Coaching with Connection is a values based athletic coaching philosophy and methodology grounded in the belief that coaches can and should positively affect the lives of their players, now and for the future.


Peter Bidstrup, founder of Coaching with Connection, is a long time believer in the power of sport to foster connection, well-being and meaning in the lives of players and coaches. Peter’s roots are in education and coaching, and his research informs this practice. Peter seeks to “connect the dots” between players, mental health, performance, mindfulness and coaching.


How does it work? Peter and his team work with schools and organizations to deliver training to coaches,
athletic directors and other leaders through in person workshops, talks, video meetings, and printed/electronic content.

Classroom teachers see students 3-5 times per week for 40-60 minutes at a time. Teachers are trained, educated (often with a Masters Degree) and certified. Schools spend quite a bit of money on the professional development of teachers. Yet coaches spend more time with students than classroom teachers do.

During a typical week, a high school coach will see players 5-6 times per week for 90-120 minutes at a time, plus bus trips, pasta dinners etc. Yet coaches typically receive little or no training. And we know a coach can make a huge impact (positively or negatively) on a kid.

Research bears this out. Coaching with Connection is a training and education program for coaches, developed by coaches in an effort to better serve student-athletes primarily at the high school and college levels.

Some of Our Best Practices Are

● Know your players beyond their role on the team
● Push yourself to connect
● We use Seligman’s Positive Psychology (strengths based) framework
● We are humans first and whatever “role” (coach, player, etc.) second
● Connection breeds culture
● Culture breeds performance
● Coaches are mentors
● Clear communication with parents
● We coach players, through the medium of sport
● It’s process, not outcome based
● We value winning, but not more than we value integrity
● It’s about growth
● The player-coach relationship is symbiotic. We help each other
● It’s more than just a season – it’s for life


“The Nichols School coaches have been working with Pete Bidstrup for six months. Pete has worked with us in large group settings, one-on-one with individual coaches and has offered online activities. The focus has been on connecting with kids through sports which is the underlying principle on which our athletic program is founded. The coaches have benefited greatly and enjoy working with Pete. His work at Nichols will certainly have a positive impact on our student-athletes and make us a stronger athletic program and better school.”

Robert Stewart
Athletic Director, Nichols School

About Peter

Peter Bidstrup has spent his career working with students, athletes, coaches and parents. At The Governor’s Academy in Massachusetts from 1994-2016, he held positions of Director of Admission, Director of Financial Aid, Head Lacrosse Coach, and dorm parent. Over that period, his teams won eight league championships in the highly competitive Independent School League (ISL) while winning 250 of 325 games. Peter coached 15 US Lacrosse All-Americans, 6 League MVPs, and dozens of All-League players. He was named the ISL’s Coach of the Year and Man of the Year. Over 125 of his students went on to play college lacrosse. He has vast experience as a coach, school administrator, mentor, friend to parents and reliable ally in the college recruitment and search process.

Peter has authored several published articles including his “Parents Role in Success” letter which was featured on the US Lacrosse website and viewed more than 25,000 times. He has spoken on leadership at secondary schools, colleges and Boston-area non-profits, mentoring youth from diverse social and economic backgrounds. He conducts executive coaching as well as performance and mindfulness coaching for individuals or groups.

He is a 1986 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and a member of their Hall of Fame

Coursework and credentials:

  • Member, Association of Leadership Educators
  • Organizational Behavior Courses, Harvard Extension School
    -Non Profit Leadership and Community Engagement
    -Case Studies in Leadership through Literature and Film
    -Organizational Behavior
  • Certified Trainer in Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) Protocol
  • Completed in 8 week Mindful Stress Reduction Program course In 2021
  • Completed in Foundations course through Co-Active Training Institute
  • Trained in Immunity to Change (ITC) protocol (Kegan and Lahey)
  • Candidate for Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification (Kornfield and Brach Course)

Interested in working with Peter?