Frank Smoll, Ph.D.
Professor EmeritusDegree From: University of Wisconsin
Interests: Developmental Sport Psychology
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More than 60-million children and adolescents compete in community and school-sponsored athletics in the United States. That represents over half of the young people in the 6-to-18 age range—an amazing number of participants! In collaboration with my colleague, Dr. Ronald Smith, research was pursued on the effects of sport competition on youngsters’ personal and social development. The Youth Enrichment in Sports project was designed to develop, evaluate, and deliver educational programs for coaches and parents. The project initially involved development of Mastery Approach to Coaching (MAC) and Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports (MAPS) workshops. The interventions were then tested in a series of field experiments and proven to have desirable effects on young athletes' psycho-social development. Since the early 1980s, I personally conducted over 550 MAC and MAPS workshops for youth sport organizations throughout the USA and Canada.
Given the success of our evidence-based interventions, we entered the dissemination phase of our work. This involved transforming the MAC and MAPS workshops into self-instruction videos and publishing “how to” books on the Mastery Approach. I plan to continue distribution of the programs during retirement.
- Smoll, F.L., & Smith, R.E. (2021). A social-cognitive approach to conducting evidence based coach-training programs. In J.M. Williams & V. Krane (Eds.), Applied sport psychology: Personal growth to peak performance (8th ed., pp. 386-408). New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Smoll, F. L., & Smith, R. E. (2017). Coaching young athletes: Sport psychology theory, research, and intervention. Indian Journal of Psychology, 92 (Special Issue, July), 126-139.
- Schwebel, F. J., Smith, R. E., & Smoll, F. L. (2016, March). Measurement of perceived success standards in sport and relations with athletes' self-esteem, performance anxiety, and achievement goal orientation: Comparing parental and coach influences. Child Development Research, Article ID 7056075.
- Smith, R. E., Smoll, F. L., & Cumming, S. P. (2009). Motivational climate and changes in young athletes' achievement goal orientations. Motivation and Emotion, 33, 173-183.
- Smoll, F. L., Smith, R. E., & Cumming, S. P. (2007). Effects of a motivational climate intervention for coaches on changes in young athletes' achievement goal orientations. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 1, 23-46.
- Smoll, F.L., Smith, R.E., & Cumming, S.P. (2007, Summer). Effects of coach and parent training on performance anxiety in young athletes: A systemic approach. Journal of Youth Development, 2. Article 0701FA002. http://www.nae4ha.org/directory/index.html
In the News
- January 25, 2022 Professor Emeritus Frank Smoll shares how to effectively communicate with Athletes in Psychology Today
- October 25, 2021 Frank Smoll, professor emeritus, provides sound advice to youth sport parents in a Psychology Today article
- August 4, 2021 Frank Smoll discusses the unique challenges of coaching your own child in Psychology Today.
- April 29, 2021 Frank Smoll discusses the emotional toll of sport injuries in this Psychology Today article.
- March 3, 2021 Frank Smoll discusses how to teach sport skills to children in this Psychology Today article
- January 8, 2021 Frank Smoll was interviewed for a TIME magazine article about goal setting.
- October 28, 2020 Frank Smoll discusses the “frustrated jock syndrome” in this Psychology Today article.
- May 1, 2020 Frank Smoll discussed guidelines for recipients of confrontations in this Psychology Today article.
- November 15, 2019 Frank Smoll discusses how youth sport parents can maintain marital bliss in this Psychology Today post
- September 4, 2019 Frank Smoll discusses parents as role models in youth sports in this Psychology Today post.
- September 2, 2019 Frank Smoll was interviewed for a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency article on creating a mastery climate in youth sports
- June 3, 2019 Frank Smoll discusses the over-justification hypothesis in this Psychology Today post.
- May 24, 2019 Frank Smoll contributed information on preventing child abuse to a video produced by the California Youth Soccer Association.
- March 7, 2019 Frank Smoll discusses the psychology of pregame meals in this Psychology Today post
- February 21, 2019 Frank Smoll was interviewed for a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency article on the coach-parent dynamic in youth sports.
- December 17, 2018 Frank Smoll discusses the dropout problem in youth sports in this Psychology Today post
- July 16, 2018 Frank Smoll cited in Vice Sports article: "The Rise of HS Basketball Highlight Reel Factories and the Impact on Students"
- May 17, 2017 Frank Smoll was quoted in a YahooSports article about over-involved parents.
- February 28, 2017 Congratulations to Frank Smoll and Ron Smith, who launched a website for dissemination of their empirically-based coach and parent training programs in video format.
- November 21, 2016 Sports Psychology of Ron Smith and Frank Smoll featured in Monitor of Psychology, November 2016 Issue. "Put Me in Coach: How to Spark Kids' Love of Sports"
- May 14, 2015 KJR Sports Radio interviewed Frank Smoll about the Professionalization of Youth Sports.
- May 14, 2015 Frank Smoll explains how to be a true winner in a post at Psychology Today.
- April 6, 2015 Frank Smoll reminds us when it comes to coaching your kids, it is important to remember it's only THEIR game.
- October 8, 2014 Frank Smoll talks about the benefits of good coaching -
- September 10, 2014 Frank Smoll was invited to conduct workshops for sport parents in a series of Innovative Adult Programs sponsored by the King County Library Systems.
- February 26, 2014 Frank Smoll was the guest of Psychology majors Loren Burnett and Tori Slaven at a Faculty Appreciation Banquet sponsored by Sigma Kappa Sorority.
- November 27, 2013 Frank Smoll was an invited speaker at the Aspen Institute's Project Play roundtable.
- September 25, 2013 Frank Smoll was interviewed for a ParentMap article about competition for kids.
- September 5, 2013 Frank Smoll was interviewed about the Mastery Approach to Coaching and Parenting by XTRA Sports Radio, Phoenix.
- May 29, 2013 Frank Smoll was interviewed for a Chicago Tribune article about quitting sports.
- December 12, 2012 Frank Smoll and Ron Smith were interviewed for a Star Ledger article about sport parents.
- October 3, 2012 On October 1, 2012 , the coaching-behavior research of Ron Smith and Frank Smoll was featured in the Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.
- September 12, 2012 Frank Smoll was interviewed for a Yakima Herald article on early talent identification in youth sports.
- August 23, 2012 During the Olympics, Frank Smoll was interviewed for an MSNBC story titled "Olympic Sprinter Breaks Leg, Keeps Running".
- July 12, 2012 On July 10, Frank Smoll was interviewed for an Associated Press article titled "Coaching your Own Kid Brings Pressures, Rewards," by Lisa Flam.
- July 12, 2011 Frank Smoll was interviewed for an article entitled "Too much organization? Spontaneity is disappearing from youth sports."
- June 13, 2011 Frank Smoll was interviewed by the Utica Observer-Dispatch
- April 4, 2011 Frank Smoll was interviewed (again) by FOX Sports Radio.
- January 31, 2011 The Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports, developed by Frank Smoll and Ron Smith, was the feature topic of a recent Fox Sports Radio show
- December 6, 2010 Frank Smoll was interviewed by ABC News, What Would You Do? "Overbearing skater mom calls child 'pathetic, embarrassing'"
- November 15, 2010 The Mastery Approach to Coaching, developed by Frank Smoll and Ron Smith, was the feature topic of a recent Fox Sports Radio show.
- October 6, 2010 Frank Smoll and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll were interviewed for an article entitled "The coach's approach: From the sports field to every day, local coaches share how to win the game of life"
- September 7, 2010 Frank Smoll was interviewed for an August 25 New York Times article that focused o the use of technology in youth sports. "Can't Make Your Child's Game? Break Out the Laptop,"
- August 11, 2010 Frank Smoll was interviewed for "Teacher or tyrant? What do you do when your kid's hard-driving coach - or ballet teacher - steps over the line into full-fledged cruelty?" for the Chicago Tribune.
- July 20, 2010 Frank Smoll was interviewed for the July issue of Orange County Parenting Magazine on the harmful effects of excessive parental pressure on young athletes
- April 7, 2010 Ron Smith and Frank Smoll were profiled in an article in the April issue of the APA magazine, Monitor on Psychology.
- March 30, 2010 Frank Smoll was interviewed for an article in online ESPN magazine. The piece focuses on parents who coach their own children in sports. "Next Level: For how long? The perils of parent coaching in girls youth basketball,"
- February 2, 2010 A study by Frank Smoll and Ron Smith was featured in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology Journal, the Digest Section.
- December 1, 2009 Ron Smith’s and Frank Smoll’s work with young athletes was featured in University Week.
- November 17, 2009 Coaches can shape young athletes' definition of success
- April 27, 2009 Ron Smith’s and Frank Smoll’s Youth Enrichment in Sports project now has its own web site, www.y-e-sports.com.
- April 7, 2008 Frank Smoll and Ron Smith, who have been studying the youth sport experience and designing programs to improve it for a quarter of a century, are featured in the most recent University Week.
- March 31, 2008 Ron Smith and Frank Smoll were named Sports Ethics Fellows for 2008 by the Institute for International Sports, which labeled us as "pioneers in researching ways to improve youth sports."
- November 1, 2007 "Motivational coaching climate outscores winning for young athletes"
- March 19, 2007 Frank Smoll and Ron Smith, were featured in the L.A. Times - "Sometimes the coaches could use a little coaching themselves,"
- March 8, 2007 Having fun, mastering skills outscore 'winning at all costs' for young athletes
- May 15, 2006 Ron Smith, Frank Smoll and their Youth Sports Social Systems project was highlighted in the "Featured Findings" section of The William T. Grant Foundation's 2005-2006 Annual Report.
- October 9, 1997 Washington Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, UW to launch statewide series of workshops for youth sport coaches