It was intimate and unique. The third event in the WinForever Always Compete Speaker Series, like other previous events in our Series, delivered something that isn’t offered by anyone else. We didn’t just talk about a usual ride to stardom.
A sold-out crowd at The GRAMMY Museum in LA LIVE created a unique environment that produced a rare energy. It was clear the passion coming from the audience matched those of the talent on stage. On stage included three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and WinForever’s high performance psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais, with Yogi Roth as the always-entertaining moderator.
We opened up and dug into the heart of Kerri and how she decided to bring on the assistance and expertise of Dr. Gervais. After eight years of dominance and two Olympic gold medals to boot, Kerri and her partner, Misty May-Treanor, found themselves with a lack of confidence and a feeling they weren’t on top of their game.
Then came in Dr. Gervais, who helped them get out of a funk and get them to re-focus on their ensuing goal. “No one is anything alone, and it takes a strong person to ask for help,” Walsh Jennings urged Tuesday night. “Have a strong support system and rely on it. Rely on your people.” She did that. And then came London 2012.
Throughout our conversation on Tuesday night, Kerri and Dr. Gervais took us through a journey to the unknown. Never had you been part of a conversation like this. From one superstar in her field—not just volleyball, but life—to an expert in high performance psychology, we constantly learned. Kerri’s genuine persona was highly relatable to all of us, even to those who haven’t ever set foot on a volleyball court. Likewise, Dr. Gervais took the opportunity to teach. Like he does every day with athletes at the top of their game, Dr. Gervais gave wisdom to young volleyball players and business executives, alike.
Dr. Gervais talked about the four characteristics to perform well—being calm, having confidence, being able to focus and adjust. She helped Kerri perfect these in the months leading up to London—when Kerri was ‘grinding.’ “Grinding is working intelligently—having a plan and knowing what skills to work on,” Dr. Gervais told the engaging audience Tuesday night.
Near the end of the evening, both Kerri and Dr. Gervais thanked each other, their families and the audience for allowing them to have an incredible journey. Lastly, Kerri was fortunate to have Dr. Gervais, telling him: “What you gave me is helping realize my priorities.”
It’s a simple reminder to all of us to uphold an appropriate balance we’d like to maintain: family, finance, career, etc. We learned Tuesday night that Kerri didn’t have the balance she wanted until she met Dr. Gervais. Once she re-discovered it, she performed better than she could’ve ever imagined.
Tuesday night was a simple reminder to me how great it is to be part of WinForever. We’re on an incredibly powerful mission to help people compete in all aspects of their life, so join in on the movement.
You won’t regret it.
Brian Wagner is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, where he was the Head Student Manager and operations assistant for the USC football team. You can follow him on Twitter at @BrianRWagner.
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