John started the Changing the Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach on the youth, high school, college and professional level. He is the author of the #1 bestselling books Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids and Is it Wise to Specialize? John’s work has been featured in The Huffington Post, CNN.com, Outside Magazine, ESPN.com, Soccer America and numerous other publications. John is an internationally known speaker for coaches, parents and youth sports organizations, and has spoken for TEDx, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, US Lacrosse, IMG Academy, and at numerous other events throughout the US, Canada, Asia and Europe.
When he speaks, John brings to the table a wealth of practical, hands on knowledge garnered through years of working with players and their families on sport specific development, fitness and nutrition, college recruiting, and most importantly, training high-performing athletes by creating a player-centered environment.
Originally from New York, John is a 1994 graduate of Fordham University, where he was a team captain as a senior, and a member of the 1990 Patriot League Championship team. After a stint playing professionally for the Wilmington (NC) Hammerheads of the USL, John began his coaching career as the Varsity Boys Soccer Coach at Cardinal Gibbons HS in Raleigh, NC. He then moved on to become the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Soccer Coach at the University of Vermont, before delving into the world of youth club soccer. Since that time, John has worked as a Director of Coaching for Nordic Spirit SC (Vt), Ann Arbor Youth Soccer Association (MI) and from 2006-2011 as the Executive Director of Oregon Rush Soccer Club in Bend, OR. Most recently he was the Central Oregon Regional Training Center Director for the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer, before turning his attention full time to the Changing the Game Project in 2013. He holds his USSF A License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and US Youth Soccer National Youth Coaching License.
John received his BA from Fordham University, and his Masters from the University of Vermont. He resides in beautiful Bend, OR, with his wife, Dr Lauren O’Sullivan, and two wonderful children and aspiring young athletes: Maggie Shea, age 11, and Tiernan, age 10.