Learning to love ourselves: Vince Luciani on the legacy of coaching

Live it. Love it. Leave it.

This is the message that Vince Luciani delivers through his mindful mental training program The Legacy Coaching.

The program focuses on engaging teams and individuals to think deeper and gain a stronger understanding of who they are beyond what they do. Regardless of whether he’s working with kids, teens, coaches, or parents, Vince’s mission is to spread the message that your life and legacy are not defined by what you do, they are defined by you.

As we strive to create a happy and active lifestyle for our children, full of fun and physical literacy, it’s important to prioritize the development of the child as a person, regardless of the athlete, academic, or astronaut they become. Vince believes that sport is the most powerful vehicle in the world to develop the whole person and his legacy is to positively shift the culture of athletics. How we move is not who we are, but it can make us better.

In an interview with Vince Luciani, we learn about the power of our mindset.

Let’s go back to the beginning… what were you like as a kid, and how did your family get active together?

A: As a kid, I was funny, very sensitive, semi-athletic, and loved connecting with people of all ages. Our family would always go on “adventures”, we traveled, we camped, we played. My mom sent us (my brother, sister and I) to circus school, she loved to challenge us with activities and was also a great example of what it meant to live a happy and active lifestyle. A lot of my memories from my childhood were from watching my mom play softball or basketball. This definitely became my norm (with other sports of course).

How did your childhood and your experience in sport lead you to where you are today? What has sport taught you?

A: I loved my experience playing sports so much I played football throughout university and I continued with a career in coaching. I joined the coaching staff with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) and I made my way to Ohio University (NCAA) to coach with their football team while getting my Masters in Coaching Education. Sport has definitely been the foundation of my growth as a person, it has taught me how to deal with adversity, how to work together with other people towards a common goal and, most importantly, how to have fun. I believe sport is the most powerful vehicle in the world to make better human beings, it is also a perfect representation of what the world should look like. Working with people of all different backgrounds, beliefs, shapes and sizes towards a common goal is love.

Through The Legacy Coaching, what kind of message are you aiming to deliver to kids and teens? To coaches? To parents?

A: After my experience coaching, I was asked “Who are you?” and I responded “I’m a football coach” and that is when I realized I relied on my identity of being an athlete for love and validation. I teach kids, teens, coaches and parents that the love we are so desperately seeking on the outside is actually within our full control on the inside.

Something I really stress with coaches and parents is that it’s not about how much you love your child or athlete, it’s about how much they love themselves.

What’s one thing parents can teach their kids through sport/physical activity? How do they do this?

A: I always encourage parents to celebrate the things that their child can control (effort, attitude, mindset, energy, breath, etc). I find a lot of issues come up when we celebrate the things that they cannot control (outcomes of games, performance, measurements, etc).

I also encourage them to celebrate failure as much as we celebrate success because if we only celebrate success, we are actually conditionally loving our children (we are teaching them that they are only validated when they “succeed”).

What’s one lesson you hope coaches and teachers pass on to their young athletes and students?

A: I hope that coaches and teachers will learn to unconditionally love themselves because the greatest lesson is not about teaching, it’s about being. Every action, every choice and every decision coaches and teachers make directly impacts their students and athletes. If a coach relies on wins to feel good about themselves, the athletes will do the same subconsciously.

Can you elaborate on the powerful question you have posted on your Instagram page, “Who are you beyond what you do?”

A: Absolutely! If you remove all of the labels you carry (student, athlete, coach, parent, sister, brother, etc.) and strip away everything that you love, what are you left with? Just the simple reflection of this “deep” question will allow you to start to detach from your labels and understand who you are at the core. The best way to answer this is to think of the one characteristic that you exude no matter what you do.

Here are some questions to reflect on:

  • What is the spark that lights the fire that is you?
  • What does your engine run on?
  • What is one characteristic that needs to be present in order for you to be yourself?

What inspires you?

A: People who unconditionally love themselves inspire me, especially those who love their mind, body, and spirit.


Through The Legacy Coaching, Vince guides individuals to discover and define their own answers to life’s big questions because he believes that self-awareness is the foundation for fulfillment within and without sport. The only requirement to start is an open mind and the rest is up to YOU!

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