2022 National Coaches Forum Speakers
USA Rugby Sevens Women's Head Coach
Topic: Bringing USA Rugby 7's Game Model to Life
Bydwell will take an in depth look at how the USA Rugby Sevens Women's Team has created and implemented a playing philosophy in preparation for their upcoming season. All will gain insight into how and why the philosophy was developed, identify the critical needs required and how over a 7-week period the coaching staff operationalized this philosophy. This presentation will be multi-dimensional and offer a cross section of insight from strategy, pedagogy and culture as it relates to bringing a game model to life.
Bydwell green up in Montreal, Canada and began playing rugby in high school. She moved to the United States to pursue a degree and ice hockey career at Brown University, but she also played rugby there, earning three-time Women's Collegiate All-American honors. In 2007, she was selected as the Collegiate Player of the Year. She made her USA debut against England in August 2008 and went on to compete in three Rugby World Cups (two 15s and one 7s) retiring in late 2015 after a career ending injury. Just before the end of her career, she spent a season abroad playing for the London Saracens, helping them win the Premiership Title that year.
Bydwell was named the head coach of the USA Rugby Sevens Women's Team in November 2021, after serving as the interim head coach following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Currently the only female head coach of a top tier international Sevens Team, she became the first female coach and only the second USA coach to ever win a World Series tournament in January 2022. The USA Rugby Sevens Women's Team is coming off a fourth place finish at the 2022 Rugby World Cup and are about to begin their Olympic Qualification season in Dubai.
U.S. Women's National Team Performance Analyst
Topic: Use Better Data, and Better use Data; Lessons from International Hockey and How to Apply to All Levels
Fry will discuss the importance of context from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Report (comparing USA to other teams/past performances) and other projects; how it is beneficial to present data to athletes and point out mistakes made; and using practical tips and demonstrations (i.e., with Sportcode or other softwares).
Fry worked for the U.S. Women's National Team from 2017 to 2019, providing video analysis for games and tournaments around the world including the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in South Africa, FIH Hockey World League Final in New Zealand, 2018 World Cup in England and 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League. From 2019 to X, he was on the University of North Carolina Staff as the team's performance analyst. In X, Fry rejoined and resumed his role with the USWNT Staff.
Ireland’s Men’s National Team Captain at both the 2016 and 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup
Topic: The Mental Art of Goalkeeping
Harte will discuss what goes through a goalkeeper's mind, how to involve the goalkeeper in your team and how to lead your goalkeepers to improve mental resilience, can lead to the team's success. He will guide all through how to understand and deal with goalkeepers as both a team coach and goalkeeper coach.
Harte captained Ireland at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup. He was also a member of the Ireland Team that won the bronze medal at the 2015 Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship. At club level, he was a member of the SV Kampong team that won the 2015-16 Euro Hockey League.
Harte has won national league titles in Ireland, The Netherlands and Malaysia and has played in the Hockey India League. In both 2015 and 2016, he was named the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year. Harte's twin brother, Conor, and his sister, Emer, are also Ireland field hockey internationals. The Harte brothers have lined out together with eight different field hockey teams – Bandon Grammar School, Cork Harlequins, Pembroke Wanderers, DCU, SCHC, Dabang Mumbai, Munster and Ireland.
University of Virginia Head Coach
Topic: Q&A Session with College Coaches
Madison coming off a historical year, will join Missy Meharg, Maryland's Head Coach, and Inako Puzo, Miami's Head Coach, for a question and answer session.
Madison completed her seventeenth season at the helm of Virginia's program in 2022. She has won 232 games over her tenure, making fourteen NCAA Tournament appearances and three Final Fours. In 2016, she lead the Cavaliers to their first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title in program history. In 2017, after leading her squad to the regular-season conference title, she was named the ACC Field Hockey Coach of the Year, becoming just the second Virginia head coach to win the honor.
University of Maryland Head Coach
Topic: Q&A Session with College Coaches
Meharg will join Michele Madison, Virginia's Head Coach, and Inako Puzo, Miami's Head Coach, for a question and answer session.
Meharg completed her 45th season at the helm of Maryland's program in 2022. She has an extensive coaching resume leading one of the nation's top programs. She was voted the National Coach of the Year na unprecedented nine times, won eight NCAA National Championships and 26 conference titles.
On October 17, 2021, Meharg became just the third Division I coach to reach the 600-career wins mark.
Co-Author of Two New York Times Bestsellers, Top Dog: The Science of Winning & Losing and Nurtureshock
Topic: How to Get Better - The Art & Science of Giving Feedback
Study after study reveals that, for anything beyond the most basic of tasks or feedback is essential for learning and improvement. In her presentation, Merryman will identify how to get better, when to use positive and negative feedback, how to motivate your best performers, why your worst performers don't improve and how to change that, why you should give formal feedback on the field instead of the office and some top tips for giving (and getting) feedback.
In 2018, Merryman was asked to serve at the Pentagon for a one-year term (with a civilian rank equivalent to rear admiral) as the Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusion for the Chief of Naval Operations, the four-star admiral who serves as the military leader of the United States Navy. In 2020, she served as a Special Advisor for the Department of Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. In 2022, she founded The Sherwood Group, LLC, who's mission is to use new, science based tools to help leaders become better.
Germany’s Men’s National Team Assistant Coach
Topic: A Perfect Working Environment for A Team Always Starts With You, The Coach
Muelders will give guidance in important moments and how to empower athletes and staff members. He acknowledges that it's vital to know that the team's working environment always starts with you, the coach.
Muelders has worked in various countries over the past 13 years. From 2012 to 2017, he was the head coach of Germany's Women's National Team and led them to a European Gold in 2013 and European Bronze in 2015. That same year, the squad came away with World Cup bronze and captured bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In 2017, Muelders took on the role of China's Women's National Team Head Coach, which culminated in a third place finish at the 2018 Asian Games. In 2021, he was the interim head coach of The Netherlands' Women and led them to gold at the 2022 World Cup.
Muelders is now the assistant coach of Germany's Men's National Team. As a player, he earned 41 international caps for Germany and helped the squad to a gold medal at the 2002 World Cup.
Changing the Game Project founder, author of the excellent Every Moment Matters and internationally known speaker for coaches, parents and youth sport organizers
Topic: Establishing a Culture of Excellence in Your Program
We all want to win a championship, but where do we start? Do we just hope talented athletes come along and gel? O'Sullivan will go through the intent of building a culture of excellence, with high standards, high expectations and great leadership on the coaching staff and within the team. He will be discussing his experiences working with top teams, as well as his research into building and sustaining championship cultures.
O'Sullivan 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 two No. 1 bestselling books, Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids and Every Moment Matters: How the World’s Best Coaches Inspire Their Athletes and Build Championship Teams. His work has been featured by CNN, Outside Magazine, ESPN, NBC Sports and numerous other media entities. He is an internationally known speaker for coaches, parents and youth sports organizations, and has spoken for TEDx, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, US Soccer, USA Wrestling, USA Swimming, Ireland Rugby, Australian Rugby League and at numerous other events throughout the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe.
U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach
Topic: A Philosophy of Coaching Driven be Pracademia and Experience…Lessons Learned Being Applied
Passmore will share how his experience and work within the world of elite coach development and academia have informed the philosophy and approach to coaching. he will give insight into his plans for the U.S. Women's National Team and some of the core areas he seeks to develop, why and how.
With more than 20 years of coaching international field hockey under his belt, Passmore has worked with men, women and junior teams as well as regional and club programs. He joins Team USA after serving as the assistant coach for Ireland’s Women’s National Team, since 2017, and Ireland’s National Development and U-21 Head Coach, since 2014. During this period the majority of the current senior Ireland athletes transitioned from his tenure and the junior team had their most successful period including a first-ever appearance at the Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa where they finished ninth. Passmore combined his hockey coaching roles with being an Assistant Professor in Sports Science at Dublin City University, where he specializes in coaching science and talent development.
Prior to that, Passmore was the assistant coach for Great Britain and England from 1999 to 2005. In that time, he was the assistant coach at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, where the team finished eighth. In 2001, he was the assistant coach for the England’s Men’s Team that claimed fifth at the Champions Trophy. He was at the helm of the Ireland’s Men’s National Team from 2004 to 2009, where he increased their world ranking from 25 to 18, a role he performed simultaneously with that of Performance Director.
Miami University Head Coach
Topic: Q&A Session with College Coaches
Puzo will join Michele Madison, Virginia's Head Coach, and Missy Meharg, Maryland's Head Coach, for a question and answer session.
Puzo completed his tenth year at the helm of Miami Field Hockey, in addition to leading the program to five consecutive Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships. During his tenure, he holds a 117-95 career record and a 48-15 record in conference games. In 2019, Puzo became the winningest postseason coach in program history as his teams hold a 15-9 record in postseason play.
U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach
Topic: U.S. Men's National Team - Principles of Play
Singh will present on the principles of play used in training and follow-up with video analysis (what you look for, how and when you use them to develop players).
Singh became the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team in 2021. He boasts three decades of combined experience as an athlete and coach. His appointment follows after previously serving as the chief coach of the senior India Men’s National Team from 2017-18.
His first assignment with men’s team was the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, an annual event that features the top six squads across Asia, where he led India to gold in Muscat, Oman. More recently, Singh led India to a fifth place finish at the 2018 Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup as national hosts in Bhubaneswar. That same year, the men’s side also claimed a silver in the 2018 Champions Trophy and bronze medal at the 2018 Asian.
In addition to his experience on the men’s side of the game, Singh also served as the head coach of India’s Women’s National Team from 2017-18. During this time he managed the team to a gold medal in the 2017 Women’s Hockey Asia Cup. He also has extensive experience coaching the nation’s junior national teams, and personally considers his time as the head coach of the India Junior Men’s National Team the crowning moment of his career thus far, which was capped off with a gold medal at the 2016 Men’s Junior World Cup.