A free seminar on a parent's role as a coach "on the field or in the backyard" will be presented 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave., in Park City.
Finn Gundersen, a consultant specializing in the development of high-performance athletes and sports education, will speak on the subject then lead a panel discussion involving prominent Olympic and professional athletes.
Gundersen believes the ultimate goal of playing sports is to help develop character and integrity in children, and that parents can best advance those life skills by helping ensure children's experiences are positive. He will provide current research on how children learn new skills and information about how to promote long-term development and how to make players want to come back every year.
Panelists include former Olympic soccer player and Real Salt Lake assistant coach Miles Joseph and former Major League Baseball pitcher Mike Morgan and four Olympic gold medalists moguls racer Shannon Bahrke, Nordic combined skier/jumper Bill Demong and speedskaters Eric Heiden and Derek Parra.
Gundersen is director of sport education at High Performance Sports, research arm for the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. He previously was a coach and director of Alpine and sport education for the Park City-based U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, deputy general manager of Snowbasin's Alpine skiing venue during the 2002 Winter Olympics and headmaster at Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont.
The seminar is sponsored by the nonprofit Park City Sports and Wellness Coalition, whose members include the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, Park City Recreation, Summit County and the Youth Winter Sports Alliance.