Dr James Vaughan on Culture, Praise Addiction, and Developing Skilled Performers

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There are two types of people in the world – managers, and leaders. Managers work hard to maintain the status quo that their jobs and reputations were built on. They seek comfort in the certainty of the way things have always been done. Leaders, on the other hand, seek change. They imagine a better world, and are driven to create it.

My guest on today’s show is, without doubt, a leader. His name is Dr James Vaughan and he is an UEFA A licensed football coach and coach developer. James’ work, which challenges old ways of skill development, calls for cultural change on and off the football pitch. Practically speaking, Jame views football as an emergent feature of the sociocultural ecology, with sociocultural constraints influencing playing style and creative development.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Jame shares his journey from getting cut at age 16 from a football centre of excellence in the UK, to moving with his family to the other side of the world, to earning a PhD in Sports Coaching from the University of Queensland, to now, living and coaching in Sweden.

We pick the story up talking about how James thinks about  making important change.


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