Follow the Personal Player Development Podcast

The Personal Player Development Podcast presents discussions on the issues in the area of personally developing the athlete.

Why is this important?

Athletes spend much of their time focusing on athletic development and neglect their personal growth. Before we can focus on athletic development we need to concentrate on personal development. Search the internet and social media and you won’t find another podcast dedicated to the personal evolution of the athlete.

Who should listen?

Anyone working with or has and interest in taking a personal approach with a player and developing that player.


Your Host and Guest

12997_10100431826612913_551173430_n copyBrandon L Sweeney is the host of the show. Brandon is a Motivational Speaker, who’s soul-stirring messages has impacted thousands of young people. Brandon is also a Personal Player Development Specialist (PPDS) and provides athletes with the tools to build a blueprint for the future in and outside of sports. Finally, he is the author of the book entitled “Loving The Game When The Game Doesn’t Love You Back.”





marc1Dr. Mark Robinson is Co-hosting the show. He is also the Sr. Director of the Institute for Personal Player Development. Dr. Mark Robinson is a world leader in understanding the behavior and personal development needs of students as well as being a pioneer on Athletic Identity. He has worked closely with high schools, colleges, professional athletes and foreign governments, helping them to understand the intricacies of students and athletes and professional athlete development. Over the course of a 20-year study, Dr. Mark, as he is commonly called, has developed a unique framework committed to the improvement of long-term student and student-athlete success. Finally, Dr. Mark is the author of “Athletic: Identity, Invincible, and Invisible, the Personal Development of the Athlete.” Dr. Mark has been a guest on a number of podcasts, blogs, radio shows and ESPN’s Outside the Lines addressing the issues and challenges athletes face today. Through his experience and success, he offers a uniquely qualified perspective unmatched by most in the industry.


The PPD Podcast features athletes and helping professionals who share their knowledge and experience in the personal player development industry. Log on to Soundcloud to listen, share and learn about the Personal Player Development industry today.



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UCONN’s Collective Uplift and the Institute for Personal Player Development Establish a Partnership

The University of Connecticut School (UConn) of Education’s Collective Uplift (CU) program and the Institute for Personal Player Development (IPPD) have established a partnership centered around personal development training and education for students and student athletes.

Collective Uplift is a program created by Dr. Joseph Cooper. The purpose of CU is to empower, educate, inspire and support students across ethnic groups on campus toCapture maximize their full potential as holistic individuals both within and beyond athletic contexts. The IPPD provides training and education on the personal player development needs of the athlete. Areas such as Behavior Modification, Athletic Identity, Leadership, and Decision-making are just a few of the curriculum topics offered.  Understanding and developing student-athletes particularly minority student athletes has become a definitive tool in personal, academic and athletic success.

Dr. Tommy Shavers, the Institute for Personal Player Development Leadership Advisory Board Chair believes, “today’s athlete can be the key to tackling the current and future challenges facing athlete development. Athletes that have been trained and equipped with educational knowledge can combine their learning with their personal athletic experiences to become an even more effective practitioner in the area of athlete development. Collective Uplift provides us with the unique opportunity to train the next generation of Personal Player Development Specialists as they are progressing beyond their athletic context.”

Dr. Joseph Cooper, is the Director of Collective Uplift as well as an Assistant Professor in the School of Education, sees “the partnership between Collective Uplift and the Institute for Personal Player Development as a symbiotic relationship for both organizations because we share a common goal of developing and supporting athletes to understand and maximize their full potential both within and beyond the athletic contexts. Both CU and IPPD are committed to improving life outcomes for athletes through education, mentorship, and professional development. Also, both CU and IPPD recognize the importance of not only developing individual athletes but also engaging in meaningful dialogue with various stakeholders who interact with athletes on a consistent basis (coaches, counselors, advisors, etc.) and subsequently have a profound impact on their overall development. We look forward to this partnership and the positive benefits derived therein.”


For further information contact

Dr. Mark Robinson

Sr. Director of the Institute for Personal Player Development

(415) 944-7731






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Survey on the Personal Development of Athletes

The purpose of this survey is to examine and explore areas of improvement for student athletes.  Please share your training experience in the personal player development arena.  Personal development/player development is defined as the holistic approach to the development of the student athlete as an individual person, with a focus on social, behavior, and identity development.

This survey is only 4 questions and should not exceed more than 5 minutes of your time and will remain confidential.  Thank you for participating.



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Nick Saban, an Advocate of Personal Player Development

Nick Saban is probably one of the best football coaches on the planet and if people could get past his on the field and recruiting accomplishments, they would embrace the ideology of the importance for Personal Player Development of athletes and realize it is the key to winning games and championships.  I do not know Coach Saban personally but it has been clear to me over time, he is knowingly or unknowingly, a champion for Personal Player Development.

The modern day athlete and coach are faced with a host of challenges and issues in and outside of the sporting environment. Athletes are being arrested or cited at an alarming rate (1.3 per day) and although many argue, it’s social media bringing athlete arrest to light.  I would counter argue, 20 plus years ago athletes did not get arrested or cited at this same rate.  Blaming social media reporting is an excuse to believe things are the same as they once were.  Television contracts, team sponsorship, athletes per diem, high school coaches, travel ball, athletic camps as well as the number of athletes that transfer and finally the athletes themselves are all different.  Therefore, nothing is the same as it was 20 years ago in sports.


Nick Saban on Athletes and Discipline from Dr. Mark Robinson on Vimeo.


The University of Alabama student athletes, specifically on the football team, are not immune to the challenges and issues facing this generation of athletes.  High profile, high demands and yes high expectations to be the best Alabama football player one can be, is the world Alabama football student athletes reside in daily.  If your playing for Alabama you are considered one of the best in class.  The amount of time, energy and money that went into getting a student athlete to commit to playing football for Alabama should indicate the football program is not going to simply give up on  kids and kick them out of school because of bad decisions, or poor judgement, I hope.

Coach Saban, understands the type of discipline young athletes need and more college coaches should realize the definition of discipline has two parts. Discipline is defined as 1) control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behaviour and 2) a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders.  Our society equates discipline to punishments, especially in athletics.  However when dealing with athletes, young men, particularly African American young men, discipline should focus on the code of behaviour and more importantly changing that behaviour.

Many student athletes enter a college environment and bring their behaviour with them. In order to change that behaviour we must immediately instill discipline surrounding that behaviour by teaching student athletes the core elements of Personal Player Development.


We all have made poor decisions, some worst than others and athletes are human.  Therefore, it is important that we use opportunities of poor judgement as teachable moments.  Clearly we can’t save every athlete from making poor choices because some of them reject the assistance in behaviour modification.

Our current society would rather punish than teach.  For many athletes the punishment is removal from the team and/or institution. In this equation no one wins.  I guess one of the reasons Coach Saban lands the best recruits, wins games and championships is because his approach to dealing with student athletes, who make poor decisions, is a bit different than the modern day coach and revenue generating institutions.  He uses them as teachable, Personal Player Development moments.


Dr. Mark is the Sr. Director for The Institute for Personal Player Development


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