The Zone Podcast hosted by Ivan Tchatchouwo continues to bring on insightful guests that bring an interesting perspective to the college sports landscape. The past two guests are no different. These past episodes Ivan talked to Kevin Anderson, the former Athletic Director of multiple colleges including Army, Maryland, and Cal Berkley. Anderson talked with Ivan about how we can build safer environments for athletes, how social issues impact athletics, and what the future of college athletics looks like.
One of the aspects of college sports that Anderson discussed was the difference between being transformative and transactional when it comes to university officials. He spoke on how there are too many people involved in college sports that view an athlete’s relationship with their university as more of a contractual one. These people feel a scholarship is payment for their services and once they fulfill their service that is the end of said relationship. Anderson believes more people need to take a transformative approach when it comes to student athletes. Coaches and administrators should be making a concerted effort to ensure that their athletes are making the most of their opportunity, both on and off the field. He feels that today’s college landscape has lost the value of a scholarship and athletes are not being prepared for the future because so much emphasis is placed on the present.
Anderson also spoke on how many of the issues in regard to the relationship between and athlete and their university comes from a lack of understanding. He pointed out that the transfer portal is so big now not so much because of performance, but also because of the relationship between the player and his coach. He believes that if an athlete trusts his coach it does wonders for both parties. That trust stems from the authenticity of the coach and a feeling that they truly care about every single one of their athletes. Along with trust is an understanding of people’s perspectives. Anderson talk on how many athletes come to universities carrying 18 years on emotional stress that they keep to themselves. A coach understanding where his athlete is coming can on help their relationship. Former AD Kevin Anderson believes college needs to be transformational, not transactional and he is working toward that goal.
Another recent guest on The Zone Podcast is Sports Psychologist Dr. Alex Diaz. Dr. Diaz has spent most of his career in sports unlocking the performance of athletes through the mind. His past experiences are Sports psychologist at Concordia College, Iona College & and
also having his practice dealing. His conversation with Ivan focused on how athletes should prioritize Mental fitness. He believes that the stigma causes confusion and talks about the steps to remove these stigmas.
Dr. Diaz talks about how many athletes turn their back on their mental health and learn unhealthy ways of coping with their issues. Often those who are the least likely to use the resources at their disposal are the ones who need it the most. These are students living on their own having experienced trauma throughout their entire childhood with no methods of working on themselves mentally. Because resources such as counseling and therapy are viewed as a sign of weakness in many communities, student athletes get to universities and believe they have to shoulder the burden themselves. Dr. Diaz believes communication, understanding and being proactive in finding a solution are the key to solving these issues.
Check out the latest episode of The Zone Podcast on the company website to catch both of these intriguing discussions.