The Athlete’s Playlist is back! (And now on the official Sounder at Heart podcast network!)
For those new to the format, The Athlete’s Playlist is a podcast where my brother and I interview athletes about the music that helped them become the players and people they are today. Along the way, we aim to start bigger conversations about culture, motivation, and personal development.
Never have we gone deeper into an athlete’s mentality than we did in this episode with former Sounders stalwart, Patrick Ianni. As the author of On Frame and The Coaching Revolution — two books dedicated to shifting youth soccer culture — Ianni outlines how ego, anxiety, and the desire to be loved can mix in dangerous ways for many young athletes, and also how parents and coaches can provide a better path forward. He further delves into his own struggles with battling anxiety and depression throughout his career. Full episode, episode guide, and Spotify playlist below.
0-8:50: Finding soccer inspiration in older brother | Moving from holding mid to center back under Sigi Schmid
8:50-16:50: Danger of kids conflating soccer with love | Intensifying anxiety throughout youth career
16:50-20:30: Walking the runway at high school fashion show to a Nelly song | Difference between internal and external confidence
20:30-29:40: Ego creating “stories” for self | Fighting for self-created identity at UCLA | Early MLS struggles and online gambling addiction in Houston
29:40-34:00: Love for Carrie Underwood and discovery of country music
34:00-41:30: Settling down in Seattle and concerts at Chateau Ste. Michelle | Friendship and footy with Seahawks kicker, Steve Hauschka
41:30-45:00: Learning from Pete Vagenas and Steve Zakuani in Seattle | Anxiety of starting or not-starting week to week
45:00-57:00: Transition to retirement | Learning from fatherhood | Danger of parents attaching their ego to their kids
57:00-65:00: How the U.S. can win a World Cup | Importance of street soccer and freedom to express | Separating personal identity from sports identity for kids
64:00-End: Ego getting in the way of center back partnership with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado | The need for youth coaches to heal and self-reflect