Reviews from Our Raving Fans

Testimonials from Youth Sports Parents, Administrators & Coaches

Growing Champions for Life® is fortunate to receive such rave reviews. Take a look through each category and discover how parents, coaches, sports administrators and athletes are changing their approach to having a positive sport experience.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with us last night.  I found the seminar truly enlightening and extremely helpful for me as a Dad of two boys and as a junior golf coach.  The material you covered was something I wish every parent could have the opportunity to listen to no matter what sport their child participated in.  The message is universal and I will make a commitment to work towards the principles you outlined for both my children and my junior golf students.   Thanks again.

Bobby Collins, Parent & Junior Golf Coach

Extremely helpful and timely for us. The situations and examples David explains are so relevant and real to us - what he shared is something we can use immediately.

Donna Neale, Tennis Parent

Your topics helped us turn off the autopilot in our life and think about the positive ways in which we can get better. In short, these are great lessons to learn. I look at it as "No pressure advice!”

Dear David Benzel,

Thank you for your time; I really appreciated it. Having that conversation with you was in a way detoxicating for me. I was full of anxiety but I'm glad that I realized it before it became too serious. I will put to practice your exercises and I know that eventually, everything will turn out for the better. I already started reading your book and it is truly interesting. Today, I think I got the boost I needed to have the inspiration to support my son positively throughout this next baseball season.

Thank again,  Marina Tabales

Hi David-

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge at this past weekends seminar for coaches in Ormond Beach.  I am just beginning coaching with my daughter who is 7.  I have enjoyed sports all my life and continue as a runner.  I had a parent that put a great deal of pressure on me growing up and playing sports taking all the fun away and making it pure work and discipline.   I am trying my best not to do the same to my children and hope I can be a positive role model for other girls in sports.  I think the message of your seminar was great and I have used much of this same "psychology of the mind" in the workplace as an occupational therapist.  Many individuals today are stuck in an "old school" way of thinking and coaching, I do see and have experienced the many benefits of this method of working with people in general.  Thank you for your knowledge and I look forward to keeping in touch with your website.
Jennifer Schedivy

I love it!  You are amazing and have an incredible gift to help us all better communicate with each other and with our kids.  Sadly, I wish it was as easy as it sounds, but we are all a work in progress and must strive to improve every day.  We must not only hear the words but live by them.  Thank you so much for your time and encouraging words.

Amy Draeger


I just wanted to share with you the positive impact my 13-year-old son and I have experienced not too long after discovering your Growing Champions For Life® program. Throughout this fall baseball season, I have made a concerted effort to watch his baseball games with minimal participation and without "coaching from the bleachers." After the game, most of our conversation now centers around providing encouragement and asking if he had fun. What I have seen as a result is amazing! His batting average has doubled and he plays with much more confidence. More importantly, baseball is fun for him again and he can't wait to play and practice.

The lesson learned is that although we all want to see our kids perform well in sports, the best way to achieve that is to get out of the way and LET THEM HAVE FUN. They will not all become sports superstars but the positive experience you let them have will last a lifetime.

Please continue to do the great work you are doing. It truly makes a difference.

Mike, Baseball Dad

Hello David,

The short of this is- thank you!  The timing of the Emotions webinar came in the midst of some challenging things and I cannot tell you how helpful it has been- I go back and listen to bits at a time to continue to practice gaining control of emotions for me and my boys.  The "Have You Taught Your Child to Learn" in the last newsletter was also helpful.

Looking forward to the next webinar.

Best, Tamson 

I want to say thank you again!! Chloe skated this weekend in a competition and came in 9th, (almost last) 5th & 4th but the medals for me for sure was to see Chloe skate with confidence and pride. Each time she finished a program she was happy with her skate and it showed... It was nice to see her happy and relaxed while doing something she really loves thx,  Danaree

Hi David,

My daughter is at the pre-professional level of ballet at the School of Russian Ballet in Bradenton. I have been enjoying several of your webinars over the past two years. You are so wise and always deliver incredible advice that most parents and coaches are not using effectively. Thank you for what you are doing. I first heard you tell your waterskiing story on an old Amway tape probably about 10 years ago or so. Your thinking really resonated with me and I listened to you many times. I found your new website and immediately got connected so that you could continue to be a positive influence in my life. My husband and I have two daughters who have trained in classical ballet for over 12 years. We have taught them many positive success principles that we have learned from our friend and mentor Skip Ross (Skip who teaches leadership and success principles to teenagers at his international Christian leadership camp, Circle A Ranch, in Rockford, MI. Your teachings line up with Skip's Dynamic Living principles outlined in his book, "Say Yes to Your Potential." Our thinking is the key and you are an awesome trainer and very much needed in today's culture. Again, thank you for pouring into the lives of others with your insights.

God bless you, Maryl  


Loved the webinar tonight! Your insights are wonderful and so generous of you to share. I saw your presentations at the PSA conference in Boston and knew I wanted to follow your programs. You are making the world a better place!  I studied with the fabulous Gus Lussi who on my first lesson told me he was going to teach me not how to skate but how to think. That was the one of the most impactful moments of my life though it hardly seemed so at the moment.  I was delighted that you brought up that idea, among others.

Thank you! June Clark 


Thank you for your reply. I did get a chance to check the audio link that you sent out with the webinar on it. I was able to hear the reply to my question and would hate to call you just to have you reiterate what you said.  I understand and agree with your thoughts and suggestions.  We have been very focused on the sense of self and responses to behaviors since listening to your webinar. It is a tough change in thinking for someone who is so competitive but we know the benefits will be worth the work to get our daughter there. It is especially fun to ask her a question about her thoughts and watch her think through how she is viewing herself and feelings after she describes a "mess up" at the gym.

We look forward to using your other resources and I sent the audio of the webinar to a friend with a gymnast child also.

Thank you for your work. Stephanie Luksik

David! I wanted to say thank you for two great learning sessions at Longfellow sports club. I really took away some great tips for parenting Cece thru these teenage years as she continues her journey as a competitive athlete. I feel blessed to have Laury Hammel and the rest of the Longfellow staff and feel like Longfellow Sports Club is an extended family for Cece. She spends every day at one of their clubs, either Natick or Longfellow!

When we were driving home from your session; Cece turns to me and says, I really didn't want to go tonight, I was tired and just didn't feel like it but I'm so glad you pushed me because that guy was cool! He had a lot of great ideas. When we got home, my husband walked in the door from NY and she proceeded to tell him to stop lecturing and explained the concept of fight and flight!

Thank you David, Jennifer 

David,  I wanted to share a very positive experience with my son who is a freshman runner at UF. I had an opportunity to watch him run this past weekend in Seattle, Wa.  It was a great trip as I got to see him which doesn't happen much since he is away at college.  He had big goals set for his race.  About a mile into his 5k race, his back started having spasms and his performance was not what he or his coach wanted.  It was, to say the least, very disappointing for him. We had plans to go out to dinner that night after his race and obviously I wasn't sure what the night would bring.  I remember your words about your son not having a good game and getting in the car.  You told us that when a child has a game, good or bad, that they will talk about it when they are ready, not when you want to give them advice.  I met my son in the lobby, hugged him, and we set out for dinner.  Not once did I bring up the race.  I talked about my trip, things going on at home and how great it was to see him.  About halfway through dinner, he started to talk about his performance and how disappointed he was.  All I did was take that opportunity to ask him a series of questions that got him thinking about everything from his pre-race preparations traveling out west to his thoughts on what he could have done differently.  He immediately talked for 30-45 minutes as I sat and listened, realizing how true your words were and it was great to see him thinking about what he needed to do without me lecturing him from my perspective.

You might only be changing one parent at a time and making the difference in a young athlete but THANKS for all your insights into the world of a young athlete.

Forever grateful,  Jim Clark 


Thanks so much!  You are a great resource for many athletes, coaches, and parents.  What a great need these days.  I am an old school parent and coach.  I think that kids need to be kids as long as possible within your sport.  Be a kid.  Parents get in the way........I see it all the time.  Saddens me.  I am an Olympian and I played in my sports when I was younger.  I still do!  That's why I am an Olympian.  🙂

You are a blessing to many! Laurie 

Hi David,

I wanted to share with you a parent quote from an email I just received today. This is a parent of an 8yr old boy, and the parent is a masters swimmer also.

"I look forward to some of the educational information that you discussed putting on the website and really enjoyed the Dave Benzel seminar last year.  I wish more parents had taken the time to attend that meeting. 

 I will continue to work at being a good swim parent and support you and the other coaches guiding the kids. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication,"

This is just one example of the great communications I receive now after having provided your parent seminar last spring. I also read the Coaching Revolution over my spring break. Met with my coaching staff and gave them the 5:1 Ratio coaching philosophy and challenged them to be only positive. I also created "Way To Go!" cards and passed them out to the staff and asked them to reward sportsmanship behaviors. It is my goal to improve our Team Chemistry, Athlete Commitment, and Self Confidence. And do this in ways that the parents can see and hear.

Thank you so much for providing the great support materials for coaches, parents, and swimmers.

Sincerely, Janette Heaton, Head Coach, Huron Valley Penguins Swim Club

Hi David,

Thank you so much for your response...I have learned so much from your webinars!  I am slowly rectifying all the mistakes I have made with my daughter...there have been a lot.  I have already seen some changes in our relationship and her attitude while competing.  Just taking away some of the criticisms have helped immensely.  Your example of the car ride home really hit home.  After the last meet, we just went shopping!  I said nothing and yet eventually we were able to talk about the meet.  She was critical after her events of her performance (which was good) which I think she developed in order to get me to be quiet.

I only praised her and she actually seemed happier.   Now on to some of your motivation ideas.  I am also sharing with other parents and our swim coach. Thank you for making available your webinars for free and timing them so us West Coasters can benefit as well.

Thanks again! Julie Bobo-Shisler


You know its funny, my dad really pushed me hard and never had a kind word about my progress. The only way I knew I was doing as expected was that he did not say anything.. When my son came along I pushed him as my father did me.  Where the pushing by my father just made me want to show him that I could do it my son acted just the opposite and quit bicycle racing altogether. I wish I had something like your webinar way back in the 80s before I pushed my son so hard.

Mike McCollum 

Hello David,

Again, my husband and I want to thank you for providing us with the means to realize that we are "pretty good" parents of an outstanding student-athlete.  Our daughter was profiled in an article for the leading newspaper in the Springfield, MA area.  She so enjoyed having you speak at Skating Club of Boston and both my husband and I very much enjoy reading your insightful emails and online messages.

Lydia, Figure Skating Parent

Hello David,

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your presentation in Wichita, it really hit home with me and I am getting the "sunshine jar"  tomorrow. I guess what I have learned is that happiness can be learned and I am very inspired and motivated (yes I know the difference between the two now) to help my son learn how to respond in a positive way rather than negative to situations that are thrown at him.

Sincerely, Katya Meier 

I really, truly feel like my son had a breakthrough this weekend after months of discussion. I believe the knowledge provided by the Chump to Champ webinar gave me the tools to drive an impactful dialogue with my son to help him 'see' the reason he needed to change. I know it's a long road and we'll have setbacks, but it was AWESOME to see him really PLAY and smile from ear to ear the whole time !!  THANKS !!!!!


In my opinion, a parent that cares about the future development of their children, both mentally and in sport should be doing backflips to have these tools. It is very helpful to us.
Tennis Parents

Thanks so much - your writing style is so engaging, and the message so supportive to us intense parents. Keep it up!!!

Thank you David for all your wonderful tips!! Enjoy getting them and hope you and your family are doing well!
Candi Ramsey

David, I’ve read your book and am getting a copy for the gym, to show the parents. I have many gymnasts who would benefit from reading your book and doing the workbook. I’m going to encourage them to buy them. Thanks again, and I really enjoyed your presentation at USAG Congress.

“David provides an invaluable service to parents, coaches, and players with his publication and programs. His message is one that desperately needs to be heard.”

Jim Loehr
Co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and bestselling author 

Your content is so easy to use and has the perfect marketing lingo! We really value our partnership!

Loree Galimore, USA Gymnastics, Director of Club Service

Hi David!

It was great to see you in Boston (at the PSA Coaches Conference). All of your presentations were outstanding. You are an excellent public speaker. Coaches are very interested in what you have to say. Your topics were very relevant to them and the job they do.

Carol Rossignol, Professional Skaters Association Education and Accreditation Director 

I just wanted to thank you again for the positive advice you shared with us this weekend. I truly believe people are placed in your life at the most important times. And your advice was by-far the some of the most empowering material I've had the privilege of receiving. It is with an open mind that I share what I've heard with my fellow board members. But I must share with you that in my personal business it has been quite inspiring information to share with others. Just today I spoke with a 19-year-old young lady that is just so down. It made me feel so excited to share with her some of your lessons. I'm not sure she completely heard me but hopefully, some of it sunk in. So again I thank you for taking the time to share your advice at our Annual General Meeting of Florida Youth Soccer Association.

Sincerely, Carolyn Nobles, Vice President MYSA

Great perspective in your article. You are truly helping build the
Kingdom by your work with coaches!
Dr. Jeff Duke, Coaching Specialist, UCF Sports & Fitness 

Hi David -

High-performance coaches are frequently skeptical. But our coaches came out of your presentation with a new perspective - analyzing their coaching/teaching methods. I think the epiphany came when coaches realized they were using positive actions as a punishment. For example, 'making' a player run laps because they lost a practice game. We are actually teaching them to resent the very actions that make them stronger and better!
It was a wake-up call for the parents, too. You could tell from the questions they were asking that your information was generating introspection.

Personally, I wish I had had access to this information and these tools when I was a tennis parent, but hope to use them as a promoter of the sport and to help others.

Bonnie J. Vona, Manager Competitive Tennis, Mid-Atlantic Section


Jacob Daniel (Director of Coaching) and I believe that your organization’s approach is the most complete, best organized and the most effective curriculum that we have seen.

Rick Skirvin, Executive Director, Georgia Soccer

Thank you, David. It was wonderful hearing you speak again. I value the relationship we have built and look forward to working together again in the future. You are fantastic at what you do and it must be very rewarding to do something that makes such a great difference in people’s lives. Many thanks.

Cindy Furman, Roswell Gymnastics 

While attending a soccer convention in Boston I listened to David’s seminar. I spoke with David at the end of his class and decided to buy his book Coaching Revolution. After reading it I gave the book to the assistant coach and we both decided to implement the strategies presented.

This season we were given a newly assembled team of 10 and 11-year-old girls. I can honestly say this was the most fun I have had coaching! The girls gave us a thank you card at the end of the season. They wrote, “Thank You for the Funniest Season Ever!” As an aside our record was 7-1-1 and it was the most successful soccer season I have had as a coach.

Ron D’Amato, Girls U12 Coach, Dracut Soccer Association

David’s presentation was extremely inspiring, as well as informative and helped my staff remember how deeply significant our role is in the lives of the children we teach. I would strongly recommend all programs to invest in this kind of training, as it is a crucial part of making your program the best around. I am very excited for David to return next month to present to our parent club. David is engaging as he helps to create an atmosphere of coaches and parents working together as advocates for the kids. Thank you, David!!”

Cindy Furman, Director, Roswell Gymnastics

Hi David!

Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your book, “From Chump to Champ, How Individuals go from Good to Great”. I can hardly wait to read it. And you autographed it to me on the inside which means a lot.

We have received much positive feedback on your presentations at the conference. You were listed in the top five presenters and came in second following Scott Hamilton which says a lot for a non-skating person. We appreciate your dedication, enthusiasm, and energy you bring to the PSA each year. You are awesome!

Thanks again for the book and I hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,
Carol Rossignol, PSA Education & Accreditation Director

Growing Champions for Life offers our 125,000 members some great resources on our website. The videos are very professional and offer fresh, relevant content. USA Gymnastics values what David Benzel's Growing Champions for Life® has to offer.

Loree Galimore, Director of Club Services, USA Gymnastics


I want to thank you for taking the time to come and do the classes you did at USA Gymnastics National Congress. I learned so much in the 2 hours that I was in there. I also bought your book and I am about halfway through it and I am loving it. I hope that some of the things that I take back with me to the gym and to the team help out. I am giving a quote out of your book every Friday to the team and then talking about it in hopes that it will help them be more positive about themselves and help them reach for there dream. I have also listened more to myself as I coach and try to say it in a way that will make them picture the right thing instead of the wrong or negative thing. That one tip about how we say things to the athletes and what they picture really stuck with me. Again thank you so much and if you are ever in the Dallas area I hope that I get to hear you speak again. God Bless you and your work.
Thank you,
Kelly Ball, Excite! Fusion TNT Director

On Tues night Jan. 11th David Benzel taught a 2-hour Sports Parenting course. We had a record 78 parents attend!! It was standing room only! The parents’ feedback the next day has been excellent! David was informative and entertaining. All the parents were engaged in his message and involved in the discussion. They loved it!

Vicky Page, Club Storm Director 

I wanted to thank you again for your time of doing all of the seminars for our club as well as Jacksonville. You are a great influence for all of us having a huge role on such impressionable kids.

Morgan Church, Director of Coaching, Creeks Clash Soccer

David Benzel from the Growing Champions For Life program was the keynote speaker at the Florida Region USA Volleyball Awards Banquet. He mentioned his excellent work with our Club in educating our Coaches and Parents this season. Based on the wonderful feedback and the significant drop in Parent Complaints this year, I can say with conviction that this was definitely money well spent!!

Evan Eleff, Director, Bob Sierra YMCA, Tampa, Florida


Thank you for taking the time to come to Jacksonville, Florida this past weekend and speak at Providence to a bunch of soccer coaches from First Coast Soccer Association. I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar and was inspired by your talk. I have already ordered 25 of the 5 Powerful Strategies for Sport-Parent Success books and will distribute to my U12 boys and U12 girls teams. Very impactful information that I am looking forward to sharing with my player's parents.

Hopefully, you will be able to come back to Jacksonville and provide the parents this insight and thanks again for sharing your story.

David Proehl 

We, as a staff, heard Mr. Benzel speak last month, and let me say, I thought he was fantastic. I wasn't too excited to hear "another" speaker talk to me about the "same" motivational techniques that I have heard time and time again... I was wrong because HE WAS DIFFERENT!

Being a parent of two myself, I ended up listening as a mom (as much as a coach) and I was amazed at how accurate he was on my parenting, as well as my coaching. I was using phrases and words that were actually hindering my authority and not helping it. He taught me the better use of words and new language to get across to my children (and gymnasts) where I would gain more respect and see long-term changes.

I was not put up to this email, I just really enjoyed listening to his lecture and I think you all will too. I am confident that each of you will leave feeling a bit different than when you came in!

Hope you can make it!
Coach Rachel 

David Benzel is providing a valuable product for youth sports, specifically the challenge of sports parenting. His presentations are from the heart and he gives the audience valuable advice and insight into parenting an athlete. David’s guidance is not only from proven research but from personal experience in raising 2-star athletes. It was very clear that David Benzel wants to help youth sports and parents. I have had the pleasure of listening to him two times and he has been very well received.

Andy Gladstone, Florida USTA


I lost track of how many parents came to me and said how valuable it was attending David Benzel's seminar as well as our 2-hour Volleyball 101 Class last weekend (we had over 90 parents attend this one!!) They told me they are now "new parents with a new perspective on their kids' sports". Many of the stories began with "Before I went to that class I would have said this to my daughter (after they literally lost every game on Saturday...) but now we said this and said that and kept it Positive. NO DOUBT that this whole positive atmosphere from our families had our girls BELIEVING in themselves and their abilities and our win-loss records on Sunday were very good for our first tournament!

I also had one coach from another club say he was on our website and wanted to know about all the things we are doing with our Parents and our Coaches. He asked a lot of questions about the Growing Champions For Life program and afterward, he muttered: "That is exactly what our parents' need."

Coaches- I SO hope you will also have your parents express to you the same outlook this weekend at the Daytona Tournament!

Hope you have a great day!

In the volleyball bonds, Vicky 

David is an awesome speaker and hope he is a speaker at every PSA national conference in the future!

June Clark, Figure Skating Coach

Thank you, David, for a very meaningful webinar yesterday.  I enjoyed listening very much.  I was listening to you here in Finland where I now live.  I had my alarm clock wake me up at 3.30 am here to listen.

Thanks again for a great seminar and I have enjoyed reading your motivational e-mails.

Coach Kari 


I shared the Webinar recording with my husband and he found it insightful and we are ready to change. The problem stems from us both being in athletics growing up, he played college football and I played sports my whole life through H.S. I made the varsity teams (basketball, Tennis, Track) my freshman year, I was the only freshman on the varsity team. I grew up with two brothers so sports came very easy to me and I thrived.

I want you to know I'm not all talk. Yesterday my 13-old daughter had her first middle school soccer game (over 60 kids try out and only 21 make it). After the game she asked me as usual "How did I do mom" I said good, I'm very proud of your effort! more importantly, how do you think you did? She said okay, I missed some good shots and crosses. I asked her how she would rate herself from 1-10 she said 7 ( I was paying attention). I again said "You put a lot of effort into it and it showed if you like we can work on crosses at our next practice. Now, who's hungry?” I will say it took some effort from my part not to review the entire game with her.

One day at a time, I think my real test will come with my 8-year-old and her next soccer game.



My wife and I just listened to your webinar...well done! My wife and I played sports through college (basketball and soccer) and we just had a great discussion. We both agree that this information would have been perfect for us in our early years. As a strength and conditioning coach and trainer, this kind of information is ideal to help me connect with clients.

Thanks, David, Brendan 

I learned so much from this webinar (on confidence building). I took a lot of notes and feel like I will have more tools to help our daughter in her development. It is all about improving what she thinks about herself and doing it in a positive way. It is definitely all about the process and not the outcome.

Donna Neale – Tennis Parent

The webinar was really helpful and informative. I really enjoyed listening to David. What a great guy. There was so much he said that really hit home with me. It was a pleasure to be able to listen to him. We can all learn something from him.

Susie Kaliher – Tennis mom


I just listen to your recorded session 'How to Teach Your Child the Best-Kept Secret of Self-Confidence'. I love it! I'm that parent/coach; you have given me a new outlook on how I was impacting my daughters with negative feedback after every game. I would say things like your so slow, why are you slow, you look like you don't even want the ball, you’re the first player I know who is happy when the coach sits them out.

I'm embarrassed and ashamed of my behavior. I will put into motion your teaching and ensure that I help my children manage their performance through positive thoughts.


I had my two children and wife listen in on this one as well. I love the concept of restating three success accomplishments at the end of the day. Positive thinking is critical! My 15-year-old daughter is a swimmer who is just starting to swim competitively and my son is a 13-year-old high-level soccer player. They have read your small books and doubt me when I try to reinforce the power of a positive mental picture. I think we had an epiphany last night. They went from " I can't believe dad is making us listen to this" to actually engaged and actively listening. Thanks for what you do! You have helped me and my family tremendously! (Mostly me)
Mike Porter

David, Although I've still not made one of your webinars live, I'm listening to them on my own. I started looking for the type of material that you provide about 2 years ago as my son's hockey skills were exploding and he was in 'travel' hockey. It became very obvious to me that many of the other hockey parents had all kinds of things to share with me, but much of the input I received was divergent and didn't sound 'right'.

Anyway, I've learned a HUGE amount from your webinars and reading material. I've used the learning to develop a relationship with my boy that allows us to discuss things together and it's been very helpful. My son, Carsen, is 12 now and this hockey season has been a real challenge for him --- his team moved up two levels (from 'B' to 'AA') for this season. When he played 'B' his talent allowed him to separate himself from the players whenever HE decided he needed to put it in the top gear. In 'AA', he cannot separate himself at will --- which has caused him to dwell in the darkness of self-doubt and insecurity.

Chump to Champ is perfectly applicable to what my son is experiencing and I can hardly wait to have him listen to the Webinar with myself and my wife. I'm very encouraged because I believe my boy will respond to the material. He is a perfectionist and fiercely hard on himself ---- which can be a good thing.....but he needs to learn about the power of thinking positive --- which is what Chump to Champ will help him learn. (By the way, my son is very, very much like me --- Yes, It's my fault he's a perfectionist and a hard charger! So, here I am @ 50 yrs old, and I'm learning a LOT about myself and how I can improve my approach to life).

Sorry for the rambling, but let me make my message crystal clear: Thanks for sharing yourself and your ideas and giving we Sports parents a place to learn how to do it right!
Regards, Chris


Thank you for hosting this seminar. Kaylah and I found it beneficial and informative. Recently Kaylah has been challenged with some confidence issues during her last couple of tournaments. Attending tonight's seminar was a teachable moment for her. I am a parent who encourages and supports, but she does not always want or believe what I say. I recently gave her the quotes from Norman Vincent Peale which you referenced to during the seminar. One of my favorites is " Success is failure trying on more time" and "Change your thoughts and you change your world".

We liked how you defined "winning", so many of us focus on the trophy, not the lesson. We look forward to receiving the link tomorrow and attending many more of your seminars.

Respectfully, Marcia and Kaylah Hodge

Thank you so very much for that seminar. It was very powerful and important and I am so happy that I had my husband there with me to hear it!

Jeanne Martin 

I wish I would have had an opportunity to have heard your presentation many years ago.  You presented the material in such a way that it was like a light bulb came on – I knew that some of the things I had been doing weren’t working but can now really understand how and why there were not working.  I am actually excited to try to have a lot more “hero” parenting moments!  Thanks again.

Leanne McCullough (Swimming Parent)

My husband and I had the privilege of attending David’s Benzel’s Growing Champions for Life seminar. The seminar changed how we approach our role in our daughters’ tennis journey.  Above all, this seminar reminded us that it is, in fact, our daughters’ journey in this sport.   As a family, we have deemphasized winning and emphasized the pure joy of spending time with our daughters and sharing common experiences that extend beyond the game of tennis. In turn, our daughters’ have become much more aware of their tennis skills, goals and strategies.  As we stepped back, they stepped up as critical thinkers in their own game. We have realized they ultimately will become the best tennis players they want to be.  The time they are competitive in tennis has its limits, whereas the time we spend building our relationships with our children is limitless.

Kimberly Murphy – Tennis Parent

Your material is of great interest to me for a number of reasons.  I hope to be able to continue to teach my students, their parents, and my employees your philosophies and principles.  You were fantastic at the USPTA conference recently and it makes me hungry to learn more.  Keep up the good work!


Thank you very much for the great Webinar  - "To Push or Not to Push- A Parent's Dilemma"!

My daughter, Lexi Bari, is 8 years old, and she was recently invited to the USTA Level 1 Regional Training Camp at Centercourt in New Jersey.  At the RTC, they shared information about Growing Champions for Life, including your book "5 Powerful Strategies for Sports Parent Success", and I have quickly become a big fan of your work.

At the RTC, Lexi won the USTA's Courage Award for her taking risks and going for her shots in front of all of her peers.  To that end, I loved what you were saying last night about having a child free from fear (since "fear is never a friend").

I am working hard to become more like that "hero" parent since I have had a tendency to be more like the "manager/agent" parent which I do not think is supportive of long-term growth.  Thanks again.

Jon Bari

Thanks for the presentations by Dave Benzel.  I attended both and got a lot out of it.  Dave had great material and a great style of delivery – I sensed that it was very well received due to his background and candid discussion.  Thanks for making the commitment to us, our kids and our Bishop Moore Catholic High School sports program.

Derek T., (Lacrosse Parent)

Excellent workshop!  I liked that it was specific to our daily lives and issues:  intense sporting environment, dealing with girl teenagers, self-improvement tips and tips for better parenting.  I learned to stay more removed from the situation in the hopes of staying more positive and encouraging towards my daughter.

Karen H., Volleyball Parent 

Dear Coach Tom – Thank you so much for arranging for David Benzel to be our speaker last night.  It was one of the most beneficial two hours I have spent in a long time.  Often times, a speaker never quite lives up to the hype, but he met my expectations and far exceeded them. Thanks again.

Leanne McCullough, (Swimming Parent)

This workshop for parents is more important than enough hours on the court for your child!  We are often the problem…it’s scary how much distraction we cause.  Tennis Parent

The Growing Champions presentation last Monday was outstanding.  I thought I was pretty good at this kids sports gig but now realize there’s room for a bit of improvement.  Mr. Benzel really hit home with his approach ... especially the emphasis on keeping emotions in check and the issue of focus.  No need taking something manageable and making it explosive.  The lessons learned can be applied to any extracurricular activity, as well as academics.  The two-hour session will make a difference in how I handle Brittany over the next three years ... and Ashley while away at Florida State.  Many thanks.

 Jeff R., (Track & Volleyball Parent)

Every coach and youth sports parent should attend this session!!  In fact, parents and coaches should be prohibited from participating in youth sports until they attend.

Mike – Volleyball Parent

Hello David:

I attended your LBHS workshop last evening and found your presentation extremely unique and beneficial.

Over the past 25 years – I was involved in sports (football & track) from age 8 through college at UCF…I have attended countless, classes, courses, lectures and seminars on business and/or athletics – your approach is quite different from anything else I have heard before…keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing you next Monday.

Regards, Ron 

I attended through an invitation of The Villages High School a 2 part seminar put on by David Benzel on "Growing Champions For Life."  Wow is all I can say.  I thought I was a great sideline parent, however, tomorrow I will be a better sideline parent.  His concepts are fantastic and something we at LHS could benefit from.  I really would like you to talk with him as I think our school could be one of the first schools to move in a positive direction of parenting an athlete.  I can only stand truthfully to tell you that I get embarrassed at some behaviors at our soccer games.  Last year a ref had to ask Mr. Durius to keep us from being disrespectful.  How can we instill respect in our players if we as parents struggle with the same issue? What frustrates me more is that my very own son, who is an excellent athlete and great referee does not want to become a center referee because he doesn't want to listen and be belittled by the parents who don't even know all of the rules. This seminar does not in anyway condemn but instead offers suggestions as to how we can be better parents when cheering on our kids.  It was absolutely amazing!!!

Sincerely, Terri Blessing

Great Class tonight.  I had to depart early to get my daughter as her practice ended at 8:30 and my boys were at home waiting for us.  I used to coach wrestling and am active with my kids' sports.  I have coached and parented through a lot of emotional and great moments and seen many parents fail themselves and their kids by missing that it is the journey that makes it sweet not the destination.

Thank you for putting this together.  It is a gift to kids and parents.  It gave me a lot of insight not only to my parenting but to my role as a human who hopes to lead by example as opposed to word.  I have a lot of fine-tuning to do but am committed to doing my best.

Thank you again for an inspirational presentation.  I really liked the above and below the line page.  Great stuff.

Thank you, Chris Tonra


Thank you so much for the information you presented in last night’s seminar.  I was encouraged to find that I was already doing some the positive behavior you described when it comes to sports but I found that I really need to apply that to everyday situations.  I really appreciate the positive encouragement you gave us and I am going to start implementing your suggestions immediately.  Again, thank you very much!!

Thanks, Suzette Hosier 


I want to thank you for the time you took in coming out to Austin Tennis Academy this week to speak with us.  It was such a great workshop with so many fabulous tools on parenting our children as they develop in their sports.  You are doing great things!

Lauren Creath

Dear Dr. Gruber,

I am sure that you get far too many unsolicited suggestions, but I was very impressed with a recent presentation and thought I would pass it along to you.  This speaker took me from a nearly angry attendee at an inconvenient, required assembly for parents of a Pop Warner football league to this enthusiastic endorsement.  I really did not want to attend the presentation as it was inconvenient and took time out of my already busy schedule and I expected simply a sales pitch for some type of product.  I left actively thinking about ways to apply what I had heard both at home and at school that I obtained the speaker's card specifically to forward the information to you.

The speaker was David Benzel, his email is, the phone is 352-267-5344 and website is  Although his presentation was intended for parents of young athletes, virtually everything he said was applicable to teachers of children as well.  In any case, he did such a good job turning around a skeptical disgruntled parent attendee, that I thought I would suggest him as a potential speaker to a faculty meeting.

Thank you for your time, Sean Concannon