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Our robust research methodology has led us to identify six specific areas that are instrumental to improving the student-athlete experience. We use these six behavioral coaching themes to measure your athletic program and identify exactly what your coaches are doing well and where they need to improve.



Building relationships of trust with student-athletes.



Constructing an environment that allows student-athletes to be their own true self without fear of negative consequences.



Establishing an organized, consistent, and predictable team environment.



A coach’s capacity to effectively share information, strategies, and expectations with their student-athletes.



Creating unique growth opportunities for each student-athlete that moves them out of their comfort zone.



Advancing competence and technique so student-athletes perform to the best of their ability.

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Gain Insights with Our Transactional Vs. Transformational Coaching Assessment

If your coaches view success solely through wins and losses, they are likely a transactional coach. If your coaches choose to view success by how they impact the overall experience of the student-athletes, then they are likely a transformational coach. Have your coaches take this transactional versus transformational self-assessment to find out where they stand.

Access the Assessment


If you’re a coach, and the No. 1 goal for your student-athletes is to win, your program needs a second look. Why do we say this? Data tells us that unless you’ve created trust-based connections and provided a psychologically safe team environment that challenges each student-athlete to grow – physically and mentally – peak performance will escape your team.

Says who? Says the guy whose last TEDx Talk has millions of views. And if you’re someone who needs more proof than that, watch Ecsell Sports’ founder Bill Eckstrom’s latest TEDx Talk where he explains the difference between a transactional coach and a transformational coach. He shares why a program without psychological safety and strong coach-athlete connections leads to dysfunction and student-athletes who don’t have the support to grow.

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Meet The Leadership Team

Bill Eckstrom

Chief Executive Officer

2008 - Present

Bill is not just passionate about growth and performance, but truly obsessed. That’s why he founded Ecsell Institute (the parent company of Ecsell Sports) in 2008 – to research the concept and share his findings with as many growth-minded organizations as possible.  More than a decade later, his obsession has spawned three companies, two viral TEDx Talks, a best-selling book, and a therapy-dog training hobby.  Ask any Ecsell employee and they’ll tell you that his tombstone will probably read “Discomfort is the Only Way to Grow.”

Get to know Bill

Sarah Wirth



Sarah’s life passion is understanding what makes people tick. This makes her equally comfortable at dissecting the characters on her favorite TV show as she is discussing how to improve team member performance.  After graduating from Michigan Law School, Sarah quickly learned that LA Law had not accurately portrayed the life of an attorney. So she changed careers and has spent the last two decades researching, writing and teaching about what the best leaders do differently. She lives in the KC area with her husband and two sons, whom she constantly annoys with her endless talk about soccer, pop culture and politics.

Get to know Sarah

Will Kloefkorn

VP of Strategic Development


Will Kloefkorn is a Lincoln, Nebraska native and has been with Ecsell since the very beginning. Will has a passion for building deep and meaningful relationships and has spent his entire career in the sales arena. In his free time, he enjoys all things athletics, meditation, psychology, and spending time with his wife, Amy, and two children, Jackson and Maryn.  His (not so) secret talent is writing poetry, and if you spend enough time with him, you may just be lucky enough to hear him freestyle rap.

Get to know Will

Stacia Jorgensen

VP of Research

Stacia Jorgensen brings an array of experiences and expertise in data collection, analysis, and research reporting to Ecsell as the Vice President of Research. Prior to moving into her role with Ecsell, Stacia led a non-profit academic research organization for nearly 13 years. Loving a good amount of data variation, she has three dogs that range in size from 10 lbs to 140 lbs. Despite being the most logical of all the Ecsell team members, she’s also the biggest fan of trash TV – her Real Housewives knowledge is on par with that of her survey methodology expertise. She resides in the mountains outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and two spunky teenagers.

Get to know Stacia

Kyle Craighead

Executive Director of Education


Kyle is motivated to help students have the best possible school experience. He worked for 15 years in public education as a science teacher, basketball coach, athletic director, and school and district administrator. Kyle also teaches graduate classes centered on leadership, coaching, and organizational structures with Lipscomb University. He is passionate about connecting people and especially enjoys watching friends reach their goals. He is a native of Nashville, TN, and he currently lives there with his wife, Elizabeth, their daughter, Anna, and their dog and cat.

Get to know Kyle

Ashley Olson

Director of Client Success

2008 - Present

Ashley is a small-town Nebraska gal through and through, hailing originally from Waverly, NE, before moving to Minden, NE, with her husband. She started her career in the agriculture industry before joining the Ecsell team and frequently returns to her family’s farm to run the tractor or combine during planting and harvest. Ashley finds great joy in building relationships with her clients and empathetically relating to them, all the while discovering new ways to learn, grow, and improve to maximize her service to each person she comes in contact with. Outside of Ecsell, Ashley loves a good bowl of ice cream, a competitive pickleball game, watching all sorts of sports, or logging the miles on walks with her two dogs, Sizzle and Bee. She is also known to her colleagues as being one of the most genuine and sweetest people on the planet!

Get to know Ashley

Mikaela Richter

Director of Coaching Development


Mikaela is driven by a constant desire to learn and improve. She shares her life in southeast Iowa with her husband, Isaac, and their daughter, Adalyn. She finds happiness in various activities such as tending to the family farm, enjoying outdoor adventures with her daughter and three dogs (Cash, Ruby, & June), and engaging in competitive card games. As a former professional and Division 1 athlete, Mikaela understands the profound impact coaches have, igniting her passion to improve the athletic experience for all athletes.

Get to know Mikaela

Will Eckstrom

Director of Research & Analytics

Will brings to Ecsell Sports a background in psychology and a breadth of experience with youth development. Throughout his entire professional career, he has had ambitions of helping every student-athlete grow as an individual and find success – both on and off the field.

Get to know Will

Siera Gage

Executive Director of Marketing

2021 - Present

Siera’s home base is Lincoln, NE, but with her love for travel, you never know where she might end up. She enjoys traveling with her husband, Ron, and their dogs, Aspen and Sage (not to be confused with the other Aspen, Ecsell’s office dog). With her background in product management and leadership, she found a passion for people and helping them grow and develop in their career. Along with helping them discover their “why” and the importance of enjoying life outside of work. “Happiness comes from what we do. Fulfillment comes from WHY we do it.”

Get to know Siera

Chuck Schmidt

EVP of Global Accounts


Chuck continues his journey to serve and learn. He has focused his professional life pursuing opportunities to create and support the institutions of education-based athletics and activities. Outside of his professional life, he is blessed with an incredible wife, Kristine, their two children, son Kylen, daughter Madalyn, daughter-in-law Alexzandria, and granddaughter Charlee Marie. His love of the outdoors is reflected through their work on building a small ranch, riding horses, hunting, and watching birds from his office.

Get to know Chuck