“There’s an epidemic of early injuries in youth sports. We need to address early specialization and promote a more diverse, active lifestyle for kids.”

Mateus Manoel

What You will learn

  • How to create a high performance environment.
  • Advice on managing difficult conversations.
  • Lessons learned from professional sports that can be a catalyst for development of the next generation.

Professional sports are a place where high performance exists for adult athletes. But what lessons can we learn from the pro sports space to influence the next generation of youth players? In this episode I am joined by Mateus Manoel, a long time MLS performance coach with over 15 years of experience working with professional athletes.

In this conversation, Mateus discusses his entry into working with professional athletes and his evolution from a hands-on practitioner to a coordinator of high performance. He emphasizes the importance of trust and collaboration between performance specialists and coaches. Mateus also highlights the impact of sports science and technology on training and decision-making.

He expresses concern about the increasing number of ACL injuries in young athletes and advocates for a more diverse and holistic approach to long-term athletic development. The conversation explores the topics of specialization in sports, the importance of trust and communication, and finding small wins.

Over his career, Mateus has worked with DC United, Sporting Kansas City, the US Men’s National Team, and a few other teams later in his career. Mateus has a background coming from the EXOS system and has routinely been featured as an educator for many of their performance seminars and courses.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

018 | Mateus Manoel: Fostering Resilience in Youth Athletes

Key Takeways

  • Building trust and effective communication are crucial for successful collaboration between performance specialists and coaches.
  • Sports science and technology can provide valuable data, but it should be used in conjunction with other subjective and objective measures.
  • Early specialization and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to the rise in injuries among young athletes.
  • A diverse and holistic approach to long-term athletic development, including exposure to a variety of sports and activities, can help prevent injuries and promote overall development. Specialization may be beneficial for certain sports that require specific skills, but for long-term health and development, generalization is a better strategy.
  • Trust and communication are crucial in sports performance, and being a technical expert is not enough.
  • Finding small wins is important to maintain optimism and motivation in the face of emotional highs and lows in sports.

episode timeline

00:00 Introduction and Background

07:11 Responsibilities as a Performance Specialist

13:43 The Influence of Sports Science and Technology

19:26 Building Trust and Collaboration with Coaches

32:33 Long-Term Athletic Development and Specialization

43:36 Creating a Curriculum for Youth Activities and Sports

47:54 Specialization in Sports

50:01 Importance of Trust and Communication

50:46 Finding Small Wins

Adam Loiacono


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