be closed, doesn’t mean you can’t break that door down”
- Helping kids realize their dreams when others don’t believe you can achieve them.
- How a strength coach or athletic training can impact a kid in a different way than a sport coach.
- When our memory of events is different based on your individual circumstances.
- Final words of wisdom.
And now our full conversation: