Mitch Lyons, 20-year veteran Basketball Coach, Founder of GetPsychedSports.org, Speaker
In the mid-1980’s, Mitch Lyons became Head of Coaches for the newly-initiated Newton, MA community league, Newton Girls Basketball, which served over 400 girls and 40 teams and 80 coaches in its first year of operation.
Since that time, through twenty years of coaching countless youth and travel teams, nine years of girls’ and boys’ high school basketball, eight years of AAU basketball and being an assistant coach on a men's college basketball team for three years, Mr. Lyons has been observing youth and school athletics and challenging community leaders to fulfill the true potential of athletics as a powerful social force. In July 2000, Mr. Lyons retired from his twenty-six year law practice to found the 501 (c)(3) non-profit, GetPsychedSports.org, Inc., dedicated to making positive change in youth and school sports by teaching and having kids practice the skills of self-control.
Mr. Lyons has written for national publications such as Athletic Management, Coaching Management, Recreation Management and The NCCA News and has a local column in the Cape Cod Times called "Coaching Comments".
In a provocative, practical and engaging manner, filled with little anectdotes he has collected along his way, Mr. Lyons talks about using sports as a powerful social force to change our country. He proves the power of sport by disucssing a time when interscholastic sports swept the nation in the early 1900's so that America could learn the concept of teamwork. He talks about "thought", as defined in the sciences of sport and cognitive-behavioral psychology, and has people keeping track of their own thoughts throughout the workshop.
On March 22, 2007, Mr. Lyons presented to the National AfterSchool Conference to a room filled with 180 people about how to apply the mental skills to afterschool programs. Here are some of the comments filled out by participants:"He is an amazing speaker! His theories and outlooks are refreshing and so easy to start working. I felt happier and more relaxed leaving than when I entered."
"This class was very refreshing. Great presenter."
"It was enlightening to find some simple exercises to use to help improve our kids' thoughts and consequently behaviors."
"Thank you for all the great ideas."
" Relaxation and learning how to push negative thoughts aside was very beneficial."
"I plan to apply this to my whole afterschool program."
"Wonderful thoughts and ideas! Loved this workshop. Will use information in all parts of my life, home, job, coaching and kids!!"
"I can use this in my reading class with some students that have negative attitudes. I enjoyed this presentation."
"Best inservice I have been to so far."
"This is excellent for self-practice and then put into practice to help me better engage the children."
The following are events where Mr. Lyons has spoken:
- December 15, 2000 - INSTITUTE FOR LIVING, Hartford Hospital, Symposium on Athletics and Mental Health, workshop presenter
- March 11, 2002 - MAHPERD (Massachusetts Physical, Health Educators, Recreation and Dance Association) Convention in Worcester, workshop presenter.
- March 16, 2002 - Newton-Wellesley Hospital's symposium on Newton and Needham Youth Soccer, speaker
- March 25, 2002 - Newton Brown Middle School Community Day Program, workshop presenter.
- July 3, 2002 - Hoop Mt. Basketball Camp
- July 10,2002 - Wakefield High School Basketball Camp
- August 14, 2002 - Curry College Basketball Camp
- August 30, 2002 - Woodbury School, New Hampshire, Wellness Fair, workshop presenter
- March 10, 2003 - MAHPERD convention in Worcester, MA, speaker
- March 12, 2003 - Tri-Valley Conference (10 high schools) Spring Coaching Conference, main speaker, Millis High School, Millis, MA
- March 13-15, 2003 - Notre Dame University, Mendelson Center, poster presentater at their bienniel conference on youth and school sport, South Bend, Indiana.
- July 23-25, 2003 - MSSAA (Massachusetts Secondary School Administators Association)meeting, speaker.
- August 5,6, 2003 - Fairborn High School, Fairborn, Ohio
- August 21, 2003 - Kenwood High School, Baltimore County, Maryland
- August 29, 2003 - Woodbury School, New Hampshire, Wellness Fair, workshop presenter.
- March 13, 2004 - MAHPERD convention in Worcester, MA, Speaker
- March 14-15, 2004, Mendelson Center for Sport, Character and Culture, Biennial Conference, poster presenter
- March 18, 2004 - MSSADA (Athletic Director's convention), Hyannis, MA, exhibitor
- May 12, 2004 - Watertown High School PTSO presentation, Watertown, MA
- May 27, 2004 - Chelmsford Leadership Day, UMASS-Boston, Presenter
- July 28, 29, 30, 2004 - Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association, Presenter
- September,3, 2004 - Woodbury School, Salem, New Hampshire, Speaker
- September 13, 2004 - Sharon High School, Boosters Club presentation, Speaker
- November 16, 2004 - Lunenburg High School Coaches Workshop, Speaker
- December 8, 2004 - Lunenburg High School, Mandatory Parents Meeting, Speaker
- January 3, 2005 - Milbury Federal Credit Union, Milbury MA, Soccer Training Systems, Sports Lecture Series
- March 9, 2005, Rockville High School, Vernon, CT, Coaches, Administrators, and concerned parents, speaker
- March 18, 2005, Cape Cod Neighborhood Support Coalition in support of the Barnstable Council County for Children, Youth and Families, organization for the Second Annual Children, Youth and Families Summit, closing speaker
- March 23-24, 2005, Massachusetts Secondary School Athletic Directors Association meeting, Cape Cod, vendor
- June 28 - July 2, 2005, National Federation of State Association meeting, San Antonio, TX, workshop presenter
- July 26 - July 29, 2005, Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association meeting, workshop presenter
- August 23, 2005, Wilton High School, Professional Development Day, Wilton, CT
- August 29, 2005, Madison High School, Coaches Workshop, Madison, CT
- August 30, 2005, Vernon High School, Team workshops, Vernon, CT
- September 2, 2005, Woodbury School, Salem, NH, workshop presenter.
- October 20, 2005, Connecticut Department of Corrections, Cheshire, CT, Workshop presenter to Recreation Supervisors.
- February 2, 2006, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Associattion Sportsmanship Committee, Franklin, MA.
- February 4, 2006, Bermuda's Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation 20th Annual Sports Conference, Hamilton, Bermuda, conference presenter.
- March 23, 2006, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference annual convention.
- June 19, 2006, Springfield College Annual Conference, Let's Play, Life Enhancement Skills through Sport, workshop presenter, Dr. Grayson Kimball.
- November 2, 2006, West Hartford Public Schools, West Hartford, CT, Hall and Conard Coaches Professional Development Program, presenter.
- November 14, 2006, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA, presenter.
- December 11, 2006, Holliston High School, Holliston, MA, coaches, parents, student-athletes meeting, presenter
- March 23-25, 2007, National Afterschool Association Conference, Phoenix, AZ, presenter.
- July 15, 2008, Yale University, Zigler Center for Child Development and Social Policy, School of the 21st Century Conference, New Haven, CT, presenter
|To bring positive change to the general school curriculum and sports programming by:
||Building a positive school environment
||Enhancing emotional health
||Reducing violence, addictions and eating disorders including obesity
"He tells us there is an 'I' in 'team'. I'd never heard anyone say that before….feeling good about yourself will only help your team win."
-- Senior, Varsity Football, Newton North High School, Newton, MA.