Learning With Team USA

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation is pleased to present “Learning with Team USA,” a series of conversations addressing the most pressing issues in sport.

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered American society. From the mental health challenges associated with quarantining to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Team USA community’s “normal” looks a lot different than it did a year ago. As athletes embark on final qualifications for the Tokyo Games and Team USA supporters begin to envision post-pandemic life, how can we tap into our cognitive skills and find our inner strength? How can we cultivate resilience and move from languishing to flourishing? And how can teams and organizations lean on their culture in this turbulent time to emerge stronger than before?

In “Adam Grant & Abby Wambach: From Languishing to Flourishing,” renowned organizational psychologist Adam Grant and Olympic champion Abby Wambach will provide concrete takeaways for the Team USA community on how we can build resilience and uncover our potential during challenging times. Drawing on evidence and decades of leadership experience and expertise, Grant and Wambach will share advice on how to lead, motivate, maintain flexibility and strengthen the cultures within our teams and organizations.

Great coaches can leave a profound and lasting impact on the athletes they mentor. Through their guidance and encouragement, coaches at all levels can help athletes gain confidence and realize their potential. By demonstrating sportsmanship, determination and hard work, coaches pass on far more than athletic skills: they teach lessons on how to lead a positive, well-rounded life.

In Steve Kerr: The Power of Coaching, the Assistant Coach of the U.S. Men’s National Basketball Team joins Ahmed Fareed of NBC Sports to discuss why great coaching is critical not only to athletic success, but to personal and professional success in any field. Coach Kerr will share his coaching philosophy and influences, how he motivates and uplifts his players, and how great coaching transcends sport.

For decades, athletes have used the power of their platform to point a spotlight on injustices in American society. Specifically, Black Olympic and Paralympic athletes and athletes of color have used their achievements on the field of play to spark conversations about addressing systemic racism and creating a more equitable society for all. Utilizing leadership from Team USA athletes, the newly formed Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice and the Team USA Mental Health Taskforce, “Race, Sport & Social Change: Learning with Team USA” explores how we can use our personal platforms to inspire social change. The event features Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel; Dr. Judi Brown Clarke, Olympic silver medalist and vice president of equity & inclusion and chief diversity officer at Stony Brook University; and Certified Mental Performance Consultant Dr. Kensa Gunter.

When COVID-19 halted sport around the world, Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls as well as youth athletes were left without access to their usual training sites. With the advice of experts around the globe, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee created a return-to-training plan with recommendations on how athletes at all levels could continue playing the sports they love while keeping themselves, their teammates and their communities safe. Moderated by NBC’s Ahmed Fareed and featuring U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd, USOPC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Finnoff and licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Kensa Gunter, “Return to Sport: Learning with Team USA” explores the toll of COVID-19 on athletes and the safest way for our world to resume training and competing.

Don Hull

Join The Team Behind The Team

No athlete achieves their dreams alone. It takes a team to match their dedication, a team of family, friends, coaches, mentors—and you. You can give Team USA athletes the power to dream by donating to the Team USA Fund, where 100% of your gift goes toward athletes and the tools they need to succeed. Give now.