“Off the Pitch with Active”

These episodes are to help parents accelerate their children’s development and confidence in their sport by applying the recommendations from professionals, coaches and specialised educators.

Active#032: Interview with Mark O’Sullivan, UEFA A licensed coach at AIK in Stockholm, Sweden

107:23 minutes podcast.

Mark O’Sullivan is a UEFA A licensed coach and is head of youth development for 8-12 at AIK in Stockholm, Sweden and is part of their Research and Development department. Mark is currently doing PhD Research Sheffield Hallam University, UK, which centers around designing learning environments in youth football. Mark has also worked as a consultant for the Canadian FA (2017) helping them to develop their new coach education program. He regularly holds lectures, talks and practical sessions around the world. Not just confined to soccer Mark has collaborated with coaches in Basketball, handball, floorball, figure skating and ice hockey.

If you want to read Mark’s own personal insights then just go to his Blog: https://footblogball.wordpress.com


107:23 Min episode

3:20     Introduction

5:38     Referring to a previous question to Richard Bailey, if there is a conflict between how children learn and how modern youth sports elite programs are carried out that is causing an imbalance?

19:20   How can we preserve unique playing styles emerging from environments outside sport if using a linear model? Mark talks about an interview Pavel Datsyuk, the Russian NHL player called the “Magic Man”

25:08   A key factor in the research at AIK, is looking how they create motivational climates when it is the children’s inner motivational factors as a key for participation, performance and personal development over time.

31:55   AIK’s 3 principles 1. Wellbeing of children 2. Following United Nations & rights for children and Gov documents about children in sport & 3. Having more players play U16, U17, U19 and into their senior team. They also have a clear pedagogical model and principals within the club.

41:12   SDT and how it relates to development

45:40   Programs are becoming based on economic models rather than learning models, which shifts the focus more towards the economics

52:50   Fascinating that coaches from different sports from all around the world say NO to the following question “If we restart youth sports from zero and rebuild it based on children’s physical and emotional needs, would it look like it does today?”

59:55   Affordances landscape of training: isolated individual skills on one end and free play on the other. The optimum opportunity of interactions of which the training is design is likely somewhere in between. The question to ask ourselves as coaches; Does the design invite, permit or inhibit young players to interact and learn?


Web:  www.footblogball.wordpress.com

Email: mark.kss@gmail.com

Twitter: @markstkhlm