Flying in all the way from Texas, USA, we are thrilled to announce James Leath will join our line-up of international speakers at the Coaching Mastery Journey. Last year I participated in a conference where James was one of the workshop leaders, and I knew that he would be a great asset at the conference. In addition to leading highly interactive game-based workshops, James will lead a talk on “Intentional Influence”.
Born and raised in California, James worked for several years in Florida with the IMG Academy as a leadership coach for elite athletes. He recently started his own business, “Unleash the Athlete”, a mental resilience and leadership development company for Athletes, Coaches, and Top Performers who want to be the best in their field.
We spoke with James a while back, and he shared his own personal story and is motivation to develop athletes and coaches to be their best.
IG: How did you get into coaching ?
JL: When I was just 13 years old, I was hired by my school as an assistant football coach. This was a big challenge and forced me to step up and be a leader. I continued coaching all through high school and realized that I really loved coaching and I’ve never stopped.
I was also interested in the mental and psychological factors of performance and wanted to be the best coach I could be, so I went on a got my Masters in Performance Psychology.
IG: What do you love about coaching?
JL: I love bringing people together, developing relationships and strong connections with athletes and really challenging them to be the best they can be. I also love the locker-room banter and comradery.
IG: What was your role at IMG Academy in Florida.
JL: IMG is an Academy for elite athlete development for multiple sports. I was in charge of leadership and character development with athletes – so all of the none technical aspects of sport.
IG: You also do Improvisational Comedy? How do apply that to coaching?
JL: Yes, I have background as a comedian doing improv, so I like to have fun with athletes, putting them in situations where they have to think on their feet. I also use a lot of games in my coaching and that has become a big part of my unique offer for athletes and coaches.
IG: What is Unleash the Athletetm
JL: I returned to Texas as I wanted to be closer to family and decided to apply my learning and strengths as a coach to start my own business helping both athletes and coaches. Unleash the Athletetm teaches leadership and character development, two key differentiating elements of high performing athletes and coaches. Working with both individual athletes as well as teams and coaches, my programs are very unique and experiential.
IG: What are you most looking forward to about coming to Geneva and speaking at the Coaching Mastery Journey?
JL: I am really excited to see and explore Switzerland, but I am also excited to be among some of these amazing coach leaders and educators, like Dr. Wade Gilbert.
IG: What can we expect from your talk and workshops?
JL: To have a lot of fun and to learn how to coach with Intentional Influence. I want coaches to understand their role – and that their leadership is influential and powerful. I am hoping that coaches will leave thinking more about relationships, trust, authenticity and credibility.
Favourite Sport to play: American Football
Favourite Sport to watch: Rugby
Most admired athlete: Peyton Manning
Favourite Book: Legacy – James Kerr
Must-read book for coaches: 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership
To learn more about James and Unleash the Athlete you can consult the following links:
And read his most recent blog:https://jamesleath.com/notes/yelling-in-youth-sports