In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

In light of recent events I wanted to release an extra, time sensitive episode. 

Last week at the NCAA basketball tournament a social media post showing the disparities between the men’s and women’s “weight rooms” went viral. One photo resulted in a litany of content that uncovered not only differences in the equipment and facilities, but of the testing protocols, food, “swag bags” and more. 

With institutions and individuals calling on the NCAA to rectify the inequities displayed at their premier championship event, we wanted to give a platform to those voices, address the larger issues and talk to someone who can help us understand the context and what we can do to prevent this in the future. 

Megan Young’s entire life purpose is about facilitating meaningful connection, and she’s used the arena of strength and conditioning as a vessel to carry out that mission having worked in collegiate and professional settings over the course of 14 years. 

She’s also a survivor.

Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2015- Meg is no stranger to overcoming various forms of struggle. Her relentlessness for education, performance and equality is bookmarked by dual masters degrees (one in exercise physiology, another in information systems and data science) as well as a PHDC in adult education.

Put simply, Meg has an astute understanding of both the complex and the complicated- both of which serve as home and hearth of the matter we discuss today.

If you want to get in touch with Meg:

Via email:

Via Instagram: @coach_megastrong

Via Twitter: @coachmega

We also want to give a massive thank you to our sponsors for this episode: 

  • SAGA Fitness
  • VersaClimber
  • Momentous 

For more information and discount codes from all of our sponsors, check out


Megan Young  0:01  

NCAA, listen to the strength coaches, I understand there’s a pecking order and you have to go NCAA to administrators to whomever to whomever. But it’s like playing telephone. I’ve never heard of a great game of telephone, right? So go to the source, right. And just remember too that, at the end of the day your job is a nonprofit institution is to support these governing bodies and institutions to be able to do what they need to do, not just to have a logo on their chest to support your organization that is a nonprofit.


Liz Bartholomew  0:37  

Welcome to a bonus episode of The Art of coaching podcast, a show dedicated to discussing the messy realities of leadership, behavior change and all things communication. The conversation today is made possible by our sponsors, Saga, fitness, Momentous and Versa climber. Learn more about what these organizations can do for you by visiting


Brett Bartholomew  1:10  

Hey, everyone, I’m Brett Bartholomew, and on the show today, we discuss a situation that gives an entirely new meaning to the term March Madness. And the thing is, as shocking as what we will be talking about seems it’s nothing new when it comes to inequity displayed within women’s athletic programs or institutions. When recent photos emerged and subsequently went viral due to the serious disparities between men’s and women’s weight rooms at the NCAA tournament last week, the sporting world was rocked by a long overdue conversation. You see when it comes to player health, safety and performance, why should there be a difference between access to resources for women? 


Certainly we wouldn’t provide female student athletes at these institutions with fewer resources to get an appropriate education right. So Why the discrepancy when it comes to one of the largest sporting events of the year when these elite athletes have already had to overcome tremendous setbacks with respect to their preparation during COVID. Now this is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, however, and there is nobody better to discuss it than my friend Megan Young. 


Meg’s entire life purpose is about facilitating meaningful connection. And she’s used the arena of strength and conditioning as a vessel to carry out that mission, having worked in the collegiate and professional setting over the course of 14 years. She’s also a survivor diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2015. Meg’s no stranger to overcoming various forms of struggle, and her relentlessness for education performance and equality is bookmarked by dual master’s degrees, one in exercise physiology, another in information systems and data science, as well as a Ph. D. C, and Adult Education. Put simply, Meg has an astute understanding of both the complex and the complicated, both of which serve as home and hearth of the matter we’re going to discuss today. And now it’s time to get into it. Here is Meg Young.


Megan, welcome to the show. 


Megan Young  3:17  

Thanks, Brett. 


Brett Bartholomew  3:18  

It has been quite a a week hasn’t it? 


Megan Young  3:23  

Interesting week in the world. You know, 


Brett Bartholomew  3:25  

I think the last time we saw each other we were having sushi at a quiet hole in the wall. It was in downtown Atlanta was not


Megan Young  3:33  

 it was downtown Atlanta pre COVID When we were cute outfits,


Brett Bartholomew  3:38  

 downtown Atlanta pre COVID For sure we could hang around. And I never thought that the next time we would be discussing things at least semi in person would be around this. So let’s talk about this a little bit because we have listeners from a wide range of professions. give some context as to what happened this week. And then we’ll dive into the core of the discussion and get to the meat of it.


Megan Young  3:58  

Sure. So I think where things really started was you have March Madness happening now. And when we say March Madness, most people just think of the men’s basketball tournament. So what this is is a tournament a championship tournament put on by the NCAA. So the NCAA has been around for 114 years, they’ll celebrate their 100 and 15th. year actually, in March 31. So into the month in 10 days, the women’s tournament, which isn’t considered March Madness also is at the same time. So with that being said, there is two controlled environments. One is in Indy for all the men’s teams and then the women’s teams are within Texas so in San Antonio. But what happened was when strength coaches went to practice there was a setup for athletes to be able to lift and train in the men’s basketball kind of blew up over social media. 


And there there’s definitely a fascination into fitness and I think that we get speaker on COVID for that like everybody’s getting their fit gain on within the society with athletes. So love that, which is great. All these amazing pictures, there was a proper weight room setup for athletes to access and for their performance coaches to utilize right then within the women’s game when they went to have the similar type impact due to how we train athletes year round, and not just in postseason but year round, the resources that were available were less than ideal to put it nicely, to put it bluntly, unacceptable. And so that there was a post by Ali Kirshner, who’s a performance coach at Stanford women’s basketball, and it on top had the men’s basketball situation and within their environment, what was available, and then the dumbbell tree in the yoga mats that were available for the women. 


And that kind of blew up to show some of the inequity between the two different controlled environments, the tournament being held by the same organization. So from their social media kind of took off and does what social media does, and the internet’s undefeated, right. And you had a wide variety of coaches, performance coaches reaching out and now sharing this message, right. And I feel like this is the first time that you’ve seen performance coaches not in the limelight for yelling, screaming or not in the limelight, or doing a good job. But in the limelight for showing, hey, we are one of the most adaptable professions in the world. And we get to work with amazing humans. But even we have our threshold marker and you’ve reached it. 


And it’s male coaches, female coaches that work with all types of athletes, I’m not even going to put gender name on athletes, because it’s just athletes, it shouldn’t matter. And from that, it kind of just sparked off a conversation. The NCAA came out and said, I’m sorry, not, Hey, we should have started off better. But they said, you know, we planned on providing more later in the tournament. So for context, from our profession, there’s not many performance coaches, if any, that in a postseason are going to train leading up to a tournament train throughout the year have resources available at their amazing institutions to come have less than hotel availability, to train their athletes and properly prepare them and continue them on the periodization schemes they’ve been on. And stop for two weeks, and then pick training backup. 


So from a physiological response and training adaptations, that is what lit a fire under a lot of strength coaches because they get it. So even if you don’t get it, you do understand when you stop working out for two weeks and then go work out again, you get pretty sore, so let’s just leave it at that. And then the response was overnight, there was a weight room setup. And in this weight room, like there was equipment provided. And a lot of it was an additional cardio equipment, right. And so it’s like, okay, there, again, is a misstep and understanding of what the return on investment is in performance training. If we’re playing a basketball sport, I don’t know if you guys know, but they run in basketball, right? We have a lot of things that happen on court. And timing is really important. So the last thing that most performance coaches are looking for is more cardio equipment.


Brett Bartholomew  8:12  

Yeah, and I think you did a wonderful job laying out the context. And I just want to summarize this to make sure that again, any of our non sport related listeners get this and correct any part of it right. It’s an exciting time of year, you put this together beautifully, right NCAA Tournament, men’s basketball, women’s basketball it’s spring, people are ready for COVID in and they’re ready, they love the intensity of this sport is something people should be able to rally around. Right. And then you have this profession that we represent, and many others that are involved in this, that many people don’t understand. And like you said wonderfully. Most people think that availability, as of all I see is what there is, okay, there’s basketball, they’re running, they got to be in shape. 


Well, many aspects of their sport do that actually, what we need, and you alluded to it wonderfully, is these are strength power athletes in a lot of ways. And we always try to encourage people to understand that guys, strength coaches are not just weight room people, right? Muscular Strength, is the ability to exert force on any object. It’s just physics. And we need to exert that force quickly. And so what Megan is talking about here is imagine when you have two groups of the Most High elite athletes in the world. And like she said, it’s not even like, we look at men and women or whatever these people need to perform at the highest level. And yet, there’s one fully outfitted wait room provided by the NCAA, and another one looks like the worst of the worst hotel gym. You’ve ever ever been to 


That type that even if you’re not somebody who is active. If you decided to get a wild hair up your button, go into into that hotel, you’re like, huh, a bunch of rusted dumbbells and a bike that barely spins. And that’s just not adequate. And we’re not a needy group, right. Like you said, Did I summarize that pretty good, and give good context for the average listener?


Megan Young  9:59  

Yeah, The way I would put it out there, though, is there’s always been a difference in expectation when you’re a performance coach in women’s sports just because of the reality of women’s sports. And having worked in women’s basketball, women’s soccer, also football, also baseball, like that is due to some differences in funds and things like that. So what you saw though, is, I’m a performance coach, going to the Final Four with my men’s team. Maybe my expectation is a five, six on training availability equipment, what I got was a nine. If I’m a performance coach on the women’s side, outside looking in, my expectation was probably a two. And what I got was a negative.


Brett Bartholomew  10:38  

Right. And I think one thing that I saw in the comments that threw me off, and I’m gonna go with the comments, I’m not gonna use names, it’s pointless. And it wouldn’t matter anyway. Because it’s usually like fluffy cat eat 20 Or like, bike racer 860. Right. And but this person said, not trying to be sexist. But do women really lift heavy weights before a championship? And there’s so many things that are wrong with that statement? One, there’s the assumption that women don’t want to be strong don’t need to be strong two and some people don’t know what they don’t know, I don’t know if this guy, like, there’s a lot of mis education around performance in general, let alone performance in women. Like where do you even go with a comment like that? And what do you think? Because I know you like you have a very scientific way of thinking you’re very empathetic. You’re not somebody that’s just going to react when you see that? Where do you even start to help people better understand the problem with a statement like that?


Megan Young  11:32  

 I mean, I think a lot of that comes down to a bigger picture of not understanding our profession. Right. And when you don’t understand what a performance coaches or strength coaches do, besides a hold a football coach back on a game day, right, you’re like, that’s what you see us in the media for getting slapped over the head with a board or something like that. That’s not what I do. Right? Yeah, that’s not what you do.


Brett Bartholomew  11:55  

No, no. And so, oh go ahead


Megan Young  11:57  

with a question like that, at first come down to Let’s educate them on what it takes to be a performance coach at the collegiate level, right. So most preferred qualifications for working within a collegiate setting. And let’s say, at a power five school, within women’s basketball, let’s just set that as the expectation. You need a bachelor’s degree, you probably need a master’s degree, and some sort of exercise physiology, biomechanics, background, kinesiology, something like that. You also need to hold a certification, if not two, and I’m not even going to speak those organizations. And you need to have AED CPR first aid, that’s to get the interview, then you also need years of experience within those sports or within sport at the college level. 


So now, giving you some context of, hey, these people have six to eight years of college education, right. And they’re passionate about what they do working with them, women’s basketball, especially now, you’re trying you’re around, you’re looking at 11 and a half months out of the year, these coaches are working. And they’re not doing it for the return on investment from their education and the return on investment from their time. If you look at the time value money, it’s a terrible business model to be a performance coach. Being a performance coach in college setting, let’s say the average is somewhere between 35 and $50,000, working in a Power Five Women’s Conference, and then you could easily get as high as Oh, 100,000. 


But now that’s your ceiling for what you can make. So I don’t know many people within the business world that like hearing $100,000 ceiling as what their life investment is going to have to live off of. So that doesn’t make a lot of sense. So these people aren’t doing it for the money, right? They’re doing it either because they want to connect with these players, and they want to help develop young people. They love the profession of strengthing auditioning performance, right, or they also love the sport of basketball. And that’s why they’re within that specific arena, working within performance. So just to set some context, that’s who these people are right. 


Now, for the athletes, you’ve seen bigger and better is definitely been the thing over the past 15 years within strength and conditioning, right? From a recruiting advantage standpoint, from all of this. And then, when I first got in this, there wasn’t a lot of women’s basketball strength coaches, right? It was a men’s basketball strength coach, and maybe a GA that also took the woman or the men’s. There was one performance coach that did them both. And so you’ve seen the field continue to grow because what happens is at these organizations, there are amazing sport coaches, there are amazing people pushing at the ground level to advance the women’s game. That’s not the NCAA. So that’s my point. 


You have amazing people at institutions pushing the envelope forward and driving it forward. And you also saw that same response of these coaches that are stepping out and speaking. So If you haven’t seen what I’m talking about, you can look at coach Daly, who’s the head coach at the University of South Carolina for women’s basketball, who came out with a statement said she couldn’t be silent. And I think that’s a really important statement to have, because me is a former SEC, women’s basketball strength coach. Now working in pro sports, you hear family preached all the time. And that’s part of the recruiting process, right. And you want your child to get developed at these institutions and go on and prepare for life or prepare for the pros. Great. So if I’m under the tutelage of one of these coaches, and they’re not actually standing up, for the things I need, as a player, especially within a championship season, that really the person I want to be behind.


Brett Bartholomew  15:46  

Yeah, and to go back to something you said, I’m gonna try to address pieces of all that so we can keep that conversation rolling. You’re spot on, I remember, there’s a 2018 survey that showed despite 52% of strength coaches having a master’s degree, many of them are still averaging anywhere from low 30s to maybe mid 70s. And the ones in the mid 70s. Plus, or anybody in that higher bracket is typically in pro sports with 10 plus years, right? And then you compare that to what fidelity says somebody should have the recommended savings by age 30 is one times your salary, right like that. 


Now, it’s not a stretch to say that by 30, there are so many coaches, who are maybe just now even getting paid a full time salary. And mind you, these athletes  aren’t paid and what have you. And we’re not going to get into that debate. But like women in our field field make even less, right, that gender gap, to put it to terms is nearly five times what it is in other fields, and not a lot being done about it to touch on your point about, our coaches standing up. What did you see when this hit the news? 


Right when this thing just exploded? What did you see if any, the disparity was between schools that would speak out about it and be like, No, this is not okay. And let’s look at the Sport Coach now. Because they typically do get more weight, they have this seat at the table that performance coaches typically don’t get. Did you see much disparity between schools and you don’t need to name them that spoke out? And that didn’t? Or did they all unify. Talk a little bit about that, if you can,


Megan Young  17:16  

yeah, I mean, I think we can speak out even as late as today. And so part of this remember is, these players are in a championship and we are servant coaches, like, we want to put athletes in position to win games. So you also have string coaches and performance coaches that don’t want to be a distraction. And once that initial statement was made by Ali, and it kind of blew up over social media and people took to heart what the message was and didn’t get off track about what we’re talking about. You saw that there was a quote, unquote, response, not an apology, but a response. And then more came out, though, around the differences between the controlled environments and I think it’s important to speak on this. I think Geno Auriemma was the coach that came out and said, yes, the men are getting daily PCR testing for COVID. And the women are getting antigen tests. So for your listeners, now we’re talking health and safety differences between two different championships run by the same organization. You touch on that? 


Brett Bartholomew  18:18  

Yeah, the I mean, the NCAA. Right, like and I think there’s not, and no listeners should take this offensively. I don’t think there’s a lot of understanding that the NCAA by definition, it’s a nonprofit. Am I correct? 


Megan Young  18:33  

Yes, it is a nonprofit. 


Brett Bartholomew  18:34  

So when people try to make specious arguments about Well, men sports make more money than female sports, and they start making about viewership and entertainment. And this is the entertainment industry. But then where’s that money really go to?


Megan Young  18:48  

Yeah, I think part of it to remember too, is this is amateur sports, right? So in amateur sports, these organizations that are gaining the most from it is not the actual player, right? It’s the organization on governing body, which is the NCAA, and how they decide to spend their money is only controlled by them. There’s not a governing body above them. So what they decide to do and how they decide to spend it is literally controlled by the same people that are in taking the money. There’s no system of checks and balances.


Brett Bartholomew  19:18  

So we have this organization that clearly gets they get to choose how they spend their money. And they’re making these decisions. So who made the decision when they’re sitting here like, Hey, here’s what we need for the men’s tournament. Here’s what we need for the women’s tournament, who sits on that? Is there I mean, is there even like a round table where they have somebody for performance from the sporting side from health and medical who sits at this round table as performance even represented? 


Megan Young  19:45  

So performance is never directly represented, right? You have administrators that make up committees along with members of the NCAA. So in there’s two separate committees, one for men’s basketball, one for women’s basketball, just as there is for every championship sport. or women’s soccer, there’s a committee for all these things, right? And those are the ones that work to not only pay, who’s getting in the tournament, all those different things. And you can leave it up to your ESPN guys over those things. But the other side of it is, how are we actually going to make this function? And one of the things I remember them saying is, we did the best we could with 60 days notice. And, like, 


Brett Bartholomew  20:21  

today’s notice is the biggest thing. This is the NCAA tournament. 60 days notice? 


Megan Young  20:26  

Well, my whole thing is, you didn’t even have a tournament last year. So it’s not like you’re like, Alright, guys, we need a break. You know, that was long. You’ve been in COVID in a pandemic, for over a year now at this point. And I think that you’ve had longer than 60 days to prepare. Yeah, you’re having a weed down, like, where are these teams coming from? But you’ve had over a year to prepare? What do you want this to look like? And let’s say, Okay, you had three months, you had 90 days? 


I know plenty of companies, I know plenty of coaches that would have offered in support, because that’s what our profession does, they step up, and they would have had solutions, right. So I think the bigger problem is, the question wasn’t even asked. Right? It was assumed, and that’s what happens a lot within our profession is there’s other people speaking for us. And whether they have the best intention or not. The mark is mess, because we’re not the ones with the seat at the table, fighting for what and advocating for what our athletes actually need.


Brett Bartholomew  21:24  

Yeah, and what I hope doesn’t get lost upon this is there’s so many odd debates going around in sport right now in general, right? Like we’re seeing what happens in in college football where now players can players make money off their likeness, and this and the transfer portal or what have you. This isn’t about that. This is literally like, I worked with a lot of female athletes in the UFC, right? I think of Giuliana Pena, it would be like not giving her access to a cup man in her corner, or anything that she knew, right? Like, Hey, you can’t have water or stool to sit on between rounds. But dudes can, right? And I think that’s where it gets tricky is people get emotional, and they react. And they’re like, oh, so are you saying men and women? Or are you saying it’s like, no, no, no, we’re saying that there’s a basic thing that athletes need to perform at the highest level. 


And as much as the general audience or world may not know it, strength and power qualities. And the capability to generate high rates of force is the thing that allows people to compete at the highest level, and also just be saved from an injury resistance or injury. We can’t say prevention, right, but decreasing the likelihood of injury. And it’s like saying, these high performing athletes over here, despite what we know, in the literature, and God knows how much There’s literature on strength and conditioning and its necessity in sport. No no, we’re going to act like that doesn’t even exist in these. And that’s what drives me nuts when I hear that medical professionals are on this now. 


It’s also not surprising, right? I had shoulder surgery back in November. And still right now my surgeon has told me even though what are we in? We’re recording this in March, that you should not lift anything about five pounds with that shoulder, you know, and then of course, we know from a physical therapy standpoint, well, no, no, you can do this and you’re fine. And what have you. How is it that medical professionals who do have a seat on this table still don’t recognize and understand the importance of this, let alone allow there to be such a disparity on what men have access to and women have access to when it’s just basic science that they should be up on Bleeding Edge stuff that’s, got got over 50 years of research behind it.


Megan Young  23:28  

Yeah, I mean, I think that one, a lot of times performance coaches chalk it up to their sport coaches, or their environment being old school, right? Like, oh, my coaches old school thinks that lifting is going to throw off their shot, right, like, and so the the education of like sport coaches is something that we have to do in a very careful dance, right? Because we don’t want to overstep in. We also need coaches that are receptive to being educated, right. And I’ve been fortunate enough to work with coaches that have been like that. And that’s where I see a lot of coaches struggle too and then you can’t speak to your sport coach, or you can’t speak to administrator. So where are you left to turn to? 


So we turn to each other to have support and kind of leverage How do we do best with what we can do. And that resiliency is unbelievable in our profession, so to speak, to kind of the medical side, what I think the medical side, they’re probably priority target this year was can we make a safe environment? Right? So and then how the Chief Medical Officer for the NCAA determines that is very different than having people on from a performance standpoint to say, how do we make a safe performance environment, right, like having a controlled environment to limit COVID exposure and handle a pandemic? is a challenge in and of itself. So I get that that was the top priority probably in the year. 


Can we have a tournament because last year we couldn’t check. That doesn’t mean that all these other things aren’t important anymore. So if a women’s basketball coach walked out on the court, or men’s basketball coach walked out on the court, and they’re like, hey, it’s been really hard to get this thing off the ground. So we’re only going to give you half a basketball court and two basketballs today to prepare. That’s probably a similar analogy to how some of these coaches felt, and more importantly, the players. 


nd here’s the difference, right? In professional sports. These professional athletes use their platforms and advocate and speak out and they have players associations and make collective bargaining agreements, right. And in college, we leave it up to this same organization to come up with how do we ensure health, safety and welfare of student athletes? It’s really hard. And I think this is why you see some another emotion coming out of coaches, when that same organization is the one failing the student athlete. That’s what’s hard.


Brett Bartholomew  25:55  

Yeah, it’s interesting that, in one way, and you may disagree with this feel free. But I think knowing you, I think we can both maybe agree that one way we don’t get these sport coaches and other bodies to buy in into the importance of what we do, or the matter is, by just giving them more research, plenty of people have tried that. I know, I’ve tried that and failing, right, like, but this is somewhat a marketing issue, right? Performance professionals have always faced this issue where they want to stay in the background, because they think if they kind of promote an idea, or even self promote or anything like that, that they’re no longer serving bass leaders, 


But the reality is, you have to promote what you do, or an idea because there’s an element of micro political literacy that it takes to get a seat at the table or crumbs from the table or anything, you’re gonna have to know how to play and I don’t wanna say play dirty and people misconstrue that. But But coaches, strength coaches, and performance coaches do need to get better at this because being informed is not enough. Like when the other party’s, they have so many other things going on. So what do you think about the realities of, where do we have to upskill ourselves to be able to navigate the political realities of this? So things can be heard? And these issues don’t get repeated again and again and again?


Megan Young  26:33  

Yeah, I mean, I mean, one thing I’d like to say too, right is, this is not something new for women, especially, this has been centuries of fighting for equality. So now, this is just happening through the lens of sport. And I think that that’s why these coaches and athletes are getting behind it, because it’s within their specific arena. regardless of their gender. I think one thing that you’ve seen performance coaches do over the past, let’s call it two decades is increased presence within individual sports, right? You have more performance coaches, that don’t work within a college weight room and have seven teams, right? They’re able to, we’ve increased our value enough to where now, hey, it’s not just about being in the weight room. But we can have a presence within practice within training. 


And then coaches all the sudden kind of caught on and was like, wow, this is important, they do more than just warm us up on game day and work in a weight room. And then on the flip side of that you have sports science come into play. And for listeners, right, like, sports science isn’t just the research that happens within laboratories. It’s how do we apply performance and technologies into helping not just within the weight room, but the performance on the field. And so you have people whose roles, like myself is tactical periodization of what’s happening in practice, right? Like, that has become periodization is what strength coaches learn from day one. And it’s like, hey, what kind of volume and what type of intensity are recreating? 


And what training adaptation and response are we going to get from that? The same happens on the court. Right. And we’re not going to get into discussion of that. But I just want to bring to the fore forefront, that it is not just a set and rep scheme. But those sets and reps are still important. I think that a lot of people are forgetting that right? Both aspects are equally important. And driving that forward has increased our presence on the field, to where now you have football coaches saying the strength coach is the most important member of my staff. And in college, they’re like the strength coach spends more time with my athletes due to NCAA rules than anyone else. 


So that has also increased the value. And what that increased value seeing the increased return on investment within performance within football within basketball and within some of these other sports. So I just wanted to speak from that side where you’ve seen an increased presence, you’ve seen an increase, we understand you’re valuable. But where’s the reciprocal turn for Hey, what’s the return on my value to me individually, not just within what what access for providing?


Brett Bartholomew  29:49  

Yeah, I think those are critical points. And you think about it this way. Obviously, so much perception comes into this. You talked about periodization and again, for the listeners, we’re talking about a planning process. So we’re talking about the same thing that’s done in sports performance. In many respects, that’s done when a medical practitioner has to think about what prescription is appropriate to help somebody with this illness or to remedy something, what what Megan’s talking about here is like, it’s a combination of planning, discernment, personalization, and basic resourcefulness. 


Megan Young  30:20  

And one thing I’d say, too, is, for those business listeners out there, we’re talking about system design, right? At the end of the day, our product is performance of an athlete. But how we go about it is we have all these complex systems that interplay and overlay on top of each other and create different stresses and different adaptations. Our job is to balance and understand those educated on those, and then also work within that space to get the correct ones at the correct times. That’s periodization.


Brett Bartholomew  30:46  

And I love that you use that example. And especially the kind of the words work within that space, right? This is not something where anybody is saying these athletes needed anything. Next level, like we’re a startup, right? You’re as a performance coach, we’re used to being scrappy, right? It’s a blue collar mentality that we were like, listen, we know how to do things with body weight, and a piece of string that most people have no concept of. And so you’re thinking with a startup mindset of saying, it’s not like we asked for much, nobody asked for a pneumatic resistance or anything to do this or that. It’s like, Yo, can we at least just have a conversation here? You have a startup mentality? Do you think that’s an appropriate way of like, being able to define the level of resourcefulness many of us are willing to have around this? Or do you feel like there was something super nuanced that these people needed? Or were demanding?


Megan Young  31:35  

I think that it again, falls down to unfortunately, we’ve had to be that way, we’re conditioned to be that way, instead of supported to be opposite. So yeah, I mean, you saw the response, you saw the athlete TikToks. In I don’t know how to do tic tock, so please don’t ask me to expand upon that. But the athlete and coaches string coaches posting in response so that it wasn’t just as negative image that went out. But hey, I’m gonna throw in some BFR cuffs, it doesn’t matter what that is, if you’re a listener, and I’m going to get a different training response in I’m unable to do things. 


But one thing I saw posted by coaches, not a performance coach, a basketball coach was work his work. That’s wrong. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:13  

That’s way wrong. Absolutely. 


Megan Young  32:15  

So, you should know, as a listener, the reason we require all these different tools is because all work is not equal. Right? All stress is not equal. All adaptations are not equal. If that was the case, then we wouldn’t have to have multiple degrees years of experience and know how to use different technologies. We could just work out a resume, like people didn’t a pandemic, when


Brett Bartholomew  32:38  

Why do you think it is within that? That these arguments get taken so many places versus arguments about equipment or engagement or viewership versus just standards of player care? Going back to what you said about the COVID? Testing? or what have you. This is just standards of player. I mean, even somebody if we’re not talking athletes, it is well known that the average person should at least strength train twice a week, right? We know that as we get older, we have sarcopenia and muscle wasting when we’re talking, this is a dip, like we’re talking about player care, yet it gets thrown so many other directions. Where do you think we’re lacking communication or our ability to just a centralized on the core of the matter, versus people trying to use their or take their emotions, and make it about all these other things around the periphery? Well, they’re not even the periphery right there. They’re completely detached from the core of the argument, which is equality and player care, health and safety. 


Megan Young  33:32  

And remember, there’s an organization that is set up for that, and it’s called the NCAA. Um, I think that part of it is, you know, one of the things you learn in compliance when you work in colleges, it’s not okay to not know and be like, oh, yeah, I didn’t know, right, just like as a citizen, not knowing something’s against the law, still makes it wrong, you still are gonna get arrested for it, or whatever happens. So it’s okay to it’s not okay to pick and choose what you decide to know and not know. And I think as a society, we’ve reached our threshold of bullshit. We’ve reached our threshold of being okay with certain things. 


And as a society, now, we are speaking out. And as long as you’re speaking a truth, even the backlash that comes out, I know is like a performance coach, right? You’re not paid like Sport Coach, you’re not an administrator in most cases. So there can be some fear on speaking out about things because you do only make $50,000. And there’s a plethora of people that would be happy to have your job. So what you’re told is be happy to be here. What? Like, not, hey, thank you for your years of service and education, but be happy to be here. Wow, that’s such a mixed message versus I’m happy to have you here. And that’s one of the things that came out within this as well. 


So when we talk about player welfare, safety, performance falls into that medicine falls into that and so that’s why they’re the different models within uneven performance now of trying to connect these areas of sport and training and medicine, because they are all interconnected, so we have to have constant communication if we’re on a staff together for these things. So for it not to flow vertically, as well as horizontally in a championship doesn’t make any sense. So to make assumptions on what players need, instead of asking is very different. So and then let me point out what asking is. So they’re asking administrators and again, those administrators may or may not know, it’s something we got to fix and start giving the right people a seat at the table to ask the right questions. 


If you’re asking the medical director or the athletic trainer, what’s needed in the weight room, that’s like asking a strength coach, what they need to do rehab, right? It’s not really appropriate. It’s like asking a systems engineer what they need to go and do better sales, engineers would just blink at you and say, Please don’t make me talk to people, right like that. That’s how that world works. And so I think that we have to do a better job of really appreciating understanding these roles within medicine and within performance, and saying, What do you need to be supported? Fully? Right? They’re gonna have ice of water and tape, right? That’s a basic player safety and welfare thing. That should be the same within performance. I don’t know why it’s second guessed?


Brett Bartholomew  36:24  

Yeah, I don’t disagree. Let me ask you a question to poke the bear of that a little bit here. And we like to do this because we’ve got to be able to get into the light and dark of certain arguments agree of certain arguments, there’s no doubt that that seat at the table has to happen. Where I’d push is do you think strength coaches, or performance coaches? Do you think they’ve always conducted themselves in a manner that has made people think of them in the professional light that they should? Or do you think a lot of the imagery and a lot of the behaviors we’ve associated in prior, right? We’re not talking about this, we’re talking about how certain coaches have conducted themselves on social media in the media, or even if they’re not in social media, or what have you, just the combativeness within the field? Do you think we’ve kind of been our own worst enemy? And in any way, or do you think no, that’s not relevant at all? 


Megan Young  37:13  

okay. Great job poking the bear. Yeah, I’ll answer. So I think part of it, it fault. Absolutely. Maybe doesn’t fall on the individual. Right. But it falls on the culture. And then if you’re talking about culture, you’re talking about leadership. Right. So what is the leadership within our field? And which direction is it taking us? I’m not sure I have a great answer. Right. I mean, there’s a lot of great individual coaches, you’ve never heard of doing amazing jobs, at high schools, at youth clubs, at colleges and professional settings. And the reason you don’t hear about them is because they’re too busy just putting their head down and loving the work, instead of promoting themselves. 


And I have nothing against promoting yourself, because guess what, if you don’t, I’m not sure that there is anyone else that’s going to do that for you, right? Even if you’re Andrew hoody, and you have multiple championships from UConn from Kansas, to now winning your first big 12 A Texas, right? Like, if you’re not going to know who someone is for the value they’ve added in performance, and it’s not about winning, if we’re not about valued on winning, then what are we validated on? Right? 


And to speak to your point of, yeah, I think the only reason when strength coaches show up in the news, it’s probably not been a good thing. For the most part. It’s been for either an anger issue mismanagement, or hey, there’s been a ton of injuries on a team, so blank, pointing fingers and placing blame. Like that’s kind of been what’s in the news over. And it’s hard, right? Because we use, like you’re speaking about, there’s so much research and literature that a lot of great coaches back how they do training on. And research isn’t the most appealing thing in modern culture, right? 


Like, it’s not what’s out there. But I can tell you about some research that a lot of coaches get involved with, and they’re passionate about, and they can add those things to their resume, but that’s probably not what’s gonna get you hired in a job. Knowing the right head coach, having the right relationships with different people is what get you jobs within our arena, just like most right. So but once you get that opportunity, it’s the education and the experience and honestly, the connection with people that keeps your job, right. 


Brett Bartholomew  39:36  

Yeah, you’ve answered that wonderfully. And I think the reason like if we’re going to have the full conversation, there are uncomfortable things like that we have to talk about too, because if we want to be able to get the seat at the table at the highest level, while you’ve got to clean up your own house, and I’ve thought this ever since I got in the field. You notice that all right. You can only win certain distinctions, whether it’s strength coach of the year or be a master strength coach, if you’re uncertain settings. You mentioned there’s great strength coaches doing things at all levels of sport. But there’s also somebody right now that’s 55 60 been a coach a long time coaching out of their garage that loves those athletes. 


And you hear it, just like you have some people on social media that are loud. Well, I’ve also seen some other coaches that are really prideful in their humility. Right and we know that there’s I follow brain surgeons that have time to share something on social media, that’s helpful. So when a coach says, Well, I’m too busy to share, it’s like, but there’s so many so much infighting there. And until we do a better job saying, like, Hey, can we all quit? I often make the joke and I’m sorry, listeners, I know you’re tired of it. I’ve never seen a dentist say I’m a Molar guy. And I’m an incisor guy. But strength coaches for decades couldn’t even agree on training practices. So we do have to look at ourselves to of saying, Well, we haven’t had a seat at the table. Because we have sometimes haven’t had the comportment, even in our own world to do that. 


Maybe this is an important time now for strength coaches to really step up the level of professionalism and unity in the field for the betterment of the athlete, because we know like you said the NCAA isn’t going to do it. The NCAA is obviously not going to say, hey, you know what, a dumbbell tree, that’s what you get a dumbbell tree. So then, like, let’s realize that hey, yeah, and it might be a little Kumbaya ish. But let’s put worrying about what sector you in what sport do you work in? What beard Do you have what beard do not have? And what equipment do you use? Whose flooring do you use? Who gives a shit? Make sure that you have the base resources, and then work on the bigger picture issues because nobody’s coming to save us? Let’s focus on who’s going to work for the athletes, we will but we’re not going to get in the door. If we don’t know how to dress. That’s all I’m saying.


Megan Young  41:36  

I do think I do have a counterpoint to that. Right. Like there’s that slogan of make great where you’re at. I think Adam fight actually said it, but make great where you’re at. And that’s what a lot of good coaches do. And just like there needs to be more opportunity within pro sports for female coaches. There has to be a leadership directive change to create that opportunity. 


Brett Bartholomew  42:00  

No question. 


Megan Young  42:00  

So as much as like, yeah, you have to clean up your house get an order. I still disagree and say it has to be a multimodal approach where there is some leadership effective change, whether it’s an individual member institutions, or even at the conference level, right. Like you have conference commissioners, why is there not a and there’s medical directors and task force within conferences? Why not the same for performance? Right. And now you have someone that’s not oversight, but it’s empowerment, right? And I think that’s the threat response that training conditioning performance coaches feel a lot is okay, you’ve put someone over me that doesn’t understand any of what I do. 


And their only thing is for liability coverage. This is a CYA position. So instead of that route, can we have coaches empowered in positions of opportunity that isn’t just an administrative position, have a budget control, and to make sure we’re following liability and compliance? But can the NCAA now say, You know what, this is a bigger picture thing for quality for student athlete welfare. And maybe the best representatives aren’t just administrators. But maybe it’s actually taking these conferences, and taking these coaches to the next level of accountability, but also opportunity?


Brett Bartholomew  43:24  

Yeah, without question. But see, here’s the thing, though, I don’t perceive what you just said, as a disagreement at all. Where I just don’t think that we’re even thought of like that. I think the reason we’re not getting those opportunities, is our fields misunderstood. Our field is misunderstood, but it’s partly misunderstood. Because we can’t say we want to keep our head down. It’s not about the money, we’re in the trenches, we’re too busy. And never be willing to self promote. You said to yourself, right, nobody’s gonna toot your horn for you. We’re still thought of ancillary staff. Yes, you’re right. There are people that have come out in Sport Coaching that say, Hey, these are the most important folks that we hire what have you. 


But if you look at the numbers, and you and I just kind of rattled them off the relative instability, all that were not thought of, as coordinators were not thought of as assistant coaches, maybe every now and then somebody gets clever with a title. But we’ve got to be able to do that together. Because we’re not even brought up in that conversation, which is odd. It’s very odd. We’re not brought up in that conversation, because like you’re saying, if we’re not then who’s here to care about the athletes in the capacity of training, which it should be right up there with everything else, because it’s like this right? 


Again, I remember a fighter once saying, So you’re telling me he was very averse to strength training? And he was like, So you’re telling me that if I get stronger, I’m gonna win the fight? And I said, No, no, no, no, but I am saying that if you’re weaker, you’re more likely to lose it. Right? Like this is a critical intervention. What else do you think was misunderstood about all this? Like how, like the core of this, how can we beat key people on like being solutions focus as opposed to hey, this happened last week. Now it’s out of the news, something else happened? How can we actually make sure this stays relevant and something gets done instead of it being forgotten about On a moment in time,


Megan Young  45:02  

I think part of it falls on the leadership within the NCAA to continue to improve the environment that is at the tournament right now, doing something overnight one time, and it’s still being subpar. Continue working, keep working. NCAA, listen to the strength coaches, I understand there’s a pecking order and you have to go NCAA to administrators, to whomever, to whomever. But it’s like playing telephone. I’ve never heard of a great game of telephone, right? So it’s go to the source, right? And just remember to that, at the end of the day, your job is a nonprofit institution is to support these governing bodies and institutions to be able to do what they need to do not just to have a logo on their chest to support your organization that is a nonprofit.


Brett Bartholomew  45:53  

Yeah, that’s critical. And within that, you mentioned there’s this fear of speaking out. And again, we’re not going to mention names. We’re not going to mention schools, I don’t think there’s a purpose for that if you want to feel free but there is this thing of a be grateful you have the job. It’s a very unique kind of situation where it’s a power brokering right,


Megan Young  46:13  

so I’ll just jump in, right? Like, I’m a female coach in an a man’s world of strength and conditioning 100%. So you’re already looking at different levels of pay equity, you’re already looking at a different level of support, right. And those aren’t things that are different in other areas of business, but that these are just realities. So I’m not being emotional. When I talk about these, I’m just stating facts, right? And then the only way for us to create opportunity is either to be very, very good at our job, and maybe we get a shot because a coach takes us somewhere, or there’s a diversity initiative somewhere. And now they have to hire a female or they’re promoting that female hire, right? Like, that’s how we win within this field. Right? 


And to me that that already sets up. We have a system problem, right? We have a system problem, how we’re going about solutions to women need more opportunity? And am I happy to step through one of those opportunity to doors it presents because it’s a diversity hire? Absolutely. Right. There’s people that understand organizationally, you have to do these things. And then to go back to your point of just working within strength and conditioning at the college level, I had one other female I worked with, in my 12 years as a college strength coach. Right? So it goes back to you have to see females in roles that are successful, you have to see someone that looks like you winning, to understand that you can win, right? So there’s not a lot of women that are put in positions of winning, and or put themselves there, there are some within our field, and I’m happy to know them. 


And I’ve fought to do the same for myself. But when I talk about winning, I’m not talking about our sports winning, I’m talking about like, what do you want out of your life? And what do you want out of your career? And do you know how to leverage those opportunities to win? So I think that that’s part of the bread and the other side? I want to hear your opinion, too, of how do you view female coaches within our field, right? Because we are told you’d be happy to be here, right? Or we’re the only one that looks like us in our position. So we kind of, you know, skate by and hey, here’s your bonus, or here’s your cost of living adjustments. So we’re like, okay, great. And it’s like, back in the day, like, you see, people come and go from this field. And a lot of times with women, they’re like, oh, they must have wanted to start a family. Or they probably couldn’t just take that out. Like that’s the view that we’re looking at. Right? Like, stop. 


Brett Bartholomew  48:56  

Yeah, well, I’m gonna sound off about it. So you really want to know my opinion on it? 


Megan Young  49:00  



Brett Bartholomew  49:00  

Yeah. I mean, I’m incredibly bias. My wife was a strength coach, right and was in the field. I was one credit hour short from a minor in women’s studies, Molly Benetti, was a former intern of mine and a very close friend and she’s a strength and performance coach or director at South Carolina. Alu Kirshner is an incredible contributor to our company. So there’s more bias, right? And every person in my company is a woman, so my wife is our project manager, she left a job to facilitate what we’re doing with art of coaching and, and we serve a base of coaches in the performance community who were all looking to build platforms to do more. The very thing I was told I shouldn’t do if I ever wanted a job in team sport again. Ali has done innumerable things that have allowed us to create these initiatives. Another co Patriot was Jordan Krumholtz. I mean I think it’s just weird, but like I’m also this is something 


Megan Young  49:59  

let me jump in right here. One thing that I think we get told a lot as coaches, and whether it’s a minority being woman, or it’s a minority being a black coach in our industry, right? It’s like, oh, learning connect, right? Like, connect with other women so that you can, whatever, and I’m like, 


Brett Bartholomew  50:15  

have a luncheon, 


Megan Young  50:17  

right? Have a breakfast, and I’m like, that’s part of the problem, right? Like, you’re you’re continuing to put us and identify us by gender, or by ethnicity, right? So I think that until the leadership of whatever organization or institutions start to represent the population that’s working within it, we’re probably going to have the same struggles, right. And this is more than just a sport thing or a performance thing. It’s a global thing, right?


Brett Bartholomew  50:49  

it’s a communication thing. I mean, this is some Ali and I were talking about is, what’s weird is that people get silenced over just conversations that shouldn’t even be looked at contentious. You know, we as I talked to you, we just wrapped up our communication strategy and Leadership Summit, and we had Nikolai Morris Come on, and talk about this very fat. Like, she’s like, you know, I think the name of her title was something along the lines of man, I need to look it up now. But she talked all about how women are perceived in sport and leadership or what have you. Now, everybody gets to choose their own topic. 


And when I looked at that, I don’t ever think like, oh, shit, here comes some drama. I’m like, Oh, my God, this is refreshing topic. And I’ll admit, I mean, I started a company called Arctic coaching, because I got tired of just hearing about sets and reps. Of course, they matter in the context of what we do, right? This is a different discussion. But like, people need to be having conversations about a lot of different things, but because we don’t know how to communicate about it, people are seeing things as threatening, that aren’t really threatening, you know, having conversations about We had a gentleman on the show that didn’t get a job, because of cerebral palsy. 


And being in a wheelchair, that’s not a threatening thing. We’ve had folks talk about gender and race stuff on the show. That’s not a threatening thing. These are the messy realities of leadership. And when you can’t have conversations about messy realities of leadership, you’re no longer a leader, right? You’re just a murmur, Don. And that’s weird that this stuff is threatening, it’s only threatening when people lose their shit. And I will say, there’s a lot of people that don’t know how to have conversations, so they lose their composure. And then that’s a lose lose for everybody. And then shit gets swept under the rug, because now nobody wants to talk about anything, because they’re freaked out.


Megan Young  52:21  

And part of it is like, we start talking about beliefs, right? As soon as I don’t think, say things from a logical perspective of, I think, or this is in I started saying, I believe in, I feel you’re speaking to someone’s emotion, and it’s gonna be really hard to have a constructive conversation that leads to solution and active change, when that starts being the precedent. And I think that part of it, too, is like you’re saying, having hard conversations, I’ve had coaches call me because of what’s happened this week and saying, let’s have hard conversations. And that’s where growth happens. Right? 


And it’s a lot of times not done on the big picture level, because it is messy. Right. So you have those people that are the individual leaders where they are, they’re making calls to other people within our community and saying, let’s have the messy conversations, so that there’s more people in the same understanding, which is amazing. And it doesn’t surprise me about performance coaches, like a lot of coaches have such great intent. And sure, though, there are ones that pop out in the limelight for misappropriate action, right. But at the end of the day, you only know a sliver of what our actual coaching trees look like. Yeah.


Brett Bartholomew  53:35  

And I think, you know, do you think that there’s a way to kind of train for some of these conversations or these moments? Because I think it’s glaringly clear that when these things happen, people want to go to social media. And granted, they Let’s imagine we’re out of COVID, right? I don’t want to have the like, well, it’s COVID. It’s the only way we can do this is when we can get back around each other. Do you think there’s any coincidence that there’s no formal outputs, or facilitated outputs, or not many, at least, that teach people how to refine for like, some of these hard conversations and big moments that people don’t know how to be confronted? And they think being assertive means being aggressive? Right? Like, where do you stand on that kind of stuff? 


Megan Young  54:17  

First of all, to have a really good conversation, you have to know the full context of history. Right? And in strength and conditioning, there’s not really a good history book. And there’s I think there’s people working on this, of how did collegiate training conditioning develop, right? And what does that look like? And where are we at now? And because fitness, and I use fitness and training conditioning in different terms, for a reason. How does general fitness and I have nothing against a private setting. I love the private setting, and I understand it more than ever, but how does it differ from working with an athlete, right, like, and how does that what is that story that’s told right? 


Why isn’t this workout? The same as having a training plan? Right? Why isn’t this workout of general volume the same as using technology and application? Right? So I think that that’s part of it. The other side of it is so once we understand the history of where this has come from, now we can start to say, where do we need it to go? And I think that’s a great place as a launch point, instead of saying, like, what are all the issues right now? It’s where are we looking for this thing to go and reverse engineering it right? And what are the actionable steps we need to take from the change perspective to get it there?


Brett Bartholomew  55:41  

And the easy question there is to ask you where you think it should go. But I think you’ve already talked about that, and I still want to hear a summary of it. But you’re spot on, I want to reinforce your point for the audience. There is a difference between performance and fitness. Right. And I think sometimes the private sector if we’re talking to the people internal to the field, now, we’re not talking about private sector strength and conditioning and team strength and conditioning, just like there’s people that work in the private sector and law and other things and people that work for more federal organizations, we’re talking about the difference between personal trainers, and people that work specifically in athletic performance. 


I’ll never forget a time when I went and spoke for an organization and they said, You’re not what we expected. And I said, Excuse me, and they go, Well, you’re a fitness guy, right? I’m like, Well, I’m strengthen conditioning coach, and sports performance and they said, Well, I guess we were in, I was just in a buttoned down, and some relatively just nice jeans and tried to be a pro. And they said, Well, we’re expected more of like Jillian Michaels kind of loud burpees you know, things like that. And it wasn’t a gender sex thing. 


It was just like, wait a minute, that’s what you think my field like? So you thought that you’re bringing in somebody to like hype you up and give no, like, we’re talking about behavior change here. And it was like, Well, what do you know about that? Well, guess what, we do have athletes that deal with a lot of complex things. And we tell them to do shit that they may not always want to do. It’s a very interesting piece there. And so I want to make sure people understand that distinction.


Megan Young  57:05  

I think part of what people don’t really understand what we do is there’s so much protection around what we do, right? Like, within the NCAA, you’re protecting the data, and you’re protecting minors, in some cases. And then within pro sports we’re in the competitive advantage game. And in that competitive advantage game, there’s, quote, unquote, trade secrets, if you will, and I’m not talking what your sets and reps are versus mine, but I’m talking health status, player development status, all these different things that come down to on game day, are we in a position over you due to competitive advantage? And if you don’t believe that physical development has something to do with that? Come play me, right. Like, that’s where that is. So I think that a lot of times people don’t understand what we do, because we can’t share, or we can’t say, because there is a data protection or player protection within that. Really


Brett Bartholomew  58:00  

happy to use competitive advantage, because we are talking about a differentiation strategy, right? Like understanding your competitive environment, positioning yourself appropriately with the resources that you have. And that’s how this conversation started. It’s about the resources,  we need a competitive advantage. All athletes, regardless of gender, or sex, anything like that, no matter how anybody wants to identify, the competitive advantage in sport is about you have to position yourself appropriately with resources. And it’s not listen, Mercedes doesn’t have the same strategy as Toyota Dollar Tree is not gonna have the same strategy as Whole Foods, right. But like when you’re talking about athletes who need strength to perform at the highest level and be safe, during this time, they’re going to have to draw upon similar resources that the research is vetted. It shouldn’t be an argument whether men and women get access to those resources. What more


Megan Young  58:51  

A lot of times too, right? Like the way we talk about competitive advantage is literally player availability. So sometimes the best advantage you have is being able to put the best squad on the court. And you’ve helped do that through your job as a performance coach, by keeping player availability. So whether that’s a player availability and games or player availability within training and games, right, like so imagine if your top 10 players are unavailable, while training is going to look a lot different than a game day then. So as you go through that, what’s the player availability and how are we helping with that? overall health and performance?


Brett Bartholomew  59:28  

Yep, no, without a doubt, so here’s, here’s here’s the Hot Seat kind of question for you. And I want to be mindful of your time. But I’m still going back to like, there’s got to be people that feel comfortable speaking, it shouldn’t even be looking at speaking out it should just be sharing common sense. But I know one of the reasons you’re on here is because not only are you informed about this situation, but there’s not, you’re in a completely different situation. These repercussions are very different, right? Me I know I’ve gotten asked a million times. Aren’t you worried what you share? 


On your podcast is gonna hurt certain partnerships or employment opportunities. And I always just think like, no, because anybody that I ever want to partner or work with in the future should share these thoughts or these values. But for these coaches that really want to help make a change so that this doesn’t just disappear or get swept under the rug. How can they do that? How can we get involved? So it doesn’t just become a social media vacuum? 


Megan Young  1:00:24  

Yeah, I mean, I think one thing to remember, so something I always ask myself, if I’m asked to do a podcast, or even in a conversation with an athlete, or coach, am I speaking a truth, right. And if I’m speaking something at the end of the day, and this goes back to the belief, if I’m speaking something that I can go to sleep at night, saying, I spoke a truth, and so I can live by that, then the repercussions that come if those are negative, I’m okay with that. Right. And I think it takes knowing who you are, and being able to handle your own emotional insecurities or whatever you have going on, to be enough place to speak those truths. And repercussions that Come on. Like, okay, it’s going to make me grow and make me better because of it. 


And then for the coaches that are in those positions, and maybe don’t feel empowered to speak up, like, it is easier for a coach that has been in the game for 25 years and made a lot of money to speak out. Because they’re not risking their financial stability, they’re not risking necessarily like a position, right? So understand it. So if you don’t feel you can speak up, go to someone you know, that can and share your story. And this isn’t turning into sharing bad stories and bad situations. But it goes to we need to understand context fully of what the problem is in order to get to the solution. 


And it’s not trying to create a podcast of what are the problems within performance, right? Like those are like, what are the problems within business leadership? What’s the problems within culture, right like that? we can study those things for the next 50 years. But what are the action steps we’re willing to take to help with some of these issues? And that’s what I love about good people, regardless of organization, institution or profession, they’re still good people that believe in truth and want to move those initiatives forward. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:11  

Yeah, that’s what I don’t want to come of this. Nothing annoys me more than when you hear roundtables or podcasts or any kind of output, where it just becomes all the things that are wrong. Here’s the problem. Here’s the problem. Here’s the problem. Here’s the problem. Here’s the problem. And then at the end, everybody’s just fired up. And it’s like, okay, well, everybody got your energy out now. Cool. We are we are we good. Everybody got your energy out is? Is there anybody else that would like to point out a problem, because that doesn’t take much intelligence, keeping the point? 


The point does, finding actionable solutions? And then like you said, Megan, understanding that it’s systemic, right. So you can’t look at what happened and say, Oh, it’s because of this. It’s like, well, that and a bunch of underlying factors,  in association with that. And so yeah, I mean, is being able to talk to folks finding somebody that you trust. I mean, I know that this is a lot of how this happened, you know, like, reached out and said, Who would like to discuss this? I know that anybody that, you know, we want to help facilitate these discussions that matter, you know, are you comfortable? If people want to reach out to you providing contact information or any kind of situation where they can, they can connect with you on this,


Megan Young  1:03:21  

you know, absolutely like something that I can’t call myself a connector and then not be willing to be connected to right, like, one thing that I am always been passionate about is helping people that deserve to get in better positions to get there, right. Just like, we can talk about different people at higher levels of opportunity, like you have this huge platform that you’re deciding to use to have a conversation, right. So if there’s more coaches that have these platforms that decide to use them to host productive conversations and empower coaches within women’s sports, men’s sports, female coaches, black coaches, now we’re having a productive conversation of changing a culture. And that can happen at this level. And it also needs to happen at that leadership level. So yes, absolutely. People can reach out to me. I don’t care if you share that information, or I can


Brett Bartholomew  1:04:12  

Yeah, we’ll put it in the show notes. So please, guys, make sure you do that. And then ally Kirshner always does our podcast reflections will make sure that there’s information there as well. Listen, I am by nature, an imperfect communicator. That’s kind of the fun of trying to study and improving communication and coaching. And that means that by nature, I am not always going to be a great or even perfect anywhere near conversationalist. Is there anything else I haven’t asked you or having a dress that you’d really like to be able to talk about or speak out. I want to make sure to give you the last word here that’s really important with this discussion.


Megan Young  1:04:45  

So if you’re asking how to support women’s sports in general right now, start watching women’s sports. if this is a take home message if you’re a girl, dad, or you’re a performance coach, or you’re a business owner, buy season tickets to a women’s sport Right, watch women’s sports elevate that conversation by being an active member within that society.


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:08  

Well said, like I said, I want to make sure to give you the last word on that because that is critical. And it is it’s just about being about what you say you’re about. I like to use the term the girl Dad, we see the posts on social media, that’s awesome. Proud of it, but like go, we’ve got to support it. And like it’s such an odd distinction. I remember going to watch when I when I worked with men’s and women’s swimming and diving in tennis and what have you, I love going out and watching them play. I love watching. Like, it’s just, I think that it’s,


Megan Young  1:05:36  

And that’t the beauty of college sports, right? If they’re, in whether you agree whether it should change or not. Since they’re not paid, they’re doing it because they either want their scholarship to be able to afford their education and that opportunity. Or they’re also doing it because their opportunity is their sport. And so that kind of love of the game mentality. That’s why people fall in love with rivalries, right. That’s why they fall in love with March Madness, let alone filling out a bracket, right? Like, people fall in love with the stories of sport. Because there is struggle, there’s adversity, there’s growth, there’s heartbreak, there’s everything you learn in life in sport. So I think it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of, and I’m happy to still be a part of it.


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:18  

Yeah, they they say that story is one of the culturally dominant forces in this world. Also a sport, a lot of forms of expression, just like you said, Megan, I can’t thank you enough for being willing to come on. You came on turn. Nobody knows this. You came on completely last minute. And the reason is, because we already had an episode scheduled for this Monday. And I wanted to do a bonus episode. And I said, No, we’ve got to get this out in a week. And so for you to come on with less than a day’s notice. Go out, buy a microphone, be ready to talk about whatever, whenever when you and I have not connected formally in over a year and a go, you know, in a place where it’s not comfortable to go. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you respect you. And I know that you’re helping a lot of people by doing this.


Megan Young  1:07:01  

Yeah, I look forward to continuing the conversation and you continue to use your platform to support women’s voices within sport.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:08  

Absolutely, guys, until next time, Brett Bartholomew, Megan Young, the art of coaching podcast, share this, share this with people that need to be included in this conversation. Tell a friend to tell a friend this is not just for sports performance professionals. This needs to go to people in a wide variety of domains, because they all have their own version of this story. And that’s how we’re gonna get things done. Until next time, guys, I appreciate you listening

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