Welcome to

THE BLOG

Read On

Thank You Doug Beal

dbeal

I, like most of you, learned from the release this week that Jamie Davis is the new CEO for USAV. I’m excited and look forward to the potential ahead and whether it’s his influence or not, love the amount of digital content USAV has been pumping out the last few weeks. For USAV to take another leap forward it needs to view itself as a media company not just an NGB. Who better to lead us in that direction than one who has started and run a successful media company already.

But with the start of a new era, it means the end of another. Doug Beal lead USAV well and I want to publicly say thank you. Doug’s impact on US Volleyball is difficult to quantify. From player to coach to CEO, he has been actively involved in the growth of volleyball for nearly a half a century! That’s a long time. And the list of personal accomplishment and organizational growth is massive.

You might not agree with Doug all the time, I certainly haven’t but he was never operating on a personal agenda. Volleyball was too important and it’s growth was too important. Thanks for remaining level headed amidst all the pulling and tugging that has gone on especially over the last couple of quads. Those issues needed room to breath as real issues were being wrestled with and needed a strong leader to hold it all together.

Thank you for the impact you have had. The opportunities to play the game have grown immensely. Thank you for backing the Men’s NT move to Anaheim which was pivotal to our establishment as a world National Team force (and eventually lead to the WNT move, and full backing by the USOC). Thank you for the 2-man serve receive!!  Thanks for being such a great ambassador for both our country and our sport worldwide.  The world of volleyball has such great respect for you and rightfully so (Beal for FIVB president)! Oh, and way to take a 2-3 million dollar operation to a 25-27 million dollar operation. Not too shabby for a “non-business volleyball guy”. ?

Image: Volleyverse: Q & A With Doug Beal

Remembering Carl

img_4372

Carl McGown was a special human being. He is being celebrated today by his family and friends in Provo, Utah. I want to share a few words about him here, disappointed that I can’t be in Provo today.

Carl had a particular way of speaking. It was matter of fact. I liked that. I got to know him in 2003 when he joined the coaching super-staff leading in to the 2004 Olympic Games. The message that I heard from him that resonated the most was the concept of developing a comfort with discomfort. To embrace the feeling of discomfort and make that the new comfortable. It applied to how we trained, how we competed, how we traveled and certainly has application off the court as well.  It’s a message that I still try to embody today.

Carl will be remembered for many things. How he lived, how he related and the impact he had on volleyball and the thousands of players like me that he affected. Life is short…and the reality of that is present with me today. Time is a valuable commodity with a limited supply…Carl made a difference in this world with the time he was given.

Thank you Carl for a life well lived. Thank you to his wife, Susan and family for sharing him with the rest of us. Life is a team sport and he was special in large part because of his team, his support system, his family…he would be the first to say so. We are celebrating him today and thinking of you.

Excerpt From Max Potenial Playbook

img_4364
2017.

Crazy that 2016 is over. 2014 and 2015 were solely dedicated to being ready for 2016…now it has come and gone and its a bit surreal to be on this side of it.

Its now time to set new goals and reach for new heights. What are some of your goals? Please share! Goals shared in community are much more likely to be realized. I personally want to figure out how to manage time better. Its one of our greatest commodities. There is a limited supply…unknown really. This year I want to figure out how to invest my time well and not waste it. To not let the word “busy” undermine a life lived well.

The expansion of my book is going well! It is currently at 10 chapters and it has been really fun rehashing old stories and reliving memories, both the good and the bad. I am going to share an excerpt from the first chapter and would really appreciate your honest feedback. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Are you desiring more? Use the comments section or on Facebook and let me know what you think!

img_4362

Chapter 1
The Final 24 Hours

Journal 8/20/16 “…I don’t know what tomorrow holds but …I AM READY FOR ANYTHING.”

I can’t remember exactly how that final point was won (or lost) but when that ball fell and the reality that we wouldn’t reach the Gold Medal match (and that I would never again have the opportunity to play for an indoor gold medal)  an array of emotions flooded my being. Up to that point, I had figured out and embraced my role on this mission.  I came to Rio prepared to lead from the front in our quest for a Gold Medal.  Yes, I had a 2 year layoff and the team did just fine in my absence but this was the Olympic Games, this was not like any other tournament. This was different.  I was battle tested, I had war wounds and I had come out victorious on the other side.

I wasn’t asked to lead in that way though, I was asked to lead from the back. It took a while to identify and embrace that role. It was new and foreign.  But that became my marching orders.  How was I going to contribute to this mission in this supporting role?  I could see four areas that I needed to focus on.  

1. I needed to stay ready to physically play at a moment’s notice.
2. I needed to take personal ownership of the game.
3. I needed to stay mentally engaged from start to finish.  
4. I needed to find ways to make an impact whether I touch the ball or not.

By the time we reached that semi-final versus Italy, I had dialed in all 4 components.  I was ready, this was OUR fight, I was engaged for every point and I looked for ways to contribute from my spot on the court, the box.   The guys played hard and we were a sideout and a couple “reals” away from being in that final match.  But the margins at this level are small…absolutely fractional.  Ivan Zaytsev, Italy’s top gun, went back to the service line and pushed his chips all-in. Full-tilt he would either win or lose the game for Italy, all or nothing, terminal.  He won that game.  

In the 5th set, Italy seemed to get stronger, and we couldn’t match.  It was all too familiar as they knocked us out of the 2012 London Games from the medal round. That match still stings.   Sports at the highest level are decided by a point here or there. Everyone is great, so what are the differentiators?  The stakes are high and the margins are slim.  As a team, we had fought back from losing our first 2 matches of these Games.  We had shown resolve and composure beyond our collective years. But Italy was writing their own story…they had the same goal, the same dream.  

I personally was able to stay connected and ready until that final point.  But now it was over.  Stunned.  That is probably the best word to describe how I felt.  Then bitterness, anger, frustration and a whole host of emotions came with it. This team had come so far…I had come so far.  There was so much effort and sacrifice that went into my personal comeback not just from me but also from my family, especially my wife.  What did this mean?   

The next 24 hours were a struggle. I leaned on my family.  Needing to breathe some fresh air, Tommy Jeschke and I broke out of the hotel and took an uber to the NIKE headquarters across town that was on a golf course.  It was a good break and helpful to have an object to hit as we stayed on the range for a while and smashed ball after ball attempting to release our built up tension. But back at the hotel that night I was still struggling internally.  Playing in the Gold Medal game was off the table.  It was hard to accept. It was also hard to understand how to quantify the last 2 years of work to get back to this point. To be back in a USA #8 jersey, to be at an Olympic Games and now, on the eve of what I knew would be my final day.  The final day of a 24 year journey.  In no way did I want bitterness or anger to mar this final day.  But how was I to get out of this funk…where do I place these emotions?

To get a FREE digital copy when it’s released later this month of Max Potential Playbook: Reaching your Potential in Sports and in Life sign up here.

Max Potential Playbook: My First (e)Book

Over the last quarter century, I have been moving forward. Constant forward motion. What started as a passion became a gateway to the world…different cultures, different experiences and, most importantly, amazing people spanning the globe. Without an off-season in the professional indoor calendar, there was never a built-in rest period. There was no time to reflect, just constant forward motion.

Recently, though, I have been able to pause and reflect. It wasn’t intentional. Following the Olympic Games in Rio I was asked to fill in for two different friends, Matt Anderson and Casey Patterson. One occasion was a boys junior volleyball camp in North LA and the other was a speaking engagement at my home golf course in Huntington Beach. Those two outings led to other opportunities which, in turn, led to more. I connected with people on a new level and found the interaction to be very gratifying as I shared my experiences over the last 25 years.

In preparation for a 4-day intensive volleyball event in Phoenix for junior boys, girls and coaches, I put pen to paper and attempted to articulate the things I think are important when trying to get better at volleyball. That bullet list grew to several pages which then grew even more. I began to look through my 20 years of journals and incorporated some of those entries as well. The most surprising part of it all, I loved it!

I found it really enjoyable to look back and see the stories unfold and the major themes surface. Volleyball was my passion but it became so much more! It became a training ground. As I worked to master the game, the game had a way of working on me…my character, how I handle pressure and so much more. Those are the things that I carry with me today. The medals and trophies are all great but it’s the man I have become that is enduring and volleyball was my internal training ground. It helped me develop the ability to be a good learner. How to work with others. How to adapt and change. How to overcome fear. That is the real GOLD that I carry around my neck today.

I have no intention of keeping this to myself. As I have begun to share my experience publicly, both the good times and the bad, I have found great joy and I’m finding that it resonates with others’ life experiences as well. So, I am currently making a few tweaks to the mini-book that came from the event held in Phoenix a few weeks ago, and I am giving it away as a Free E-Book. If you are interested in a getting a copy, simply HERE.

CONTACT

Thanks to all my friends, family and fans out there.
Your support means everything.