Megan Young – Being a Data Driven Performance Coach, Surviving Cancer, and Winning with the Seattle Sounders

Megan Young Performance Coach

Megan Young
Being a Data Driven Performance Coach, Surviving Cancer, and Winning with the Seattle Sounders

Megan Young is the Performance Coach for the Seattle Sounders. She is a lifelong learner of optimizing for human performance, health and welfare, strategic integration of sport science, human optimization technology, data systems, and leading cross-functional management to support winning organizations. With over 15 years of high performance experience, she’s applied these areas of expertise in various roles including Strength Coach and High Performance Director spanning collegiate athletics, and women’s and men’s professional soccer. Coach Young ensures her coaching leverages data-influenced decision making, contextual compassion, and tactical empathy. She has been fortunate to train elite US and international athletes, Olympians, and World Cup Champions. She is often sought after as a thought leader, speaker, and expert in the evolution of the global coaching paradigm.

As a cancer survivor, Megan elevates and educates in conversations of cancer, specifically around leukemia awareness.

For more info about Megan, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Experts, Books, and Word Games mentioned in the episode: 

05:15  Kelly ran hill sprints in 100 degree heat to impress Megan
05:50  Juliet is currently having a Niacin flush and may expire #performancegains
06:08  Megan runs through a day in the life (today in fact) working as the performance coach for the Seattle Sounders
06:30  Kelly lived near Seattle during part of his childhood at the time the Sounders were formed
07:37  Megan lets us check out her [GOLDEN] medal from the Sounders recent 2022 Concacaf Championship win
08:18  This is the first time ever that an MLS American team has won which means that the Sounders get to compete in Club World Cup
09:30  If you’ve never attended a match in Mexico, you don’t know what ‘loud’ is
10:38  Megan thinks the Sounders organization is a special club – players, staff, front office, and fan engagement – the whole culture is truly unique
11:30  It is actually really difficult to create that type of culture; Ted Lasso
12:08  Megan shares her views on what makes great culture at an organization
12:46  Megan worked for Auburn University for 12 years before joining The Sounders
13:45  For The Sounders players, it’s all about football and Wordle, and Quordle, cuz they’re ballers
14:38  Megan uses a data-driven approach with players and the first stop is: injury history, i.e. “tell me your story”, and then she just listens
17:50  Communication and interpersonal relationships are key; Ben Ashworth
18:40  In college sports there are often more resources, but the players are also having to prioritize academics
19:25  College athletes don’t always have the choice to make their schedules optimized around training and recovery which can impact things like sleep; Matt Walker
20:15  Juliet and Kelly are heading off to Europe to attend an English National Team match; Ben Rosenblatt
21:30  Fitness culture has become way more mainstream and people in the general population as well as in sport are tracking biometric data and understanding the importance of movement; Jacked 3D
24:33  Shout out to the US Women’s National Team and their equal pay agreement
26:18  There is still a huge difference between women’s and men’s career trajectories in soccer
27:35  In men’s soccer, selling players is a larger revenue source than selling tickets
30:05  Within an organization all the training staff need to be tight and work well together or it becomes contentious with everyone vying for time; Emily Fortunato; Matt Taberner’s Control-Chaos Continuum
32:10  Megan has a Masters in Information Systems Data Science
32:33  Kelly strongly prefers the term physio to physical therapist
34:32  Athletes used to come to college either having done some training or done none, but now the spectrum is vast with much broader training ages
37:08  Great training at the pro level trickles down to the lower levels; Nic Gill of the All Blacks
37:30  Megan was blown away in 2012 when she ordered her first Yoga Tune-up Kit and copy of Becoming a Supple Leopard
38:45  There are enough people doing this type of training at the college and pro level now that it has trickled down and become normal to do mobility work and strength and conditioning in all types of sports and at all levels
39:50  Lots of teams that Kelly works with have Normatec boots in the film room
40:25  Megan developed a 3 and 5 minute program for her partner to do while working at a desk all day
43:08  In high school, Megan’s health teacher told her she wouldn’t get an A unless she tried out shot put at a meet, which led to throwing discus and hammer in college
44:45  Megan’s strength coach in college told her on week two that she’d be a strength coach
45:00  There were only a handful of programs that were laboratory based and Megan chose Baylor then moved to Auburn
47:50  Megan’s diverse background working with players is a huge asset
49:14  Dr. Andrew Huberman is doing a great job making neuroscience educational and informative; David Epstein’s The Sports Gene
50:20  There is new research coming out indicating that youth are inside and on screens enough that their vision is starting to be impacted; Rachel Balkovec
51:45  Experimenting with the nervous system to get a certain response is pretty cool
52:25  Sound is really interesting area; Dan Clark of Brain.fm
52:50  Julie Foucher was on the podcast recently and mentioned that there are some genetic markers that really useful and actionable such as higher risk of achilles rupture
54:55  Megan and Juliet have both dealt with cancer diagnoses
55:24  Megan shares the story of her Leukemia Diagnosis in 2015
60:30  We are in a blood shorter, so if you are able to donate, Megan urges you to do so; LLS
63:40  Pro tip: if you find yourself in the hospital, the best thing you can do is fill your drawer with candy and chocolate for the nurses
63:05  Megan co-edited a book coming out July 7th, 2022, Strength Training for Soccer; Ivi Casagrande
66:55  Megan’s Socials

Full Transcript

Sponsors

This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to you by Momentous, the largest supplier of nutritional support to college, pro-sports teams, and the military in the world. One of Kelly’s gifts is being able to swallow a weird amount of supplements in one chug. And every morning, that is his Momentous stack: Essential Multi, Omega-3, and Vitamin D. If you want to get on Kelly’s Momentous morning routine, go to thereadystate.com/momentous and use code TRS for 20% OFF your first purchase.

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