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Finding Free Fun in Life with Yogi Roth

Yogi Roth is a Pac-12 Networks college football analyst, Emmy award-winning Filmmaker, Scholar, New York Times Best-Selling Author, accomplished Coach, Motivational Speaker, Media Personality, Host and World-Traveler. Over the past 20 years Yogi has been driven by the power of sports and story.

Yogi began his storytelling career after coaching football at USC, co-authoring the New York Times best-seller Win Forever with Pete Carroll, as well as his second book From PA to LA. As a filmmaker, he recently Executive Produced and Hosted All American Stories on the CW and has produced or directed multiple documentaries with the Pac-12 Networks, NFL Films, Bleacher Report and ESPN, including the Emmy-nominated film Keep Climbing: 2013 Elite 11, and the award-winning film Life In A Walk. 

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Yogi walked-on to the football team and earned a full athletic scholarship. He transitioned to coaching and joined the USC Football staff while earning magna cum laude with a master’s degree in Communications Management at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. He also teaches a class titled Storytelling: The Internship to Pac-12 student-athletes.

He was also the co-founder of Win Forever, LLC with Pete Carroll, which was a company dedicated to coaching

What You’ll Learn

14:19 On being calm and his childhood

Yogi Roth talks about how he learned from his dad to be calm under stressful environments. He shares that his mom, being an immigrant refugee from Israel, was very loud, but his dad was always calm and steady. He even remembers one time he crossed the line and his dad grabbed him by the shoulders and told him to never disrespect him again, but he told him in a calm manner and without raising his voice.

As an athlete this calmness is something that helped him a lot because he realized that before very important games Yogi Roth could stay under control, because he realized that the one who can control his mind is the one who wins.

19:52 on meditation and brain reset 

Yogi Roth talks about the importance of meditation in his life. He says that when he was 21 years old he broke his neck playing and had to undergo surgery, where he was told he would never surf or run again. He decided to get into yoga classes and 10 months later he went back to surfing and ran a marathon.

Yogi Roth believes in different forms of meditation, he says that each person should find what works for them whether it’s a yoga class, running, walking, waking up and doing breathwork, etc. that there are different ways to flow, whatever makes you disconnect and makes your serotonin levels reset.

Yogi Roth also believes in play therapy, which although it is for children, he finds it very helpful, which is basically: you have problems? go and play, run and move.

23:17 5 steps to reset your brain

Yogi Roth asked Andrew Kotler, who did a study on the mind, the brain and human performance, about how you could reset the brain and he wrote these 5 steps: the first is the idea of what you want to do, the second is to work on that idea, is to put it on a white board, everything you can think of, the third step is to get away from that idea maybe go for a run, take a shower, so that everything clicks; the fourth step, with that click of things, you perform. And the last step is how to get out of it, so you put in place your recovery practices to reset your brain and move on to another idea.

30:08 On cell phones and social media boundaries 

Yogi Roth talks about having to set boundaries today about things that our parents didn’t have, and this is in relation to technology since thanks to cell phones, we can now be connected 24/7 on social media, emails, calls, text messages, etc. Yogi Roth believes that social media can be used as a great place for conversations, connecting and giving good speeches but there is also a dark side where it causes disconnection with your partner or children. So he believes that in order for his children to have those boundaries he must first set them for himself and stick to them.

33:33 Larry gives Yogi Roth advice on how to implement boundaries on cell phones, using your children and involving them to learn.

38:30 On his book’s subtitle: It’s not about the stars it’s about the journey


Tip 1 for parents who have young children playing sports: ask the coach why he or she coaches.

44:24 Why do children stop playing sports

47:50 How coaches can help youth athletes

52:08 When youth league coaches shatter dreams

54:09 Finding free fun

Yogi Roth talks about his latest book “Finding free fun” where his 2 inspirations are his dad, from whom he took the phrase free fun and his son Zane. He says that with the pandemic and lockdown, his son was not doing well in zoom classes, and then when he went to first grade he realized that he did not read well and that influenced his self-esteem. So Yogi Roth came up with the idea of writing a book with the help of his son, with each advance he would show it to his son and they would read and he got him involved in such a way that he found a way to help him with his reading.

Dr. Yogi Roth’s Links

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