Athletic Mind Institute Podcast

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Todd Kays, host of Athletic Mind Institute Podcast, a podcast he produces for his sports and performance psychology practice, The Athletic Mind Institute.

Dr. Todd Kays on starting his practice:

Well, I started my business, sports psychology was very new. The first sports psychologist that we had, even with United States Olympics was in 1988, Seoul, Korea, and I was in graduate school 1990. And so there wasn’t a whole lot being done at that time. I had found that about two years before, when you do a doctorate, you have to do a year of internship. And so I found that The Ohio State University was doing something a little bit in the area of sports psychology. So I contacted them. Fortunately, I earned the internship, and during that time, also helped to build a fellowship program, because there was no other fellowship programs in the country for postdoctoral people to get any training in sports psychology. So it started there. And at that point, there were really no jobs in the mid ’90s. You couldn’t look up and find a job for “sports psychologists needed.” They’re still very limited, believe it or not, across the country, in, for example, large university settings. And so about 1998. The person at Ohio State was going to stay there. I had to either do something else or start my own practice. And so I started my own practice. And I guess this is 20 years now, I’ve been in private practice.

So why podcast?

Well, it certainly wasn’t something I started out doing. And in fact, I work with a lot of younger people. Partly out of choice, because they keep my mind young, they keep me sharp. And so there’s a number of different people I work with, who work with teams. Let’s say a golf professional, a golf fitness specialist. And then myself. They’ll be young. They’re always Instagram, Twitter, everything is just constant, 24 seven for them. And I kind of learned from that. I thought it was really cool what they were doing, but I didn’t know much about it. But I saw enough. I was smart enough to realize this is the future. The young people, that’s what they want to work with. And the majority of people, at least from the athletic realm that I work with, are 30 and under. They have their phones, always with them. They are used to podcasts, they are used to social media. Part of the incentive was, this is really a part of the businesses has to grow. The other part for me was, they can actually have my advice, my guidance, my sometimes voice with them, 24/7 and it’s very helpful to them. It’s in some ways more affordable. And where my heart. I can change more people’s lives.

How did you get the podcast started?

So I literally just sat down on my computer and just did it. And I sent it out to my email database. And I was like, wow, people are actually listening to this. And it was easy, and it was fun. And then I just kind of keep learning, refining, changing. Obviously, my approach, my knowledge, my experience, my expertise is a lot different than it was 20 years ago. And so I can add different takes on something that I might have taught very differently 10 years ago.

Are you considering a paid membership in addition to the free podcast?

Honestly, until recently, is the first time that I have even thought about that. And that was on the advice of another business person who said you’ve got some great content. And I know that you lead with your heart, he told me, but I’m a business person. Then he gave me some advice, and it was this. You can use some free things, this is really good stuff. And I would encourage you to kind of look at a yearly membership because you could touch people all over the world for a very small price. And you deserve to get paid for what your years of experience and what you’re giving out.

Have you seen any increase in web traffic by including your podcasts on the website?

It is increasing some traffic. And I think what I’m getting more of besides the traffic is that I will hear from kids and parents of young athletes. They will literally come up to me and say, “Love the podcast, that was so spot on.” Whereas when I was writing newsletters and papers, I wouldn’t get that as much. We’re a very rushed society. And people want things quickly and want things on the run. Now, my whole premise, when I’ve done these podcasts is these aren’t quick fixes. It’s when I give, for example, mental training drills. A mental training drill to a team of student athletes might be, “You’re going to listen to this three minute podcast. But then you’re going to journal about it for seven minutes.” And so I want them to again, slow down. I’ll show up to speak somewhere. And a student athlete, who I’ve never met before, will say, “Hey, friend of mine, shared your podcast with me, they’re really good.” I’m like, cool, that’s great.

You mentioned an email strategy at the very beginning, that you incorporated at the very beginning to promote and get listeners to you podcast.

Yes. The email system for me has been the best. Honestly, when I look over the years, it’s still better than Instagram, which I’ve been using for the past, particularly year, year and a half, maybe two years. The email has always been the best from my standpoint.

What what are the future plans for the podcast, in addition to the membership thoughts?

I will continue to podcast simply because I really enjoy doing them. First and foremost. I would like to see them grow. First off, I want to see two things happen. One is I want to see my own abilities to do the podcast improve. So the podcasts that I’m doing now I’m sending them out to a number of trusted people. And I say, give me every piece of feedback that you can give me. And I have learned so much. Because they’ve been given me honest feedback about what’s really good. And how I can sharpen my own skills to, for example, get to the point or you’re talking about too many points in this five minutes, you need to just choose one of these points. So that’s the first thing that I’m doing. The second thing is, is to get and learn with other professionals who are good at this. And this is what they do to help me along this process. I haven’t probably worried about it as much because it was just something fun. And I thought it was helping people. And I really didn’t think much beyond it. But if it gets to a point where I choose to say, “Hey, this is something that could reach out worldwide.” And I start getting that sort of feedback. I really want to have the best product in the best visuals, the best sound, I want it to be very professionally done. And that the listener is going to know that this was not just recorded in his home office while he was sitting watching TV. This was truly done with a lot of forethought. And then they feel that a yearly membership is worth it. Because this is a high quality product. And I’ve always held high standards for myself.

What advice would you give to a business that is considering podcasting as a marketing tool?

Well, I would first say, make sure that you truly want to do it. Make sure that this is something that you’re speaking from your heart and you’re not doing it to simply make money and jump on this trend. Or I shouldn’t say it’s a trend this new medium we’re using to get information now. I would say that it has to be certainly something you truly believe in. And you have a desire to truly get your message across whatever that message might be. And then the second thing is, I would say just start doing it, practicing. But the thing I would do, that I didn’t do it first, give it to some people to have them listen to it first before you publish your first episodes. Because you may not know what you just did, if you don’t listen to it. And you may have some background noise that you didn’t even realize. And then it comes across as “Well, I’m not going to listen to that person again. Because that sounded like he was in an airport when he was doing his podcast. I don’t want to listen to that.” So but I would say that is really want to do it and feel passionate in your heart about your message. But then, like you were saying earlier, just jump in and try it and do it. And then just keep refining the skills around it and use a support team, as I’m learning, a lot sooner than I have is to rely on video experts, rely on audio experts, rely on social media experts Let them help you along the way because it will be a much better product. And ultimately, you’ll get to do what you’re good at. And you allow them to do what they’re good at.

Dr. Kays is a leader in the field of Sport and Performance Psychology. The co-author of Sport Psychology for Dummies (2010), Dr. Kays’ training and guidance have helped thousands of athletes eliminate the most common mental errors and breakdowns in sport. For five years, he was the sport psychologist for the Columbus Crew, the major league soccer team in Columbus, Ohio and has worked with numerous soccer players and coaches throughout the country. Dr. Kays has consulted with athletes and coaches from all different levels of sport, including National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, United States Tennis Association, Professional Golf Association, and Ladies Professional Golf Association. He consults with teams at The Ohio State University.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

unsuitable on Rea Radio

Thanks to Dave Cain, CPA, Executive Principal at Rea & Associates, and host of unsuitable on Rea Radio, for being my guest on this episode of Note To Future Me.

Brett: Who produces your podcast?

Dave: Do you happen to know Brad Circone? He has helped us with our branding, and actually is producing our podcast in our website. And that was kind of the glue that helped us put everything kind of together. You know, somebody that had that, that background. So he’s the one that comes in, brings the mix in and produces and edits and, and we’re pretty committed to releasing once a week.  And that’s one piece of advice I’d certainly would give someone as you have to have it professionally done. This is this is not something you do it yourself, you probably could.  I don’t think you’re gonna be happy with the end result.

Brett: Well, let’s talk about your background, your adventure to this point. How you started with your career moves. And now you’re a podcaster.

Dave: Yeah, how about that. I started with ran associates just about 40 years ago. And my specialty, if you will, is I work with emerging businesses, both on tax consulting, planning and things like of that nature, and really enjoy that aspect of it. And it just so happened, the podcast spot came open after about 50 episodes. And they asked me if I wanted to do it went for a tryout if you will. And I won of course.I was in pretty good shape doing that. But what helps me with with being the host of the podcast, which which you can, again, relate to it, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to be the host.

Dave: You’ve got to figure out the right questions you got to study. But one of the things that helped me is virtually all of the topics that we cover, at least if it’s tax and consulting in business, I know a little bit about each of those topics. Sometimes I gotta do a little bit of studying. But for the most part, I’ve either touched it, felt it, read it talk to somebody had a client in that in that industry. And so that’s what makes it work for me as far as being able to ask the questions and the right questions.

Dave: We see where our guest wants to go. And, and I’ll typically talk about the new tax law and winners and losers under that, and what do they think about that? And if they could change the tax law, you know, had one day to change the tax law, what would they do, we can take them up to the edge without making it, you know, too political.

Brett: How did the process begin? I know this would before your time. But how did it begin to talk about having a podcast for a CPA firm? That really isn’t usually the business category, you think about having a podcast.

Dave: Well, you know, I can tell you how it started. I was a bit on the ground floor is there were three of us, Mark Van Benschoten, a fellow partner mine, myself and Brad Circone, we’re just brainstorming, and we were off site having a libation if you will. And it came up that we should do a podcast or start thinking about a podcast. And we started challenging that. And so do you know what, that’s maybe an avenue to go, because it may help us with our overall theme of what our culture is, and what we want it to be and what we wanted to, you know, to project it to be.

Dave: Plus showing off the incredible talent that we have around the firm. So we started thinking about that, and how would that mesh with our overall strategy and our strategic plan. And what we what we found is that boy, it meshes pretty nicely.

Dave: But I’ll tell you, it was a hard sell. You know, we went to our marketing team, and they said, “You guys, just how long were you at happy hour, we’re going to do a podcast?” And and we said, “Sure.” And we explained it, and they got on board. And then we went to firm leadership. And they said, “You guys are going to do what? You’re going to spend what? What’s our rate of return on this? What’s going on?” Must have did a pretty good job of selling it. And, and we sold it, and off we go. And we’ve had leadership on we’ve had our marketing team on and they enjoy it, and we have fun with it.

Brett: You are in deep with scheduling, obviously, what is the process? How are you doing this? Do you have just a Google Calendar set up? How are you nailing these interviews that they know exactly when they need to be there, what’s being covered? This is a weekly interview podcast. It’s a lot of machinations going on in the background to make it work, especially when you’re batch recording four or five at a time.

Dave: Right. Right. You know, hats off to to our, our marketing team at Rea & Associates. I’m not involved with the scheduling, thank goodness. I’m being scheduled just like everyone else. But let’s say, Brett, that we wanted to schedule you. You would get you get a phone call from Abby from our marketing team, see if you were interested. And then tell you a little bit about the podcast and the points that you want to, you know, emphasize, what do you want to talk about, not what we want to talk about. And then those are shared. And then you get a Google invite on your calendar and I get one and boom, it goes on. And and our team knows that it’s every other month, every second Thursday, and you can’t cancel because when you’re scheduled that tight and you have one release a week, if you cancel we we’ve got a hole in the schedule.

Brett: Are you using the podcast then to focus on new clients, sending them your expertise in an audio format that “we know how to do this.”

Dave: It’s part of the process. Yes, I would say we use it for that. Not primarily. It’s a tool at the disposal. You know, if we were let’s say we were in a proposal for a manufacturer we may we may send them a couple podcasts on manufacturing. Or invite them in for a podcast to present their business or present a topic. For example manufacturer we may we may call you in and so in in call you it’s not the right, but invite you to come over have a good time talk to us maybe about tariffs. 

Brett: How did you decide to do a weekly schedule, or continue to do a weekly publishing schedule?

Dave: Well, first of all, it became a challenge to get people’s schedules coordinated and and you being in the business, can appreciate that. And so we decided we were going to stick to it and stay with one day a month. And that was it. The marketing team knew it was would that was going to be it, our production team knew that was going to be it, I knew it was going to be it. And I would say scheduling would be one of the challenges that’s way up there, you better have a game plan of how you’re going to do that. Because if not, you get you get stuck a little bit. And and so that’s one.

Dave: The second, we we talked about earlier is tied into what you’re doing, you know, around the, you know, the company or the firm as far as your blogs or or your newsletters or your marketing. I don’t know that we would have been successful if we wouldn’t have done that.

Brett: Now, the artwork for your podcast is great. I mean, who’s putting that together, that the visual presence that you have is, is top notch. Who is putting that together?

Dave: Thank you. Our marketing team is involved in that. And they spent a lot of time doing that.  And they have won awards, especially when we first started producing, they won awards, after awards in our industry in the CPA industry for the podcast, because we were one of the first to, to do it on a consistent basis. 

Brett: Future plans for the podcast?

Dave: We are going change it, we’re going to change it. We want to change it up, and we’re looking at time of the podcast. Now we try to stick to 20 minutes, maybe 23 minutes. Some will go a half hour only if the guest is you know, just just hitting on all cylinders. And we can’t get out of the conversation. We think that’s maybe a little long for some of the topics and so we may take a topic and divided into two podcasts and instead of maybe 30 minutes we we divided into do two separate recording sessions, and can dig into it a little bit a little bit deeper.

Dave: We try also to keep the topic very narrow. If you and I are talking about the new tax law that’s a pretty in depth conversation. We won’t cover anything. But hey if we want to talk about this deduction or that we can have a good a good conversation and in a period of time. But change you’re going to have to change it and we will and we’re looking at some some ways to do that.

Brett: What advice would you give any business of any category if they’re interested in starting a podcast, how do they begin?

Dave: I would recommend a couple things. One is I think you have to be very consistent with your processes, in your messages. It’s not one of these things you can produce a podcast for three months, take a break and then get back after it. I think you have to give it a fair amount of time to take its course, see where it goes. For me again, this is as a CPA, and as an as a as an owner in the firm, I need a rate of return, so I need some kind of feel good that it’s working. Whether it’s my buddies call me or I go to their house and they got the podcast playing on the on the loudspeaker you know or or something like that. I get an email jag about it that way I know it’s working or competitor talks about it. But you have to do that. So I would say consistency and be prepared that in the beginning it’s probably not going to go the way you want to go.

Dave: We also talked about scheduling. Stay way ahead of the schedule and be prepared that that schedule may may change. those are the things that have helped us out tremendously.

Dave: And get the marketing team involved,  they’re number one. I’m not a marketing person never have been and they’ve helped me kind of design how we want to do that so because they can control the strategy for the content. So definitely your your marketing team.

Dave: And then as far as producers, everyone needs it professionally produced. I’m convinced. I don’t know how we could do it alone. We have microphones, we have the ability to do it, but we decided we don’t want to do it, it’s not the same. We need that professional taking a look at how we’re doing it in in in in tying it together and they and they can bring the equipment. I mean our equipment is is for you know having a listening to a webcast, not producing a podcast

Dave: You can find the podcast almost anywhere that podcasts are available. I hear our team say, you know, they listened to an iHeart Radio, they listened to an iTunes, they can go on to our website at find it there. If if we have an email if we’ve emailed you there may be a link in there to that webcast. So that are the places that that can be found. It can be found pretty easily if you’re into to podcasting.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

Podcasting With Purpose, For You and Your Business

Why are you creating a podcast for your business?


Whatever your reason(s) are, you should be constantly aware of what those reasons are, because they are keys to not only personal satisfaction but your business success.

One important way to measure how your podcast is stacking up is measuring it against its mission statement. In other words, is your podcast doing what you want it to do for your business?

You have a mission statement for your business. If you don’t have a mission statement for your podcast, let’s fix that.

Create A Podcast Mission Statement,  For You and Your Business

The whole process could take you anywhere from 15 minutes to two weeks. There is no perfect amount of time for the process, as long as you go through the process.

Grab a notebook, journal, pen and paper, laptop, whatever you use to help you think and process information. This will work better for you to find a place that you won’t be disturbed or distracted.

Think about where you are now with your podcast (Today) and where you want to be (Tomorrow). While Today is right now, Tomorrow is your vision. What action(s) do you need to take, or what do you need to change to get you from Today to Tomorrow? How can you make this vision for your podcast a reality?

Do some brainstorming on this for up to 20 minutes.

Now, take about another 20 minutes to make a list of the qualities you value, the things that mean the most to you personally. Start with 10 or so values. These could include things like family, wealth, kindness, loyalty, integrity, fun, hard work, etc. They don’t have to anything with the podcast. The time you put into this exploration of your values will serve as the guiding principles to help you accomplish your mission.

Narrow down that list of values to three. Use the process of elimination to cross out “secondary values” until you have three core values remaining.

Write about how those three core values will help you live out or reach your vision. It might help if you define what each of these values means to you.

Make it actionable. Craft a statement. “I am” or “I will.” This will express your core values through your podcast to accomplish your vision. Take your time, and go through several drafts. When you’re done, you’ll have a mission statement for your podcast.


Purposefully Podcasting, For You and Your Business

Now that you went through all of that work, post your mission statement somewhere you can easily reference it.

You can then use your mission statement to:

  • Remind you of your show’s purpose when hit the wall
  • Understand your own business story
  • Make the hard decisions when you have to, like turning down a interview guest, or being a guest on someone else’s podcast that doesn’t match your mission and business direction
  • Guide you toward your podcasting goals
  • Remind you that you what you are producing is good for you and your business

Set an appointment with yourself every six months to review your mission statement. It’s healthy and good practice to review. If no changes are made, or you tweak it here and there, the better your next six months will be. You and your business change over time as well. Your podcast needs to be right there with the changes.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 30+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at to talk more about your new or established business podcast.