Episode 81: Bob Kennedy – An Olympian’s Mindset Parenting High-Achieving Athletes

Bob Kennedy is an American Distance Runner, who is now retired. He once held the American record in the 3,000 meters, 2 mile and the 5,000 meters. Bob ran for Indiana University and went on to run professionally for Nike, competing in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Bob has a 5k PR of 12:58 and Nike has named two shoes after him.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Bob, when he was on the Board of Directors for Back on My Feet Indianapolis and then at Athletic Annex, a local run specialty store in Indianapolis.

Bob is also the father of two kids. He has twins. His daughter is very involved with running and his son is a soccer player. One of the things that we focus on in this episode is how Bob approaches parenting his kids through the lens of someone who was a very successful athlete himself and what kinds of involvement he has in their athletic careers.

What we talked about:

4:15- Introduction to Bob

8:25- Background on Bob’s running career and his work with Athletic Annex

14:15- His kid’s involvement in sport

18:05- Pushing his kids to pursue their sports to the highest level

23:15- Making sure his kids don’t overdo their training and burnout

31:15- Not setting the expectations that his kids have to live up to his athletic experiences

34:55- What he looks for in coaches for his children

41:55- How to promote longevity in sport for our kids

46:30- Promoting hard work in sport

49:50- When to specialize in sports

55:20- What he is like at his kids sporting events

1:02:25- Coparenting

1:06:35- The most exciting running moment that he has seen in the last year

1:14:45- Who he would choose for a 5k team from across eras

1:17:20- End of podcast questions

Show notes:

Talking to Strangers

Conscious Capitalism

Athletic Annex Website

Bob on Episode 32 of the I’ll Have Another Podcast

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