Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Olympic Coach: Sports Teach 'People Skills' In Digital World

Share This Resource

Hugh McCutcheon (@McCutcheonMN) will be entering his fifth season at the helm of Golden Gopher Volleyball. Named the 2015 AVCA National Coach of the Year and 2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year, McCutcheon gained earlier fame for coaching both the men's and women's volleyball teams to Olympic medals: the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal and 2012 Olympic Games silver medal, respectively.

Here, McCutcheon discusses how -- in today’s digital world when young kids have "5,000 friends" on Facebook, are constantly tweeting on Twitter or posting on Instagram and other social media -- sports provide a significant opportunity to build on important analog skills such as “dealing with people.”

McCutcheon emphasizes that all athletes are going to “retire or are an ankle sprain away from unemployment.” A backup game plan for life is necessary, and people skills such as “being able to look someone in the eye” are an essential part of that plan. After all, it is with those skills that athletes can go on to build their own “high-functioning teams, be that families, running a Fortune 500 company…or whatever they aspire to.”