Unleash Your Athlete’s Inner Leader with James Leath

Kids aren’t just mini-adults. They think differently, process stimuli differently, and fundamentally understand the world in a different way. That’s why it’s important, as adults, to be careful what you say when you want kids to understand you, and how you say it.

This week, James Leath talks about the challenges and rewards of working with young athletes and shares tips for connecting with them on their level for better communication and outcomes.

James Leath may be a familiar voice to many of you who also listen to the Compete Every Day podcast. He was our guest on the show in January 2019 and he talked about putting in the work to get your desired results. He continues that conversation in a kid-focused way this week.

As the founder of Unleash The Athlete, he has years of experience working both with youth and with the people who support them, like parents and coaches. By working to understand how kids experience the world around them, you can better support them on their journey of growth.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Encourage positive self-talk in young athletes
  • Be mindful of how you speak to kids
  • Let your kids fail and learn from it
  • Work to understand how kids think
  • Support healthy bonds between teammates


“At the end of the day what I’m talking about is not strategy; it’s how to get to know your athletes better, how to be a better example for your athletes, how to provide for them the tools that they need to be able to handle the intensity of a game-winning shot, to be able to handle missing it or making it.”

James Leath

“These are anxious times for these kids and you can ignore it and have anxious athletes or you can address it and have athletes.” -James Leath

“I think, as parents and people who are around athletes a lot, we need to be more intentional about the words that we use and the way that we teach our kids how to think.” -James Leath

“Confidence that is given from a parent to a child is very short-lived. But confidence that is earned by the kid by overcoming obstacles, that is the kind of confidence that stays.”

James Leath

“It’s important for the kids to bond with each other and to really look at sports as something that is enhancing their life, not just something they have to do for the promised scholarship eight years in the future.” -James Leath



You can find out more about Unleash The Athlete online at utathlete.com. You can follow James Leath on his website, jamesleath.com, or on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook @JamesLeath.

Check out our first episode with James Leath on the Compete Every Day podcast here or by searching for Season 3, Episode 2 of Compete Every Day wherever you get your podcasts.

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