The fall season of The Hold Fast Podcast begins, appropriately, with a trip back to those hallowed halls of the University of Minnesota, and a discussion with Professor Nicole LaVoi on the complicated dynamics of leadership culture in the digital age.

Dr. LaVoi is a Senior Lecturer of social and behavioral sciences in the university’s School of Kinesiology, and the Director of the pioneering Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport.  A powerful advocate for coaches and student-athletes across the country, Dr. LaVoi’s research focuses on trends in female leadership in sport, sport participation among female populations, and media portrayals of female athletes.  Through the Tucker Center, she also produces documentaries on the female sport experience, and hosts the annual Women Coaches Symposium, which she founded in 2014.

More on Dr. LaVoi.

More on The Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport here and here.

Abstract of Dr. LaVoi’s “Coaches Who Care: Moral Exemplars in Collegiate Athletics.”

“We all like to win.  There’s nothing wrong with being competitive and wanting to win.  But if you focus on the winning first, there’s a cost to that– a human cost, a relational cost, a mental, psychological, maybe a physical cost.  I believe that that’s not the way it should be, and we can do better.”

– Dr. Nicole LaVoi

Episode Highlights:

– Layers of sport culture

– Coaches’ impact on athletes and team culture

– Consequences of poor culture on athlete development

– Coaching education

– Awareness and leadership

– Knowing what you don’t know

– Leadership and learning

– Tendencies among successful coaches

– Building winning programs that are not about winning

– Selflessness and leadership

– Being a moral exemplar

– Teaching athletic and life skills

– The impact of social norms on team culture and athletic development