Kerrie Pottharst (00:00:00):
I'm actually really lazy. And people go, oh, yeah, no, when I say that, but I am, I'm, I'm super lazy. I could lie on the couch and watch like reality shows all day. I, seriously, I could. But what drives me, and someone wrote it in the chat before, is my passion and what I love to do. That's what drives me. So we all have different drivers, and my driver is my passion, what I love. So at the time, my passion and, and that was I wanted to, to play volleyball at the highest standard that I possibly could. I wanted to keep pushing myself to see how good I could get. That's why I went to Italy.
Mark Burik (00:00:42):
Hey everybody, see you pouring in. Super awesome. Spending some time, you know, like kinda digging into her so that I, I've had some decent questions to ask, but I'm so excited to talk Carrie. So we're just gonna wait for people to come pour in. Hey Brian.
Brandon Joyner (00:00:59):
What up? Although it's been a while, so maybe I, maybe you've had some growing
Mark Burik (00:01:03):
Since I've slimed down.
Brandon Joyner (00:01:04):
I, oh really?
Mark Burik (00:01:05):
Brandon Joyner (00:01:06):
Slimed down. I have not slimed down
Mark Burik (00:01:09):
Every, I have no idea when we're gonna play VO again. So I've like ditched the whole training thing and I've just been like, all right, time, time to grow an online business here. And pivot really quick.
Brandon Joyner (00:01:19):
Just get a belly.
Mark Burik (00:01:21):
Yeah. . Um, Gary, we can't see you yet. I just wanna wait to, to bring you on just to have like a big introduction and to kind of, uh, talk to Brandon to figure out how kind of nervous I am to talk to you, .
Brandon Joyner (00:01:35):
Yeah, I'm, uh, I'm certainly excited to hear what Carrie has to say, especially now that you're on, we can't talk about you too much. I've heard amazing things. I've done some, a little bit of research and yeah, I'm just excited to see what you have to share. I'm sure it's gonna be very valuable.
Mark Burik (00:01:51):
Carrie was, she was hanging out like on the Australian tour by tournaments and everything when I was playing there. And she was just still like super open, super kind. I have a picture of her like interviewing me. I just have no idea where it is. Just realize that. But she's all sunshine and, and inspiration and she has done what I want to do. I don't tell many people this, but um, I guess since now we're live and there's, there's all nine of them, uh, before everybody gets here. But like part of the whole beach volleyball thing is how I took it. Cuz somebody said like, why do you play volleyball? Like, what's your passion? What are you doing? And I said, like, honestly, when I look forward at it, yeah, I love competing, I love playing, but it's about the platform now. The way I think about it, it's about the platform that it gives you. And then once you're on that platform, uh, and people are looking at you now, how do you use that opportunity to make the world
Brandon Joyner (00:02:48):
Better? That's, uh, been something I've been battling with for, and I've talked to you a little bit about it, but something I've been battling with a little bit since I've, uh, moved out here. So that's a really, really good point. I like that. Yeah, and I could see, I could see you doing that. I obviously, I've learned a few things from you and motivating me is probably one of the biggest reasons that I can say that I'm here. So
Mark Burik (00:03:12):
Yeah, I didn't really motivate you. I just asked you easy questions.
Brandon Joyner (00:03:17):
No, but I, I mean, going back to college, I mean the, the conversations and deep thoughts that were brought up in conversations that we had pretty meaningful for me. So you're already on, on the right track. You got one, one person that you've motivated . I'm sure there's plenty more.
Mark Burik (00:03:35):
Yeah, I, I I hope so. And, and I hope that, uh, you and me, you know, like this platform and doing these webinars and interviews with everybody has been like, oh man, how cool to be able to just share all of this information, like these people that the average person feels like they could not access. Now we're creating this avenue to be able to be like, Hey, check this out within two days, you know, within 24 hours we're gonna have on three Olympians. And, well, pelo hasn't gotten the O Olympics yet, but he's, he's in the last spot, so, and Demas on top of this country. So
Brandon Joyner (00:04:11):
Yeah, it's not, I'm not surprised how amazing they've been so far, because I know I, well, I, I guess, I don't know Dema, but if you knew him, I trusted that. And then just knowing Casey, oh man, he, he's just an entertainer at heart and every, every time he opens his mouth, and I I loved his, his movements of his hands during the last webinar too. Like, he, he just enthralls people and it's really cool. Absolutely. I'm looking for, these are, it's crazy. It's like, we could have done this before, uh, this whole thing hit, but
Mark Burik (00:04:44):
I don't think so. Like we
Brandon Joyner (00:04:45):
Could, well I, I mean I think we, we could have asked them to, but I don't, I don't think as many people would've tuned in. But yeah, this situation has certainly allowed us to connect more with people that we normally wouldn't. And it's kind of cool that people are tuning in to to hear about it.
Mark Burik (00:05:01):
Yeah, absolutely. It's nice to have a time and then to, to pivot, which I think honestly is, uh, maybe a good opportunity since we are at, uh, six o'clock here talking about pivoting. Somebody who did that fantastically twice in our life, as far as I know, and I'm sure there are a bunch of turns and twists in there. But going from playing indoor volleyball, suffering a big time knee injury while playing pro indoor in Italy, to thinking she might not ever play sport again, to then realizing she could play on the sand and then setting some goals for herself. And then eventually those goals ended up in a couple of Olympic medals going forward from there, after she's done playing, saying like, where's my spot in the world right now? And realizing the platform that she has and how many people that she can speak to and change lives.
And, um, I've got a list of her clients, like the companies and corporations that she has, has helped and led through training Ernst and Young, Vodafone, Fuji, ibm, like this woman is incredible and people have been seeking her out and, and she's just here hanging out with, with our small audience. And hopefully this blows up once it goes on YouTube, but can't wait to get her advice, uh, on life and sport and everything beyond. Without further ado, carried. We are going to bring you on. People are still arriving piece by piece, but hopefully your internet is better than Damien Shoeman. And, uh, your camera should be, there she is.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:06:36):
. Hello. Hello. What a beautiful welcome.
Mark Burik (00:06:39):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:06:40):
You? I'm so excited to be on here and thank you for such a beautiful intro, mark. It's really kind of you. I just, um, I do what I do and I, I sometimes say I bleed volleyball, you know, it's in my blood, so I would do anything for volleyball, the sport or volleyball players and the people that I've met along the way. And that you are one of those people. So thank you.
Mark Burik (00:07:02):
Well, of course, of course. . Um, little, um, maybe we'll get to it later once people start rolling in, but you were a big moment of inspiration for me while I was playing in Australia. I'll share that story later. But I have a couple of places where this conversation can go and it can go volleyball, but like, really, really selfishly, I hope it's far, far far beyond volleyball because I see you as somebody who has already done the things that I really want to do, like in my life going forward. And one of the many goals or things that, that I think that like me and Brandon can accomplish together. Um, you're, you're already living and have lived that, so I'm so excited to talk to you, like selfishly and, and also to be able to, to to share any of your knowledge with, with everybody. Like what an, an advantage and opportunity that everybody has here. Carrie, just like to sort of maybe to, to get through the, the volleyball stuff, right? So we know you were playing indoor. Yep. You were playing pro in Italy and what did pro indoor look like? What was that, 92, 93?
Kerrie Pottharst (00:08:13):
Yeah, we don't need to talk about the year, but, uh, quite a few years ago.
Mark Burik (00:08:17):
Mark. Come on dude. my third time interview.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:08:21):
Yeah, well lemme just kind of set that up. So I played for Australia Indoor for 10 years and I was a captain of the national team, you know, at the end of my indoor career. And when I got to that point, when I was captain of the national team, I just wanted more. I just wanted to get better. And all that time for 10 years, I'd never earned 1 cent playing, um, volleyball, indoor volleyball. I had used my, um, my sick leave, my holiday pay. Um, I got sponsorship from my employers, you know, I, I did whatever I could, could sponsorship, as in they let me have leave with pay sometimes. Um, and I, I represented Australia and sometimes we even had to give our tracksuits, you know, the tracksuit you get with the Australian colors and your name on the back and you feel really special. We had to give it back at the end of our tournament for the next Australian team .
So that's how poor we were as an indoor volleyball nation. But I loved the sport. I fell in love with it. I was good at it very quickly. I had great coaches around me, body type, perfect. I'm six foot tall, I'm lean. So just perfect body type for our sport. And I loved being in a team. I could never play an individual sport. It's too boring. I, I'd go stir crazy following a black line in a pool or running around a track or something like that, or marathon running. Oh my god. Those people, I applaud them, but it's not for me. So I loved the whole team aspect and I got to that point where I wanted to get better. So I thought the only place I can get better and without, you know, going to the Olympics. Cause we were ranked 20 something in the world.
So as a country, we're never gonna make the Olympics indoor. I thought I'll go professional, go overseas. And I sent away a couple of emails. I actually went to England to live with my boyfriend at the time and just kind of made some phone calls and, and got a position in a club in Lanya in Italy. And it was a really good club. And last minute they were looking for someone. I rang them at the right time. I went there, I had a, like a one on one with a coach and all the staff in the hall from the, from, you know, all these old guys from the club were sitting around, you know, you can imagine the hall was lined with chairs and all these old guys were just staring at me waiting to see what these Australian, this kangaroo could do. And I had to like dig, set, spike, serve.
I had to go through all the different skills and at the end of it they said, you know, go have a shower, then come and meet us in the, in the office and we'll see, we'll talk. And they, they basically gave me, offered me a contract for some money and I'm like, oh my God, I'm getting money. And I kind of gulped and went, cause they went, oh here you goes, it's okay. And I went, oh yeah, I think that's okay. But inside I was going, whoa, . And it was only back then, it was only about, so in the early nineties
Mark Burik (00:11:06):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:11:07):
And for someone who had never earned any money playing volleyball, it was just, you know, a dream come true because not only was I gonna get lots of great training, I was gonna get some money mm-hmm. . So, um, that was how I got to Italy because I wanted to get better, not because of the money. And then the funny thing is halfway through, let
Mark Burik (00:11:25):
Lemme tell everybody what Kerry was gonna say for two hours . Yeah.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:11:31):
So, um, what happened then was halfway through our team was losing and you know, they were starting to then, because as a foreign player you have to kill every ball. You have to win every point to earn your keep. And it was myself and a German girl at the time that was in the club and we were at the bottom of the A one division. So it's the top division in Italy I think. And I think Kar was playing, Kar was playing that year and earning a million dollars. So that was the difference, you know, ,
Mark Burik (00:11:59):
Did he earn a million in Italy when he was,
Kerrie Pottharst (00:12:01):
I think he earned, it was rumored that he earned a million bucks for a season back then, like on ridiculous money.
Mark Burik (00:12:08):
Brandon Joyner (00:12:09):
Also, there's also a rumor that he went an entire playoffs without making a single hitting error when he was in Italy. He might have earned the million, I dunno, .
Kerrie Pottharst (00:12:19):
Yeah, yeah. He was worth it. He was certainly worth it. Well, at the time when we were like losing halfway through the season, I wasn't earning my keeps so to speak. Well I was playing the best volleyball I could play. I was getting better, but it wasn't good enough. So the club actually called me into the office and said, oh we're really sorry Kerry. We're gonna have to let you go and bring a Brazilian player in, you know, some that someone that's better, that can help us stay in the top division, otherwise we have to go into the playoffs. And they, they gave me two choices. They said to me, you can either, um, stay and train with the team and not play on the weekends or you can go home, we'll pay out your contract and you can go home. And I went back to my original reason why I wanted to be there and that was to get better.
And I made that decision. I said, I'll stay. I walked out of the office and the German walked into the office. They ended up saying like keeping her on. So that was okay. But then what happened about a week later, I was training really, really hard. Like I said, I was just going for it. I was just doing my best training really hard. They called me back into the office and said, you're training so well, we've decided to keep you and sack the German player, . So that was kind of the first indication I had that, you know, volleyball was not only a thing for me to do, it was what I wanted to be the best at and, and what I wanted to, I wanted to continue to just strive to be the best. Um, and the funny thing was the German girl decided to leave and not stay on.
So again, I learned that, you know, digging your heels in and and not quitting is something that, you know, became really evident through that time. And I ended up playing out the season with the team. We did stay in the top one division. The Brazilian girl came mm-hmm . And I remember she took like about a, I don't know, 15 foot approach from an outside hit. She'd come barreling in jump about like, I don't know, I'm trying to put it in feet, not meters. She'd probably jump about three or four feet in the air it seemed like that. And smack the ball so hard that when we were training and I was doing blocking against her, I remember blocking sometimes with my hands like this cuz I literally did not want her to break my fingers. She was crazy. She was so, so amazing. I actually linked up with her on Facebook this week. Really just this week we linked up on Facebook. So funny. But uh, yeah we played the season now we stayed in the A one division and then I came back to Australia in between seasons and that's when I wrecked my knee.
Mark Burik (00:14:41):
It's crazy to me that, uh, you got, you went there and maybe it's crazy but it was a phone call. Like they didn't send you a brochure, you didn't get to check out their website online, um, and see like, hey, what's bologna? Like, it was like you went, maybe you went to a local travel agency and you're like, hey you got any brochures on bologna, Italy? What's it like there, , that's um, mind blowing And I think that's probably maybe your first evidence or early evidence that you're like a risk taker.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:15:13):
Um, yeah, absolutely. Cause so, so many people, so many people said to me, what are you doing? Cause I had to quit my job to go to Italy. What are you doing? You've got a great job. You know, I was working for Australia Post and I was an account manager in the sales department and I was working alongside men in their mid forties. So they'd gone through the system to get to that position and somehow I, I got into that position. They were looking for some youth and some, you know, something new energy in that area. And I got the spot and I was giving up a really well paid job and a secure job to go over there. So, you know, my drive to get better at the sport was just over and above everything. And then the fact that I went to seek out how to get there, like I didn't just leave it to chance. I didn't wait for someone to come to me. I didn't kind of contact an agency. I dunno if there were any back then, but I just kind of started basically now you'd get on Google and you'd start to work out, well how am I gonna make this happen? Here's my dream. How am I gonna get there? Bit by bit. Take each step that you can until you
Mark Burik (00:16:16):
Get there. That's so much fun. Now its, it's, it's because there are those moments in life when like you have this kind of gut check moment. And I've said a few times maybe cuz I heard it from somebody smarter, but it's like the best times in your life and probably the most crucial are when you're really excited but pretty damn scared at the same time.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:16:40):
Um, which is kind of what it could be for a lot of people right now, apart from volleyball in the world that we are living in, where there are opportunities in this time, but they're kind of crippled by fear of what other people might think if they try to, you know, move ahead with their goals and dreams. Because you know, some people think that, oh we'll just have to wait and see what happens instead of going, well no, my goals and dreams are out here. I'm still gonna work towards them no matter what. And just deal with the situation as it comes each and every day. And that's really hard for someone who likes to plan. And I'm, I'm a big planner. I love to know what I'm doing next month, the month after, the month after that. So right now I'm just like, uh, just sit still just day by day, keep working towards my goals and um, pivot every day. ,
Mark Burik (00:17:29):
I'm, I'm the opposite, not a planner. And I know, like I know how much it hurts me and I have this, uh, I have a performance journal here and it's got like your daily goals and every time in the morning it's like, how can I be the best version of me? And it's like, get organized plan next week plan. Like every day I write to myself. Like you have to figure out a game plan and uh, and go forward. So
Brandon Joyner (00:17:57):
It's get, it's getting better. I'll say it's getting better. I've seen it firsthand.
Mark Burik (00:18:02):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:18:03):
But Mark, you're probably a big dreamer as well. Big visionary. So you are the one that kind of, this is where you wanna be and then you need the people who plan and strategize and organize. You need to team up with them. Like maybe Brandon's one of those people and that's why you're where you are.
Brandon Joyner (00:18:18):
Mark Burik (00:18:18):
Brandon Joyner (00:18:20):
Mark Burik (00:18:20):
Brandon Joyner (00:18:21):
Maybe we're just both dreamers. . Yeah.
Mark Burik (00:18:24):
Yeah, me and Brandon are really pretty similar. Um, he does better with like lesson planning cuz he comes from a, a teacher background and then we have Tanya, um, who edits all of our videos and she's the one that's like, what are you guys doing? Like what, what do I need to do next week? Like I don't care what , I'm like, well I got this great idea and it's gonna be awesome. Okay. What happened to the, the idea you said five minutes ago? Yeah. I wanna move through a couple lists of questions here. It was 1993, they announced for the first time that beach volleyball was going to be an Olympic sport in 96. Were you playing beach at that moment? And how soon did you set your sites on an Olympic goal or was an Olympic goal, like somewhere beyond where you wanted to get and you just ended up there?
Kerrie Pottharst (00:19:17):
Yeah, so I wrecked my knee in 92 a year before they announced, maybe not a year, actually, maybe six months before they announced that beach would be a, an Olympic sport. I set my sights when I wrecked my knee at the end of 92 that I would get back to playing indoor volleyball, beach volleyball. I'd played for fun. I'd never played it seriously. It was only something I was doing for fun. I wanted to play indoor again. And then month by month I had a little bit of a plan. I had a ball that I wrote, wrote all my goals on. So it reminded me every day it was in my house, you know, with it and put it, I put dates on it of, of how I would rehabilitate, you know, and
Mark Burik (00:19:54):
Well I do, I do wanna pause there just to interrupt you cuz I, I saw this video may maybe use it frequently, but she had a indoor ball with, with and she wrote a goal on each panel of the indoor volleyball and she said, date for each goal, like, so
Kerrie Pottharst (00:20:10):
By, look at the, the shirt that I put on today.
Mark Burik (00:20:13):
. There you go. There you go. Stars red and white and blue too. So I mean,
Kerrie Pottharst (00:20:20):
So here's my ball. Um, where's the first thing? So that was, I dunno if you can see that was the first few things that I wanted to do. Oh
Brandon Joyner (00:20:28):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:20:28):
So the first, and I dated it. So the first thing was running in water. So I thought I'd get a float and that was four months after I did my knee. So when I say I did my knee, I wrecked my knee, I ruptured my cruise, I ruptured my media ligament, I wrecked my meniscus and my cartilage. So I did everything. It was just kind of dangling literally cuz it wasn't really attached internally anymore.
Brandon Joyner (00:20:49):
Yeah, we don't need that . Yeah, that's, let's get back to the ball .
Kerrie Pottharst (00:20:54):
So, um, four months later I figured I'd get like a float belt, put it around my waist, get into water and just start paddling my legs, then jumping in water. And then here's the funny thing, like I wrote jogging as the next one. I dunno if that that's all back to front for you. But I wrote jogging as the next one. And what I realized obviously is when you've got that serious an injury, jogging's, the last thing running is the last thing that you can do. And I, I, I've never done it by the way obviously in sand, but I've never done it for cardio, for, you know, for cardio purposes or fitness purposes. Cause I, my knee just can't handle it. But when I got to that I went, oh, I can't do that. That's a bit of a joke, skip. So the lesson I learned here, and what I talk about a lot is you might have a plan, you might have a goal and you might have set out a, a loose plan, but that plan is not set in stone.
And that plan sometimes is made when you don't really know how to get there. So you, number one, you can set the plan and you can settle the steps out even though you might not know how to get there. Don't worry about that because when you get to that you'll go, oh, I can't do that yet. I'll do it later or I've already done that, I'll go to the next one. So that's what I, I I started following this month by month. And the great thing was it was in my house and every time anyone came over they'd pick it up and go, oh, this is cool. And you know, they'd go, oh, what are you up to? So it kind of kept me accountable. Um, we talked about it a lot. I talked about it with my friends all the time and it just reminded me visually and physically cuz I could play with the ball that volleyball is what did I, what I wanted to get back to.
And so every time I had a decisions made, whether to go to the physio, do my work, do my rehab, whatever, I'd, you know, this would be imprinted into my brain that this is what I needed to be focused on. Um, but what happened was after a year and I had competition match written on there at a year and one month after I'd done my injury, I never got back to that because I started training with the national team again, I moved cities to be in the full-time program to be back with the national team and I just couldn't, my knee couldn't sustain the, the constant, um, jumping and even going low down to, to dig a ball or anything like that. It just couldn't sustain that sort of workout on the hard floorboards. But what I'd done previously where there was the valve on the ball, which I figured I wouldn't really see anything under there.
When I stuck it down like that on the table, I thought, oh, I'll just write something cuz I wanna fill it in. There's, there's a valve that, there's a panel that I haven't filled in. So I wrote beach volleyball on that panel and then I wrote November. So it was a month, even a month later than I thought I'd get back to indoor. And then, and then during the year they announced that Atlanta 96 games would have beach volleyball as a full metal sport. So I wrote Atlanta, United States 1996. I wrote this three years before that in tiny letters in case somebody saw it . And then I turned it back over like that. And you know, that was my first, that was when I planted the seed of perhaps maybe I could switch to beach volleyball. It was just growing then. And that's exactly what happened.
Cause you know, after a year I couldn't do it anymore. So I got a pair of bikinis and started playing with one of my friends who was also just retired from the national team. And lo and behold didn't hurt my knee as much. I could, like, I could jump more and not have the hard landings. I could fall to the ground and digable any way I liked cuz you're falling in the soft sand. I didn't have to do like a deep knee bend or anything like that. I could just do like a full, like if I wanted to .
Mark Burik (00:24:28):
Right, right. We teach that a
Kerrie Pottharst (00:24:30):
Lot. Yeah. And uh, yeah. And then I just grew an absolute love for beach volleyball and very quickly I realized that my best friend, unfortunately at that time wouldn't be for me. I thought wouldn't be the best partner that I could have to get to Athens. And that's when I looked around and we didn't have a lot of players to choose from, but I saw Natalie Cook and I went, that's the person I wanna play with. And that began from there.
Mark Burik (00:24:55):
That's um, and then you went to three Olympics. So yeah, three years out, three, four years out, almost never having played the sport, you kind of like throw it in there as some kind of pipe dream. And then you go and you say, okay, okay, I'm just gonna play more and more and more and more and build your way and you find that the right teammate even though it's not your best friend. Could you tell me, this wasn't supposed to go this way, but could you tell me like what that was like, you know, like having your, the friend and the best friend because I played with a lot of my best friends and then that decision of they're still going to be my best friend. I hope, I hope after this decision. But how do I let somebody that I like and love know that like, uh, I gotta try to play a tournament with somebody else because they just ask me. Or this might be like my, my trip to Sunday. How did you go through that and how do you recommend other people go
Kerrie Pottharst (00:25:50):
Through it? Yeah, it's a really, really hard thing to do. At the time. I remember being in tears actually talking to her about it. And I had a, I I, I told her, this is what I'm thinking. I was very open with her from the beginning. I could have just called her up and said, sorry, see you hang up. But as soon as the decision was an option, as soon as I, I had an option, I'd talked to Natalie. Natalie was thinking about it, I started to talk to our national federation. I talked to other coaches, other players, and of course I talked to um, my friend who Annette, her name is, um, and I said, look, I'm gonna give this a week to just really see how I feel. And we had a tournament on the follow at the end of that week that we were both entered into.
So I was playing with her for that tournament, a national tour event in Australia. And probably 80% of the people I talked to actually advised me against it. Uh, they said, yeah, they said, look, you're number three in Australia right now with Annette. You know, you, you've got a chance of making it to the Olympics. Don't risk it. You dunno what it's gonna be like playing with Natalie. She's 10 years younger than you. She was only 19 at the time. She's very young. She's only played volleyball for a few years. Like she'd only played indoor for a few years before she got out onto the beach. Wasn't as experienced. And we were both blockers at the time. We had a blocker and a defender. We were both blockers. People were going, you know, who's gonna play defense? Mm-hmm . And I knew I could play defense.
I'd not played it, but I knew I had a really good handle on being able to defend a ball. And Natalie I figured may have the same. And in the end now I think Natalie ended up being one of the best defenders on the tour when we were playing. But at the time people advised me against it. But I had this gut feeling and I'm sure you know, that feeling is when you just like, I've gotta, I've just gotta do it because if I don't do it, if I don't follow my gut, then I'll always have a regret. And that's the key. You have to follow your gut. You could possibly go back if you make it a, in a way that if you set it up in a way, if you open and honest and authentic about it, if you don't bullshit, if you don't, you know, keep them in the dark. Be honest about it. And so we had that week together, we ended up winning that tournament,
Mark Burik (00:28:03):
The final. She's like, alright, we're set. We're safe.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:28:08):
. Yeah. Won the tournament. And then the Monday I sat down with her and threw a lot of tears. I told her that this is what I decided to do. Unfortunately our relationship was pretty shit after that for the next two years. But since then, like at about the two year mark, everything really fell into place. And we are as close as we have ever have been. She lives in Hawaii by the way. But yeah, so my advice would be to follow your gut because if you don't, you'll have regrets and do it in a way that is gentle and kind and honest and open with both partners.
Brandon Joyner (00:28:43):
Yeah, I think that's kind of a life thing as well. Um, there's a lot of decisions you can make in life and as long as you keep people, if you're honest with people, it turns out to be okay.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:28:52):
Yeah. Well, beach volleyball's like being married, right? in so many senses. But you're married to somebody that you don't, you would never choose to marry unless you are in fact playing with your partner, which does happen. I guess if you are gay you could be playing with your partner and then I think that would be even worse. . Yeah. You never get away from them.
Mark Burik (00:29:10):
Number of, I've seen ruined by like, um, for like straight people in their co-ed matches. She's like, you guys should not play that Valentine's Day tournament together. Never. It's like,
Brandon Joyner (00:29:21):
You won't find me there. .
Mark Burik (00:29:24):
Um, were you a part of the push to make it an Olympic sport or uh, was that just
Kerrie Pottharst (00:29:30):
No, at that point I really, when it was made in Olympic sport, I had nothing to do with the sport of beach volleyball. I was just focusing on me, myself and I. But I, I did think about something when you were, were talking about when I started playing beach and made it to three Olympics. What the first thing I did as soon as I, I realized that I had a chance was change partners, right? And find the best partner that I thought would be the best partner for me in Australia. And then the next thing we did was find the best coach. Because obviously, you know, if you, if you wanna get somewhere, I don't know anybody who's got somewhere and reached their goals and dreams and, and become highly successful in anything without a coach. So we didn't have, we pretty much knew the most about our sport at the time in Australia. So we went, who are the best countries in the world playing this sport, America, Brazil. We thought, well we don't speak Portuguese yet, so let's go to America. Let's start training there. Hanging out with everybody, you know, joining in the trainings. And I must say all the girls at that time were so welcoming. I stayed in so many of the players homes and trained with them in their, their team practices. We played a little bit on the AVP and the C B V A I think.
Mark Burik (00:30:48):
So were the girls like, uh, like Mcpe, e y?
Kerrie Pottharst (00:30:52):
Yep, yep. Uh, Nat often stayed with Carolyn Kirby. We spent a few months in San Diego. Liz Machien. Yeah. Uh, Chris Schaeffer, gosh, I I don't wanna call them out cause I'll forget somebody. Sarah Stratton Australian who was living in Hermosa at the time, she had us at our her home all the time.
Mark Burik (00:31:11):
So you were just like, you had Olympic dreams and you were just couch surfing.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:31:15):
We were couch surfing and we were just drinking the knowledge from everybody and then we realized we needed a, a good coach. And so we came to America and we said to all our, our playing friends, who do you know, who would be interested in coaching us? And so we got a list of about half a dozen coaches and I, Natalie would, might remember some of the other names, but I can't remember all of them. But we asked them for a tryout. We first, we asked them, we called them and said, are you interested? Yep. Okay, let's do a session. So that way we got a free session.
Mark Burik (00:31:43):
Smart, super laughable. Yeah.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:31:48):
And um, we had a session with a guy called Steve Anderson who
Mark Burik (00:31:52):
Was, he's now the Canadian national coach or has been for a while
Kerrie Pottharst (00:31:56):
Yeah. With Canada. And we basically, we really loved his theories. He was looking for a team to start doing all these different things. Not standard old school beach volleyball as it was known in the States. Then it was something he was trying to change it a little bit. Um, and he needed two athletic players and we kind of fit his bill and he fit our bill in that we, we needed to improve dramatically to be able to compete against the Americans and the Brazilians. But we couldn't do more hours in the sand because I had my knee restrictions still. So, and I was already at that point, uh, 30. So physically it was gonna be hard to do more training. Wait,
Mark Burik (00:32:36):
You were 30 when you decided to pursue an Olympic dream?
Kerrie Pottharst (00:32:40):
I was probably, so I wrecked my knee at 27, recovered 28 realized by about 29, 30, yeah 29 going on to 30 that I could possibly make the Atlanta Olympics.
Mark Burik (00:32:52):
How awesome is that? How awesome is that for anybody who's like 19, 20, 21 and they're like, it's too late. It's too late. Like 23. And they're like, I could never learn this. I could never get good at this. Um, and yes, you had been playing for a while at that point, but when you flip the switch to a different sport, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, different sport, and at 30 you're like, oh, I'm gonna go move to another country for the second time to try to get better because that's where the best players live. I'm going to hunt a coach that I believe in and that believes in me. So you went and found your own coach and you went to a place where the, like, the environment was best. And that's so inspirational, so awesome. And for anybody who's like looking at, at doing whatever they wanna do, I think why can't we take that as an example and say, where's the best person at it?
How do I swing them and get in their ear and like, you know, buy them cups of coffee all day or carry their bags, their car just to soak up some of that knowledge and then be around the best because like we're, we're usually, you know, the average of the five people around us, right? That's what some people say. So if you just choose to hang out in that high performance environment like you did when you came to San Diego, you're like, okay, the best players in the world are American and Brazilian. So I'm gonna go to America and I'm gonna be around the best players and hopefully I fall somewhere in the middle of the best people in the world just by leading
Kerrie Pottharst (00:34:22):
Hundred percent. Absolutely. And we made Steve such a, Steve Anderson, the coach that, that we decided to take on from all that. We had a second session. So we asked him for like a second interview. We said, oh we we're pretty keen, but we need a second interview. So we got a second free session.
But the second session, we barely did any volleyball. We sat down and we talked and we loved his strategies, his way of thinking, how he talked about developing our mindset and that's what we needed. Cuz we couldn't do more hours in the sand. We weren't the best skilled team. But what we won with, I believe is our mindset and our strategy and our, like just our never say diet attitude at that point. And then we were able to bring out the best part of our skills at the right time. You know, over time our skills probably weren't as good as um, the Brazilians that we beat in the final at the Sydney 2000 games. But
Mark Burik (00:35:19):
Catch points against you, right?
Kerrie Pottharst (00:35:21):
No, they didn't have any match points against us, but we all, we had the match points we won. It was a weird system back then, so it wasn't rally point. It was served to make a point. Mm-hmm. , um, games up until the final were just to 15 as they used to be one set to 15 had to serve to make a point. And then the finals were the best of three sets. The first two sets were to 12 and then the third set was rally point to 15. So it was just a, oh
Mark Burik (00:35:48):
Third set was rally
Kerrie Pottharst (00:35:49):
Rally to 15 if we needed it. So we won the game 12, 11, 12, 10 against the Brazilians and each set we were down, we were down four points each set. So we had to serve my, serve
Mark Burik (00:36:04):
My both, I thought in both sets. They had 10 on you before you had 10 in both
Kerrie Pottharst (00:36:09):
The, they may have been maybe the second set. Not sure but yeah. Or the first set, I don't know.
Mark Burik (00:36:15):
Doesn't matter. One, one of the biggest wins in your life, like the day where it changed the most, you, you can't recall like the point , but like I would almost guarantee you that like the worst loss you could, like you could recall like probably your life. I know,
Kerrie Pottharst (00:36:33):
I think but if you can imagine it was so overwhelming. The whole thing, you know, we planned, we were focused, we were in the zone, everything, you know, we nearly lost, we're jumping way ahead. But we nearly lost our first match against Mexico cuz we were so frightened about, of having a crowd of 10,000 people cheering for us. Cuz we'd never ever ever had that before. We only won 12, a 15, 12 against the Mexicans we're actually at 12 all with them going, what are we doing? And they were the normally we beat them, had beaten them. 15 3, 15 4. So it was normally like, just a quick match, let's get this out the way for our next one. And they had us at 12 all and we just won that 1512. Um, but after that we actually did some interesting things, but we'd gone all around the place. I don't know, I didn't finish telling you about Steve, I must tell you.
Mark Burik (00:37:23):
Go back to Steve. Sorry.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:37:24):
So we made him an offer he couldn't refuse. We said give up your life in the states and come and live in Australia. We said when you, when we're in Perth, where I lived, you can live in our spare room when we're in Brisbane, where Natalie lived at the time. You can live with her parents , that's sweet deal. And then, yeah, and then we'll pay you $500 a week . And he said yes. It was a, a crazy kind of suggestion. And what I learned out of that is you, you just won't know that people are ready to help you unless you ask. You know, if you'd never, if you, if you thought Mark that I wouldn't do this for some reason, you never would've got it. But because you asked me, I said, yes, no problem, let's do it. If you need help, anybody out there listening, if you just need help with anything, just ask. All you can get is, oh no, sorry, I can't help you this time. Move on to the next person. So we took Steve, he ended up living in Australia for 17 years and then he moved to Canada and then he, he's been there ever since, but he's
Brandon Joyner (00:38:22):
American. That's awesome. So I have a quick question. Yeah. You were talking a lot about, I mean obviously the stories that we've heard so far, you not only problem solve very well with how you're gonna get to your goal, but obviously you're a workhorse too and willing to put in the hours. Was that something that you were kind of born with or did you meet someone along the way that kind of taught you how to do that? Or how did, how did you kind of get that mindset towards
Kerrie Pottharst (00:38:47):
Training? Well I kinda love that you brought that up because I'm actually really lazy and people go, oh yeah, no, when I say that, but I am, I'm, I'm super lazy. I could lie on the couch and watch like reality shows all day. I seriously, I could. But what drives me and someone wrote it in the chat before is my passion and what I love to do. That's what drives me. So we all have different drivers and my driver is my passion, what I love. So at the time, my passion and, and that was I wanted to, to play volleyball at the highest standard that I possibly could. I wanted to keep pushing myself to see how good I could get. That's why I went to Italy. That's why I started beach. That's why I got a new partner. That's why we got the coach.
And then, then the, like, there were two more pieces to our coaching puzzle. One was a, a full time conditioning coach that we had and then he was able to design our days. So it put the least amount of pressure on my knee so I could make it so we needed him. We couldn't just follow the plan that everybody else was following, cuz that wouldn't work for me. And then, um, the, the final piece of the puzzle was our success coach. And he happened to be in another American . Um, and we found him in Australia because at the time Natalie was seeking to find someone to help her with her mindset. And she discovered a guy by the name of Kerick Ashley and we took him on board and he was the one that that really helped us develop the belief that we needed. So we knew we had a good enough skill, we could win a point against any team in the world on any given day.
So we knew we could do that. How could we string them all together to win a match that then became mindset. We needed someone to help us believe that we could do that, but then believe that we could actually win the Olympics. Because I'll share with you, and I don't know if many people know this, we'd never won an event before the Olympics not won a world tour event. We'd come look, we had plenty of seconds and thirds. Like we weren't, it wasn't a fluke. We weren't coming last, but we had a lot of silver. I think I've got 17 world tour medals and there's only one goal in that world tour medals, which we won the, the first tournament straight after the Olympics. We beat the Brazilians again winning that tournament. And then, yeah, so all the rest of the silver and bronze. So we needed that belief that we could actually win this event in Australia in front of 10,000 of our like fans, which we'd never done before.
And that was massive. And so the first thing he recognized was that in order for us to get to there, we had to be so comfortable with being uncomfortable. So we practiced being uncomfortable in every possible way we could, whether it was on the sand. So our coach Steve, would put us in situations that we, there was no way we could win. Like he'd say, you can only hit here, you're gonna have two blockers against you. You're not allowed to shoot, you have to hit hard. It can't hit the block and you've got like a meter or you know, cup three feet that you have to hit the ball into like impossible situations. That made us so frustrated that we were like yelling at him and not at each other, but kind of screaming, going, this is ridiculous and kicking balls at training. And he just made us uncomfortable to the point where we were so comfortable with being uncomfortable that we're just like, all right, well you know, this is just normal.
And so it's kinda like you have this comfort zone that might be this big and then outside of that is your uncomfortable zone. And then you just gotta keep pushing the barrier until those uncomfortable things become comfortable and then you just push it and push it and push it until, by the time we stood in front of that crowd, we nearly lost the first match. Everything was uncomfortable, everything. And we're playing a team that had won every tournament except one. I think, I think they dropped one tournament in the two years leading up to the games. Wow. And we'd only, we'd beaten them one game. We'd beat them one time out of 17 matches in the previous two years. 17 times we played them. We'd only beat them once and it was cuz they were fighting the whole time . They just, they were so stressed three months before the games they, we were like, oh quick, let's quickly try and, and we beat them before they up that morning and then they beat us back the very next weekend.
Mark Burik (00:43:12):
Do you Tiffany Actionables for the, for the people who are watching and and the thousands that are gonna watch for Alright, you've gotten the same results again and again. You know, like there are players now probably in our group who they lose to the same guys every weekend. Like I know that like some of our best friends, me and Brandon's best friends are in New Jersey every weekend and the same two or three guys win the tournament every single weekend in New Jersey. So the same players are showing up every single weekend and losing to the same guys and watching them win. So do you have any actionables that your success coach gave you for how to keep, how to battle that moment? Yeah, everybody thinks I should lose. I think I should lose statistically I think I should lose. Like what do you do? What do you tell yourself to, to get over that
Kerrie Pottharst (00:44:02):
Hump? That is a massive question because there's so much, it's not one thing and it doesn't just happen overnight either. It's something that has to build along the way, which is probably a good time for me to show you this, which is our, and again, it's probably back to front for you. Is it back to front? No,
Mark Burik (00:44:21):
That's perfect. It reads right. Okay,
Kerrie Pottharst (00:44:22):
Cool. It's called our gold medal excellence plan and it's sat set out in an Olympic ring. So we, our success coach asked us going into Sydney, what, what's your goal for Sydney? And we said, well of course we wanna win a gold medal. And then we said, well what happens if we don't? So of course your goal is when you go down to New Jersey, is it that you wanna win the tournament? But then you go, what happens if we don't because we never have before. Then we said, well what can we go for that's higher than a gold medal? Cuz then if we don't quite get it, we might win the gold medal. And then Natalie jokingly said, what about a platinum medal? Cuz it's more expensive than gold. But then we said, well there's no such thing as a platinum medal. You have to go for something that's actually real.
Mm-hmm or that you can do. And so what we came up with, and this was done over a weekend of team building exercises and a lot of strategizing. We said, well why don't we go for gold medal excellence? And that's what we decided to call it. And all that meant was in the year and a half we had left until Sydney, every single day we decided to train, to eat, to sleep, to talk, to act, to be an Olympic gold medalist. So we trained like Olympic Olympic gold medalist. So are you doing, if you are the team that's going to New Jersey and losing all the time to the same guys, what are those guys doing? Are you training like they are, are you training as hard as they, are you eating the same food? Is it because you just can't, you got nothing left in the tank By the time you get to the end of the tournament, are you rehabilitating your injuries?
Like they're, and not even like they're, because they're not even the best, right? They'll be players that are even better than that. Look at the best team in the states right now. What are they doing? And try to be that team. Try to try eat, play, sleep, think, strategize, act everything you see, brush your teeth like them, you know, go down to the smallest, tiniest little thing. But what you have to do is find out exactly what they are doing. That's the homework, right? If you wanna be better, find out what the best people are doing. I mean, Carrie Walsh, I'm sure she'd love to tell you what her day looks like. I'm sure there's interviews all over the internet that talk about a day in the life of Kerry Welch and even before she had kids. Cuz obviously a lot of her days filled with what she does with her kids now. But I would be looking at the best players in the country and if not in the world. So this ring, and it didn't start off in Olympic rings, it started off just as words and then we ended up putting it in something that meant something to us. Like
Brandon Joyner (00:46:52):
Is this online somewhere?
Kerrie Pottharst (00:46:53):
It's in my book,
Brandon Joyner (00:46:55):
. Oh, okay. Um, can we send that? Can we send that? We're gonna have to point that out.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:47:00):
Let, yeah, we'll talk about how we can distribute it later, but okay. We'll yeah, we'll work something out. Perfect. Um, but it's, yeah, it's not, I don't think it's anywhere where you can see it online right now, but I do give it out all the time. The four main components were, um, pretty clear. So the first one was your purpose, your why. You have to know why you wanna be, why do you wanna win that event in New Jersey? Why do you wanna beat those teams? Why do you wanna represent the us? Why do you wanna go to the Olympics? And really dig deep into that. So for us, we had things like to be, to have a better quality of life for self, um, discovery to become improved individuals because of our shared experience, to be the best in the world. To see the world make new friends, to greatly increase our income, to heighten our profile, to just create better opportunities. We had a bunch of different reasons why.
Mark Burik (00:47:48):
Part of why would, why it-wise were to see the world and make new friends.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:47:54):
Brandon Joyner (00:47:55):
, I absolutely love that. That's why, why not? Yeah.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:47:59):
As long as that's part of the journey, right?
Brandon Joyner (00:48:01):
Oh my gosh i's the best part in my opinion. , I've also wanna a world medal. So ,
Kerrie Pottharst (00:48:08):
I read the rest of you cuz they're pretty cool. So yeah, to, to have the satisfaction of accomplishing our goals to represent Australia. Uh, do what we love, get paid for it. To make friends around the world similar to become better at our craft. Cuz we knew that through that journey we would get better to attain our peak standard to so see how good we could actually get to enjoy the journey. So to have fun along the way. But here's the thing that we wrote, and this is one of the ones in the middle of the circle, which Natalie and I still do every single day, is to, um, inspire and lift others hopes and dreams. Like a year and a half before the Sydney games. That was a reason that we wanted to win an Olympic gold medal cuz we knew that we could use that as a vehicle.
It was important to both of us to, to have that as a vehicle that we could then inspire other people. As you can see, we dug really deep into what it meant to us to actually go on this journey. Then the yellow circle, we called that our code of conduct. And that was all about our relationship basically. And this is where I, I talk, do a lot of corporate speaking, but that was about respecting others and their opinions using deeds rather than words. Do whatever it takes. Be responsible for empowering communication, be compassionate understanding towards all team members. Be committed to constant daily improvement. Remember we got these things too, from the people we were looking at that we wanted to be like for us. We didn't have many champions yet in the sport of beach volleyball. So we looked at other sports and other sports people in the world and also business people and thought, why are they successful? Always compet at our highest standards. So these is where our rules be flexible, be professional, present, a unified front by always sticking together. I will never forget staying in, what's that really? Skanky hotel in Hermosa?
Brandon Joyner (00:49:59):
Was it the old vo cam? Promosa Hosta?
Mark Burik (00:50:01):
No, it's not the old Boston. I actually didn't do it. Um, they actually just renovated, so they got, it's on
Kerrie Pottharst (00:50:08):
The strand anyway.
Brandon Joyner (00:50:09):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:50:09):
Won't mention names. We won't mention any names, but there was a hotel that we stayed in. They
Mark Burik (00:50:15):
Fixed it up. It's not
Kerrie Pottharst (00:50:16):
The beach. Oh nice. I might have to stay there again.
Mark Burik (00:50:19):
On the other side of Pier, Brandon
Brandon Joyner (00:50:20):
Mark Burik (00:50:22):
Brandon Joyner (00:50:23):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:50:24):
Yes. Yes. The Sea Sprite.
Mark Burik (00:50:26):
Way better. They fixed it up like a year and a half ago. Beautiful,
Brandon Joyner (00:50:29):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:50:30):
. Well we were staying there and we'd been staying there for a while and we got up in the morning, we were having breakfast and Natalie was eating a cereal and every time she put a spoon in the bowl it would go clink, clink, clink. That's all I heard. And I'm just like, uh, and I made a comment and she absolutely lost it. And she took off. And I didn't see her for a few hours. But this is the thing, when you're in a beach volleyball partnership, that sort of shit just develops. You can't help her. And so it was important for us, it was one of our rules that we would always present a unified front no matter what. So no one we hoped, no one ever knew when we were having troubles, if you know what I mean. So we wouldn't go down to breakfast and sit at opposite ends of the hotel breakfast room. We'd sit together and listen to the clinks and smile and be happy. as much as we could. So we didn't want that to be something that other people thought they could get a few points off us with. We also had other things, I won't read them all, but be professional, stay focused on our outcome. Have fun.
Brandon Joyner (00:51:29):
Can you, you, uh, explain what being professional means? I think it's kind of self-explanatory, but I'd like to hear.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:51:35):
Yeah, I think it just means do the things that you need to do to get the best out of yourself. You know, make sure you're always on time. Make sure you're doing all the extra work that you have to do. Make sure that we are doing the video sessions where we're getting ready for games properly. As in talking about strategy, you know, times we often wrote our strategy on paper because we'd talk about it, but in the heat of a game, you don't remember what you talked about before the game. And if you've got three games in a day, it can all kind of be a bit of a jumble. So we'd write our strategy down and we'd just look at it in the timeouts, you know, it could mean anything. Mm-hmm . But again, we were basing ourselves on what were the best teams in the world and what were the best athletes doing. And then we had another
Mark Burik (00:52:18):
Standard like to, to be able to set a standard and say like we're doing, we're doing something professional and it, and it's not about us, it's not about what we do, it's about what would the best version, like the highest level if we had a hero or like in my mind I always go to like my son or my daughter, like what would my currently imaginary, what would I hope that they do in this situation? That's how like I try to, I actually try to hold myself to the standards that I would want like my kid to live at, that I would put that much pressure on them because I would hope for the best for them. So why don't I hope the best for myself? So that would be like my standard of of conduct. And I like putting it outside of you as if it were, that's what this person would do. So that's what we're going to do. Not what I would do. What would the best version of me
Kerrie Pottharst (00:53:09):
Do? Yeah. And then you've gotta be it. Then you've actually gotta live into it instead of having it outside all the time, actually let it be you. So that's what this was all about. We had to just recognize what we needed to do and then be it. That's actually what the, the red circle is called. It's called Standard of champions talking about what you just brought up. So that was what standard do we need to uphold? Who do we need to be? So we had things like strong in emotion and spirit, powerful, certain, passionate, committed, trusting of the system and process. We argued a lot about strategy with our coach. So we had to trust. Got a great story about the Olympics on that one. Positive, supportive, perceptive, clear in focus, flexible, outcome driven, respectful of our self and our opponents. Aggressive yet controlled. So gotta be aggressive but you gotta reign that in and control that.
And compassionate and loving that was a one that people often look at and go, oh, how does that fit into that standard? And the best way of explaining that is I didn't wanna have a medal around my neck and just have no friends. I probably pissed a lot of people off during that time anyway to try to, to hold onto my friends and, and just, you know, and just be able to look back and go, well that was a great journey. Whatever happens. And then having fun was also on there. So having fun was on three so far. And then the last circle, the green one, well that's the volleyball stuff and this is the stuff you might actually be interested in. So, and we called this our winning way. We would intimidate with champions, physiology, arrogance. It was more confidence. So we wouldn't go onto the court and appear to think that we were gonna lose.
We would go onto the court with our shoulders back and just be like, you know, we're here, we're tall, we're strong, let's get the job done. We're professional. So champions, physiology, play as one. So that reminded us to always be together within whatever we were thinking. Talking strategy, you know, the way the game was going, using our strengths to attack the opponent's weaknesses. But going back to the guys that are always getting beaten, are they recognizing what the, their opponent's weaknesses are? And does that ma match up to maybe that's one of their strengths that they're actually not using or maybe they're not using it the right time. Executing our game plan was a, a rule that we had on there. If we had a game plan, we had to execute it. And it's really interesting cuz you can have a game plan, you go out and you do it and you get off the court and go, well that didn't work.
But if you look back at the video, it could be that you didn't execute it properly. So you might have a particular defensive strategy. I know you spent some time with demo yesterday, I can't wait to listen to that. But it might be that there's a strategy in there that you wanna try what you've gotta ask yourself, I dunno if he covered this or you do, but what you've gotta try ask yourself afterwards if it didn't work was did it not work because we didn't do it properly or did it not work was because it was the wrong strategy at the wrong time. So often it's because you're not doing it properly and you ditch it and go, oh well that doesn't work but it's cuz you're not doing it properly.
Mark Burik (00:56:13):
Yeah, we talk about that a lot. Like just from an in game perspective of alright, maybe you served this guy so that you know, you could get a dig and they hit a ball at your chest and you didn't dig it and your mind says they got the point, they got the kill. But your mind should say you got them to hit right at your chest.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:56:31):
Yes. Perfect. Yeah,
Mark Burik (00:56:32):
Keep doing that. But now just be better
Kerrie Pottharst (00:56:36):
. Exactly. And that's what Nat and I would say to each other, you know, we'd lose the point but we'd go, yes, the strategy worked, we just messed up the dig or we, we left too early on some defensive move or we served them in the wrong spot or whatever. But we'd actually celebrate the fact that yeah, the strategy worked. Put that in the pocket for later.
Mark Burik (00:56:57):
Kerrie Pottharst (00:56:57):
Love, especially when you need it,
Mark Burik (00:56:58):
Love that for players. Just like, hey you pick a strategy, okay, you know, they gotta kill, but it was kind of ugly and on accident it rattled through both of your blocker's. Hands don't just all of a sudden change that strategy the next time you serve like it worked, go back to it now just refine it instead of, you know, we, we talked with DMO about people who will call for a line block, right? They'll serve, they'll hit it into the net and then the next time they go back and serve they call for a cross box. Yeah.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:57:30):
Mark Burik (00:57:31):
This, this is proof that you're not thinking and strategizing and coming up with things for a reason. You're just, you're not even playing checkers, you're just throwing chips onto a board.
Kerrie Pottharst (00:57:42):
Well we love to, particularly when we got the opposition to actually change because of what we were doing. Not us changing because of what they were doing. So we played in groups of three sometimes, not all the time, but when we were getting really into our strategies, we'd sometimes play in groups of three where we know we'd bait them into the third, the third serve opportunity we got, we might have had to site out in between to get that serve again. But by the time we had that third serve, that's the one that we go to the point on these two if we get a point bonus. But that's just baiting them into the third one where you get the point. That's awesome. So an example could be, you know, somebody who loves playing in line shop. Maybe you bait them into hitting by giving them a big open space to hit.
So they hit one. If you dig it inside it and you win it, great. But then you serve them again and then you might go, oh now this time we'll give them no block. And then they have another hit and they can't play a line shot yet because you've, you've given them two big options to choose from. And then the third one that you go for the line, the line shots. So you serve them, your blocker goes up, you block a blocks line. So the blocker is showing that it's open and then you just hold a little bit longer than you run and you dig that on your feet.
Mark Burik (00:58:59):
So not even four for the blocker, a four like solely for the defender or like everything is stable including the block you're giving up hard cross and cut completely. Yeah. But because you led them for two points into knowing that it's open now you go and pick that up with just the defender, not the blocker. I,
Kerrie Pottharst (00:59:18):
Yeah, there's so many different things you can do there. But then we had things also like this is another good one. Push at the start to gain the momentum. So come out of the blocks really hard, then hold them in the middle cuz every good team, once they've kind of got over there, oh shit, we've lost a few points thing in the middle, they'll start coming at you. So that's where you gotta hold them. And then at the end of each set, that's where you push again. Now whatever that means to you in terms of the push, just for us it meant being aggressive on our serving it meant, you know, maybe trying different strategies early on to make a few big points and then just holding them with simple stuff in the middle and then pushing at the end with some of that stuff that we were talking about. Yeah. So, and we would communicate that during the game. So when we were doing push at the end, Natalie would give me the signal that was like nail in the coffin, like now's the time to put the nail in the coffin. We've got this far. And that was really my license to go and, and smack hard serves.
Mark Burik (01:00:16):
What is, what is an aggressive serve just just to turn it to specifically volleyball for, for the people who are watching, what is an aggressive serve or did an aggressive serve look like for you? Did it mean a sideline, a middle flat As hard as you could? What did you mean by serving aggressive?
Kerrie Pottharst (01:00:34):
Okay, so I was a top spin jump server. My flight serve was pretty average but I just came out cuz I was always a hard spiker. So I thought well this is gonna be what I'm good at so I'll learn to jump serve. And I played around with two step approach, three step approach, double toss, single toss, lefthanded toss, right? Like I played around until I felt and it took me a couple of years to get that really comfortable feeling where I could jump serve even with the wind at my back. So under difficult situations and on matchpoint, an aggressive surf to me would be generally going either into the wind. I would go generally the middle of the court, I would hit my hardest serves from the middle to the middle. Cause for me I had a very fast arm swing. If it didn't connect perfectly it would fly to the sides and be an ace anyway. If I connected perfectly, I would go middle to middle, really difficult and you know, deep, really, really difficult to receive with the power that I was able to put behind it. But then obviously I could change it up. I could go from side. The bigger the angle, the harder you go, the smaller the angle. If you're going for a risky serve, I would take some pace off that serve.
Mark Burik (01:01:47):
Let's, can we unwrap that for a second? So what do you mean by the bigger the angle, the harder
Kerrie Pottharst (01:01:51):
You go? So the bigger the angle would be from one corner of the court to the other opposite corner. Not from line to line for instance. Cause you've, if you're going line to line straight on someone, you've only got a small room to make an error. And if you're going too hard on that and you slightly mishi it by a tiny little bit, it could just fly out. But if you're going for a hard tough, you could go from the line to the middle or the line to the deep middle on the opposite corner. So my last two serves of the gold medal match we were at. Okay, I think you're right. They had set point, not match point cuz we'd won the first set. So they might have had match point. No it was tenol. That's right. It was tenol because I served one ball, I made a, I took a risk and I served line to line.
But I came inside the line a little bit where the old indoor line used to be where, you know, where you had that serving space that you had to serve on the right hand side at the back of the court. Yep, yep. And I'd come in about probably six foot from the sideline and then I'd serve it so it would sway out to the sideline away from the player in front of me. So I kind of serve it straight but out a little bit. I'd ma I took a risk at Tenol. I served an ace, it just dropped. She didn't even move then the first thing that went into my head was what am I gonna do next? It's match point Olympics gold matter, what am I gonna do next? But I had just, I know when I think about it
And the whole stadium is screaming like 10,000 people are screaming for you. I served it, I look at my face and I had this just no expression face. I came in, I hugged Natalie, I took the ball, walked back to my position and it was ingrained in me to be just as aggressive but take a safer angle. I served it from the exact same spot. I did it the exact same power serve and I served it to the middle of the court. So I aimed for the middle of the court. So if that went a little bit astray, it still would've been in and difficult. So I wasn't backing off myre aggression cause you don't wanna back off your aggression on matchpoint. You don't wanna give them a lollipop cuz you're too scared to make a mistake. You wanna go with your aggression still. But make sure the room for error is a lot bigger. So I served it to the middle. It was almost in the middle. They messed it up. They had to try and make a poke to save it. Their pokey went out, we won. That's a perfect example of serving aggressively.
Mark Burik (01:04:27):
They, they try to go jumbo line, they send it deep pandemonium, enthused. I like that thought of keep the same aggression but just choose a different angle.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:04:36):
Yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent.
Mark Burik (01:04:38):
I think you know like when I'm serving like and I go for hard jump serves a lot, a lot of times I'll just detonate into the biggest part of the court and I would like for myself to aim more every single time that I jumper. So that you get used to aiming. I think people hear the word serve aggressively and they look at the entire court and they go Hmm, move my arm as fast as I can. You know, hit the ball as hard as you can instead of let's pick spots like areas every single time. Cause the more you attempt to aim at a small spot, the better you get at it. Yes. So if you're just serving into these giant spaces, you're never gonna be good at hitting a pinpoint spot when you need
Kerrie Pottharst (01:05:21):
It. Can I tell you how we got, I got to that point too. So our success coach worked with me on this. So he came to training and he said, what do you wanna work on mentally for your game? I said my jumper because I'm hitting it as fast as anyone in the world, but my accuracy is just all over the place. So exactly what you're saying, like you're hitting it but you're not quite sure where it's gonna end up. It would hit that in the back of the head or it would fly out or you know, it'd aim for position left side and it would aim, go to the right side, whatever. So he said, right, he said the first thing you need to do is stop saying that about yourself. So it's really interesting concepts we all describe the way we do things and if it's not what you wanna be doing, you've gotta stop describing yourself like that.
So instead of saying I hit the ball really hard, but I'm not very accurate, find another way to describe that. So I just started saying I'm the fastest server in the world and cuz I was clocked at that at the previous Olympics. So I'm like, okay, I can say that. And maybe I'm not at the moment exactly, but let's say that. And then he said, right, we're gonna start working on, and then with our coach, our volleyball coach, we set up a little target back right corner, back left corner and back like on the baseline middle, just little targets. And we did this I reckon for a year at the end of every training we had to get three in each target before training finished
Mark Burik (01:06:43):
Every single practice,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:06:44):
Every single practice,
Mark Burik (01:06:47):
Empty net serving spot for those
Kerrie Pottharst (01:06:51):
Mark Burik (01:06:52):
And you're sitting there and you're going like, yeah I want, I'm trying to win a tournament. I'm so pissed off every time I didn't win a tournament, why didn't I win? Blah blah blah blah blah. Like, and you're playing in the middle of the week when you say like, oh yeah, okay, let's go to practice and then you just play for two hours but you don't actually work on something that you want to get better on that's going to like give you meaningful victories. The three time Olympic medalist serving on an open or net three time olympian serving on an open net to, to three spots. And that adds up to how many hours over, over that, you know, decade of playing and excellence. Yeah. And it was, that's uh, that's professionalism
Kerrie Pottharst (01:07:33):
. Yeah, there you go. And it was so interesting though because I was such a challenge beast. Like, gimme a challenge, I'll stay there until it's midnight to do it. And so I would not stand down and ju just float serve any of these balls. I jump served every single time and sometimes I would do 50 60 until I hit my three targets. Sometimes it took if 15 minutes, sometimes it took like 45 minutes. And so while I was still hitting trying to hit the targets, Natalie would be collecting the ball and passing them to me while if na if I finished first I would be getting the balls and passing the nat together with our coaches. So we were always playing as one because we knew that if we got really good at this and then we just, we started then once we got better with our, our targeting, we were then able to call from the net with our, you know, with our hands behind our back. Our system was let's now call where we tell the other person to serve. So she would say serve to five, served to one, served to two, served to six, whatever. And then this meant serve me an ace. It
Mark Burik (01:08:40):
Was so good when it's time for that for my partner. Yeah, yeah. Time. I'm like, let her rip. You know, like here we go.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:08:46):
Yeah, yeah. And then she would just cover the back of her head.
Mark Burik (01:08:48):
That's when you know it's coming. Yeah.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:08:50):
So yeah. So just to finish off that plan, the thing in the middle, the saying in the middle was something that we learned in Atlanta was how can we make it better? That was, that's our saying. It's just all about, and it's, it's really good current for what we're going through now with the virus is that yeah this is happening. Whatever's happening to you losing a match, you've lost a tournament, you've broken up with your partner. This is happening in the world right now is looking forward and going well how can I make the most of this situation and how can we make it better? Cause there's no point stopping and just looking back and going, I'm hopeless, I'm this, I'm that. Why did that happen? Yeah, you have to review and reset your goals and and stuff like that. But I was, I just became really good at reinventing myself as well throughout all that time.
And how can we make it better started Because in Atlanta, our goal in our first Olympics was actually to medal and we were number six in the world and we went through the tournament undefeated until we got to the quarter final. We beat, there were three American teams in the tournament. We beat two of them to get to the quarter. Then we had to play Nancy Reno and Holly McPeak in the quarter. And they were the team that was picked for gold. Like they're one of the gold medal favorites. They're amazing team. Our warrior still, Holly still gets out there and plays and we had a really tough match but we, our goal was to get a medal. We're like, we have to keep going, keep going, keep up this whole momentum, keep going. And we made it, we beat them 15, 12 I think it was to get into the semifinal.
And then we went, oh okay, we're here. We're so close to our medal, we're gonna, it's, we've got a three out of four charts to get this medal. And we had to play a Brazilian team and the, the second rank Brazilian team who we'd beaten before. So we had a track record of being able to beat them. But what started to fill our brain was, oh, what happens if we lose? What happens if we lose? Oh my god, we're almost there. And we started to stress and of course when you stress you just start to tighten up and then you just can't do anything. And we went out onto the sand against that Brazilian team. We got thrashed in about 20 minutes,
Mark Burik (01:10:59):
Kerrie Pottharst (01:11:01):
Oh I don't even know if it got to 20 minutes. It was just the worst game. It was just over and a blink. And Natalie and I were in shock in the bus going back to the village going, what the hell happened? What happened? And she couldn't talk like I wanted to talk. I'm one that wants to talk about it straight away. She wants to think and talk later. And we said, go and have a massage. Na, go and get, you know, get ready. We need to talk about this cuz we gotta play it tomorrow I think or the next day. And so she went into the massage room and that night, um, they were beaming the swimming finals into the, the area in the village where we were having all our massage and our therapies and everything and the place is normally pumping with people and athletes.
But it was empty cuz they were all kind of round the corner watching the swimming final. We had an Australian in the swimming final and he was complete. No one believed he could win. He'd won the previous Olympics. His name is Kirin Perkins. I dunno if anybody's ever heard of him, but he won the previous Olympics 1500 meter freestyle final. But he only just made the final that night by 100th of a second. He was so behind the times he was in lane eight for the final. So what they were standing there going, well let's just watch him swim. At least he's in the final. There's another Aussie in the final. Maybe he'll win a gold. We'll just watch. And Natalie thought, well I'll just watch and then I'll have my massage. And so she stood there and watched. But the thing was no one knew what was going on in Kirin's mind.
And he had struggled to make the final, but he made the final and there was nothing, he wasn't gonna leave nothing out there in the pool. He was gonna give it absolute everything he had. And from lane eight he dove in first lap. He was head second lap over and over and over. And the excitement in this room was just getting palpable. It was like just building like, oh my god, no, he's not gonna win. Oh he's doing right. No he won't. Hold on. Oh, he's still winning. Oh he's winning, he's winning. And then, you know, 15 minutes later he touches and he wins the gold medal in lane eight. And that was standing there that night watching this and everyone's high fiving and screaming and she's like, I don't need a massage. I'm gonna go and plan how to win a bronze medal. And she left and came back to us and thank God that that had happened because it just gave us the inspiration that we needed to go back out there the next day and play against Barbara Fontana and Linda Hanley from the US again in front of a US crowd.
So the third US team, we had to play at the Olympics, um, and play in front of the US crowd for the medal. But we just had that inspiration from what had happened to Kiron. So I learned from that that there sometimes you don't have enough inside yourself to go further to just give you that hope, that faith, that inspiration and you need to seek out some inspiration. You need to go and find some, listen to great music, read great books, watch these videos, come to your cl like find the inspiration to make yourself better. So that was just a pivotal evening for us in Atlanta. And um, yeah, sorry Linda and Barb. Beautiful people, friends, friends and yeah, we picked them. It was a bloody hard match. But yeah, we got 'em in the end. Sorry to say
Mark Burik (01:14:16):
That, uh, that story gave me goosebumps. That's a good one. I
Kerrie Pottharst (01:14:19):
Love that. Yeah, I've been telling it a lot cause I am a secret, right? So yeah,
Mark Burik (01:14:23):
You said that I
Kerrie Pottharst (01:14:24):
I love inspiring people.
Mark Burik (01:14:26):
You and Natalie handled losses quite differently. So for, for those people out there, uh, beach volleyball partners, sure. And maybe well beyond, how do you recognize if somebody process processes things differently? Like if they like need a different type of support after a single like point loss or after a big match loss, and how do you curb that? Because if you're somebody who wants to talk about it right away, for me, I'm more Natalie like, I need to go and I need to punt some garbage cans for about 15 minutes and then I'm gonna come back and we can talk about it. But I, I need that defuse time because otherwise my, my steam will be coming outta my ear and I can't hear
Kerrie Pottharst (01:15:10):
You. Yeah, it was trial and error and that's what you have to go through. That's why having a partnership for a period of time is, is your best bet. Don't just kind of play with a person and then by two weeks go, oh no, that's not working. See you later. I mean, you gotta get in there, you gotta make that relationship work. Which was why a lot of our rules are around relationships. But you gotta have a, I think you needed the third person, the coach because I could go straight to Steve and like blow off steam because Natalie wasn't there. Also I could say what I wanted to say, not feel like I was, you know, hurting her feelings or anything. I could just get really open and this is how I'm feeling. He had a very calming nature. He could calm me down and then Natalie could be, you know, have some time to kind of think, feel and then really articulate well how she was feeling.
And you know, not all the time we, we agreed, I mean we disagreed a lot, but what we agreed on was our goal. We both wanted it as much as each other. And that's what we agreed on. So, you know, our, our success and, and all that was just way all the way till the end. You know, one minute we were the best of friends, the next minute we would not wanna be in the same country together. And you know, that was just kind of I guess normal and we weathered all those storms. But like I said, that's why we chose Steve and that's why we had a great success coach and that's why we had traveling with us often our conditioning coach who was also a really great human being and is a great human being, Phil Morland because with great human beings around you, no matter what you're going through, you know they can help you so that he, they have their expertise, volleyball, mindset, conditioning, but they were all great human beings, well adjusted, personally developed. So they could help us during those times. And I learned more than I could ever have learnt, reading a book book, going to a seminar by actually living that experience with those four people that I'm ever, ever
Mark Burik (01:17:15):
Grateful for. To those people who, who've never had a, a mental coach or a psychological coach or they've heard that training or read a book on it, what would your advice be? Would you tell like everybody in every profession, like hey at least once go to some sort of, you know, mirror workshop where you get your own beliefs and your own emotions reflected on you or take that from there. What you'll,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:17:40):
Well if the person was an athlete, I would say to the athlete, find somebody who can mentor you. Find a mentor. It doesn't have to be your coach, it doesn't have to be in your sport. We have a great program at the moment in Australia called the Gold Medal Ready Program where we have 40 gold medalists that are helping our current bunch of athletes that are training for the Olympics. We're offering our stories and our, we're not coaching, it's just storytelling. We're just storytelling our experiences. So these guys know that they're not alone. Know that people have been in the same situation mentally and can actually come out of it and still win. So I think that helps inspire, helps develop their belief. So find someone, and it might be you try a few people, like we didn't find Steve straight away, we tried a few people, we didn't find Kerick our success coach straight away.
We work with sports psychologists, we for a while, but we just, just never clicked for us. So keep going until you find someone, someone that is really working well for you. And if you are not an athlete and you listen to this outside of that, it's the same sort of thing in business. Find a mentor, find someone higher up in your company or in another company and just ask. Because like I said before, if you don't ask, you don't know because successful people, I can tell you right now, I move in those areas within our sports. So you go to events and functions and you're always around other Olympians and gold medalists, celebrities if you wanna call some of them successful depending on what they're celebrity for. But celebrities, they want to help. We actually, I say we because from a gold medalist point of view, I wanna help people from what I've learned, I love talking to people. Like we had to sometimes pull Steve away from other teams because he just would sit there for hours and try and help them.
Mark Burik (01:19:29):
It's not cool. You can't give him this
Kerrie Pottharst (01:19:31):
. Yeah. Oh look he wouldn't give us, give them our secrets but he would be helping them. Well I stop helping them. We have to be,
Mark Burik (01:19:38):
I've my couch for a year. What are you doing
Kerrie Pottharst (01:19:41):
? Yeah, don't that successful people don't wanna share that. They're like this most successful people in any area of the world, they wanna give back, they want to share. They do. And most of them will do it free of charge. Maybe not most, some I don't know, a
Mark Burik (01:19:59):
Lot them will. Depends how you approach 'em. Depends what audience, uh yeah what audience you want and and who they are and where they're at. I think in their, their life, you know, there's a lot of times where like I, I see a bunch of messages sitting in my Instagram or Facebook and I'm just like, I am too slammed to to go down that rabbit hole right now there's like 20 unanswered messages but I have to get this done because this is my priority right now and I can't allow that, you know those other distractions to happen. But then it could be like two days later all of my things are finished and I'm like, let me get back and answer those people that I that I
Kerrie Pottharst (01:20:33):
Haven't. Or a week later that person might send you another message and you're free. And that's when it's the timing, right? It was the timing with Steve, it was the timing with Kere and it was timing without conditioning coach that they all happened to have the time to come on board with us
Mark Burik (01:20:48):
Getting into some like meaty volleyball stuff here. The biggest mistakes you think you made early on in terms of beach volleyball or like misconceptions that you had about the game. Let's go with just three.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:21:01):
Okay. So I actually messaged Natalie this morning and said, remind me of some of the mistakes we made. I said leave me a voice message cuz I'm, I was sure she had so many that she could remember cuz I don't. And she said exactly what I was thinking in that we are so conditioned to being optimistic that we have almost forgotten or we never talk about some of those perceived mistakes because we only now talk about what worked. But we did dig a bit and I guess one of the biggest mistakes that, or misconceptions that people had and that I also had when I teamed up with Nat was that if you're tall you can't be a defender. Big misconception, just because you're short doesn't mean you're a good defender either. You could be the shortest player on the court, you could be the best attacker, you could be the tallest fail in court, be the best defender. That's not what it's about. Height, it's about skill. So we found that Natalie and I both loved playing defense as soon as we were allowed to play defense. It's like yes, it's kinda like when I played indoor volleyball and I always had to be the middle blocker cuz I was the tallest. I'm like I don't wanna be the middle block, I wanna be the
Mark Burik (01:22:10):
Set we had Katie. So I'll let you stew and try to find one of the mistakes that you made. , I'm sorry,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:22:18):
Mark Burik (01:22:21):
Of mine. Uh, but we had Katie Spieler on and she's currently the shortest woman in the avp. She's five five And she said the exact same thing that you said where she goes, I, at the beginning I always thought because I was short that my compliment needed to be tall, that they needed to be like a big person so that it could balance me out. And she goes and that just wasn't the case. The person, the people that make me the best are the ones who have the best skills for ball control because like I need really great sets and I need people who can peel dig because we're peeling a lot. Um, so she said like for her ball control came first and height is completely secondary and that's coming from the shortest person on the avp.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:23:03):
So now you've got it from the tallest person's version too. We can de play defense
Brandon Joyner (01:23:07):
As well. There
Kerrie Pottharst (01:23:08):
You go. Let me just also say that of course we made bunches of mistakes. Like I'm not saying we were perfect by any means. We lost so much big, big, big mistakes. Like you said biggest mistakes, I can't think of big ones because as soon as we started making mistakes we pivot and change things. But I do remember one instant where when we were still playing in the to 15, you had to surf to winter point and we were playing the US and we were playing in Chile in a world tour event. Dunno what position we were playing at but as in where in the tournament we were 14 six up. So all we had to do was make one more point but we had to be serving to make that point. And I think, and that was when I was playing with Annette. Annette served the ball was over set like it was dug and then it was set really tight on the net.
So I was 50 50 on the net. They had peeled off the net so all I had to do was literally touch it and we'd win the match and I thought in my head I'll go for something a little bit more, I don't know, fancy or aggressive and I went to poke it or hit it over the top of the peeler. I thought I'll go over her head. Well it didn't go over, she dug it, they won the point, then they won the next point and then the next point and then the next point and the next point and the next point, the next point. We got a couple serves in there, couldn't win a point. They ended us up beating us 16, 14.
Brandon Joyner (01:24:29):
Sometimes when you, those those stay with you for sure
Kerrie Pottharst (01:24:32):
Or it did for a while. But again
Brandon Joyner (01:24:34):
It sounds like it's still there A little bit .
Kerrie Pottharst (01:24:36):
Yeah, well you learn the lesson pretty quickly that you don't have to do anything fancy to win the game. Be ugliest. It could be the ugliest looking hit or the weirdest looking pokey or whatever. It doesn't have to be fancy. All you have to do is make sure it goes in that spot of the court that's gonna win you the point. So be careful. I see so many people, you know at a a national level trying to go for the big specy, really amazing hit, you know, and the warm up, it looks great and they're hitting the ball and oh yeah, they're feeling pumped. And then in the game they're hitting it in the net, they're getting blocked out, they're getting dug, you know, and they just can't stop that pattern. So again, go up like you're gonna smack the ball really hard and just d it over the top of the blocker.
Who cares what it looks like. Stein met used to be really, really, really good at that. And he was one of the people that I modeled at the time. Really? Yeah, he had a great poke. He just was set in the middle of the court to it. Uh, probably six to eight foot above the net. Not a high set, just kind of medium set. His partner would set him and he would go up with all of his power, like he was gonna smack this ball across the court and sometimes he would, but then his second option was to poke to the left over the block. He would either hit it really hard or just poke it and that's all he did at that time of his career. And I was at that time having a lot of trouble trying to hit past Nancy Reno's block.
I just thought that Nancy and then Elaine Youngs was another person. I'm like, oh my god, they're like a wall. I can't get past them. And so I st I'm like, Stein is so good at that. So I got Natalie to just set me and for a period of time for a few months within that year, it's all I was doing going up hard in the middle, smacking it as hard as I could, deep cross court. It would come off the block or it would go deep in or I'd poke it to the left and they knew that's what I was doing, but it was really, really successful.
Mark Burik (01:26:33):
I think that that might be the lesson there that you don't need every shot, every swing in the book. Like pick two things, three things, excel at them and those options should be enough to win a gold medal. I mean you're gonna have a bunch of other like medium skills, you know, they all have to, yeah, you can't have any like glaring uh, black holes. But I see a lot of players who are going up and they're thinking about nine different shots and in nine points they've taken nine swings. And I am looking at them going, what is your current offensive strategy? Has it put the ball away or has it established this swing because you're really good at this swing and you need to open up your other
Kerrie Pottharst (01:27:10):
Shot. Absolutely. And um, one thing that I'll, I'll share with you is that I really didn't have a cut shot most of my career. I just hit the ball hard and people knew that so they wouldn't play me for my cut shot. But before the Sydney 2000 games, you know what I did every practice before na while Natalie was still warming up, I would stand with my coach on opposite sides of the net and we would just throw the ball to ourselves. I would cut it to him from the left cause I played on the left, hit it to himself, cut it back to me. So I was seeing what he was doing. I was practicing it myself, seeing what I was catching his doing again, cutting myself. I was doing the extra practice to get better at something that I, a skill that I really didn't have. And so I had it, I actually had it in my toolbox at that period of time during the Olympics and then after that I didn't cut much at all. I had it during that time. You don't do everything all the time, right?
Mark Burik (01:27:59):
If it's unnatural for you, like a cut shot for, for myself like my cut shot needs to be ingrained. Like I need to hit it for two months during preseason and I need to hold onto it cuz my cut shot's not natural for me. Like the touch of it, my body doesn't love it but I've, in the past couple years people have been like watch this cut shot, watch this cut shot. Because I try so hard to establish that early so that somebody may be in the beginning of the match, they're like, ah, he's going for the cut shot so then it's gonna open up all the rest of my good swing. Yeah I'll get Doug a couple times in the beginning but then they'll, they'll be baiting on that and then I can get my poke over, then I can get my high line my heart.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:28:36):
Yeah and that brings up a really good point that we were always made aware of um, by Steve and it might be normal for you but what you want the opposition to think you're doing, you need to do in the first few points of every set and then after every timeout and then go to what you wanna do. If they think that oh watch mark's cut shot, make sure that the beginning of every set and after every timeout you do a couple of cut shots so it just reinforces what they think you're doing and then you win the points with your other shots or your power or whatever it is. So always go back to what they think you're doing just a couple of times.
Mark Burik (01:29:10):
Kerrie Pottharst (01:29:10):
Love that. And then do what you want to do.
Mark Burik (01:29:12):
Absolutely love that. That's a big meaty piece of of volleyball bites right there. Oh yeah, I absolutely, you know Absolut
Kerrie Pottharst (01:29:19):
So Got it. I still got it
Mark Burik (01:29:21):
Good something you don't have a good something go for it a couple of times but you know, don't bank on it, don't keep going for it. But at least to let them know like yeah you're gonna do that .
Kerrie Pottharst (01:29:32):
It's a funny thing because I talk to players these days and you know they all say oh the game's so different from when you played and and yeah maybe there's some more power, there's more height in the, especially in the females, bigger, bigger athletes, it's more power game and they're really crunching the second ball as well. Whereas I would stand and make out I was gonna sit and then I'd just hit it with my right hand and trick them sort of thing. Not jump and hit it. But what hasn't changed is the strategy in the mindset and that's the part that wins the game. So the game may have changed physically a bit, but it's the strategy and the mindset I think that can really elevate your position against players that maybe some paper are better than
Mark Burik (01:30:10):
You. Do you have a, a strategy 1 0 1 that you go like so for somebody you see as just super athletic, you know or they're coming out of indoor and you can see that they're playing beach, they're physically fine but how to get them to start thinking in terms of chess in terms of what do you mean this long game? Like I'm thinking I just wanna kill the ball every single point. Like that's it. How would you get somebody started thinking strategically if you were their coach Right now they're an indoor phenom, they just came to the beach and like your first monthly goal is I need to start getting them thinking strategically.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:30:47):
I'd probably pick the best part of their game. So whether they would win per points on their serve or whether it would be their site out their attack, I'd pick that and we'd just work on okay what can you do? And then talk to them about when to do it and then maybe cuz this is what Steve did with us for Atlanta. So we weren't, we were six in the world, we were still losing a lot more than we were winning against the top teams. He describes it as trying to get us really good at what we could do really well that would make points here and put a bandaid over the things that we weren't very good at and trying just to kind of shelter that a little bit until we then had time to get better at it. And one of those was serve reception.
So a lot of indoor players come out and that's probably one of the hardest things I think indoor players to do for Steve with only two people in the sand, especially if they weren't a receiver indoors because it's so specialists and it's a very different kind of ball and the wind and everything, you know and the angles and where you pass it to, you're not passing it, you know you're not shooting an input set. You've gotta get that really nice sort all sits there so someone can come in. So I really, I would start to draw out on the sand, this is where we wanna pass the ball. And I talk about, and this might go against what some people think, this is my strategy about passing, I talk about passing on the bottom of an L. So if you draw a line, if you are standing on the court and you draw a line straight in front of you to the net and then from about three, four feet off the net, you then draw the bottom of that as if it's the letter L.
So it could be the mirror of the L or the the proper L and the end of that L is where we're trying to pass to. The reason for that is the distance kind of between straight ahead and the, the little bit of the L gives the set of some space to set the ball up and down straight in front of where you've passed from. Now if you pass from the line it's gonna be the same L if you pass from the middle of the court it may be a little bit smaller on the bottom of that L but it's not a straight and front pass because that can sometimes squash people and not give them a lot of room to attack. But if I, if that's how, if if I draw it out for them so they see it on the sand gives them a target to think about, then I'd then say to them, look, just let's just imagine you're a robot and the ball's coming at you from all different angles and you are just doing the same exact pass to that L anywhere.
So I could throw it to you anywhere you have to move your feet but your body and from your hips up and everything, you move your feet to the point where your body pretty much looks almost the same. If I took a photo of you every time the ball was contacting your arms, your body would almost look exactly the same cause all this moving is your feet and we just by doing that we're reducing the number of errors cause you don't wanna be passing up here and then passing with one knee on the ground or passing, swinging out to the side or whatever. You wanna really start to make that be a bit robotic. So it's a different type of robotic from indoor. So giving them the visual and then getting them to practice it over and over and over and over again. And then with their attack, giving them the visual of what type of hits are available and then just getting them to play and eventually they'll understand that they can't just hit their way out out of everything or if they can Great
Brandon Joyner (01:34:04):
Mark Burik (01:34:04):
. I like the uh, the lvi. We uh, we yeah that's awesome. We use 15 to 30 degrees off of your inside foot, which I think would like accomplish the exact same location that you're talking about but always like what's my, which leg is closest to the middle of the court? Okay it's gonna be 15 to 30 degrees like off of that, you know, so it's not straight ahead but it's not all the way out to the side. Just a slide angle in front of me. Yeah,
Brandon Joyner (01:34:31):
We're really good at geometry here in the states.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:34:33):
Yeah, yeah, we're also good. We just one, one letter is about all we can handle here. That's
Brandon Joyner (01:34:39):
Perfect. I like that.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:34:40):
But that's my theory. Some people don't explain it like that. I love, I love that seems to work. The other thing I try to do is, is make sure that, cause when I started passing, I'll just do this as an example. When I started passing I would swing out to the side a lot. If you look back at photos, there's a lot of lot of photos where Natalie and I are standing for serve reception and our arms are out really wide. Now if you're on the other side of the net with two girls that are almost six foot and one over six foot doing this, it doesn't look like there's much more room to serve the ball because it looks like the whole court's covered. We didn't do it for that reason but that's kind of how it ended up. But we did it because what I would do is as the ball's coming to me, I would swing out to the side and then of course it would ping off and go off into the distance.
So if I had my arm here, my coach said, all you have to do is bring it here and then you've got a really nice platform. So that's why we started with our arms out here. Now that's a controversial one. Some in Australia, a lot of the coaches teach them to keep their arms out in front. For me that worked really well. So that's just one little thing. And the other thing was get your hit behind the ball. So if you are passing to the side instead of passing the ball out here and hip over here, always try and get your behind the ball. Cause automatically now my platform is where I want the ball to go. My hips this way my platform's facing the opposite direction. So those are just two main things that I look for. When somebody with really good volleyball skills comes out onto the beach, makes sure that they're hip the ball so they can pass that L and if they're having trouble swinging, getting them to start with their arms out a little bit wider so one can come to
Brandon Joyner (01:36:17):
The other. Yeah, I've, uh, recently I've done it with like a checklist. So like the first thing I say is pass with your feet. So like get your feet to the ball. Second one is chest or shoulders square to the net. So that like helps him bring that body back around. And then the third one is trust your angle and I mean all the points that you just touched on, it was a lot easier to say that way. . Yeah,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:36:37):
. I'm just, I'm very visual. I like to see things. That's how I learn. I, I learn by watching players and like I said, Stein Mexico was somebody that I kind of modeled, not on purpose, but I just saw it and went, oh that's what I need to do right now. You know, you might see someone setting, I remember Julian Prosa who played for Australia through Olympics as well. I loved the way he got to the ball and said it and I went, oh, I really wanna be like Julian and as a setter and I know him really well still, he just lives around the corner. So he'll love me for saying this. But I remember one day at training and I went in and set the ball and I just had this kind of out of body experience and went, oh, I felt like Julian then. So I love modeling, modeling on other players that I feel that I've got the ability to do what they're doing.
Mark Burik (01:37:20):
Would you say that there's, um, a, a certain person that somebody should pick? So like should they pick somebody that they want to be like, or should they pick somebody that looks like them and plays like them already?
Kerrie Pottharst (01:37:32):
I don't think there's any one person that can be like any one person. I mean you really, you, you look to Carrie Walsh and you go, well she's very different to Misty May, but they were two incredible, incredible or still are players, right? But I would say if you feel like you could pass, like Kerry, great. You've got really good hands and you wanna set like Misty, set, like Misty. If you wanna spike like Elaine Youngs, I'm talking about the players that I know. I dunno, listeners will remember all these players, but uh, yeah. Or April Ross a jumper, like April Ross got an incredible jumper, you know, model her jumper.
Mark Burik (01:38:09):
So you're going on like a Frankenstein theory basically. Yeah. Like take the parts of the players that you like and say like, I wanna, I wanna block like Brandy, I wanna jumper like April I want to attack and just poke the hell outta people like Katie Spieler. Nice. Okay. You know that
Kerrie Pottharst (01:38:29):
I cut shots like Mark Burrick,
Mark Burik (01:38:32):
Don't tell them . Yeah. Um, yeah, I'm terrible at
Brandon Joyner (01:38:35):
It that, uh, that answer doesn't, to be honest, it doesn't surprise me that you said it that way because of how much research you did. This is going back to the very beginning and when you were looking at people how to be successful, you were looking at people not only in your sport but looking at people in other sports, looking at people in business, doing all those things. So when you explain it, explain creating your superhuman volleyball player, the connections are certainly there.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:39:02):
Yeah. And it's not always, you don't wanna do it all at the same time because that's just too overwhelming. Just pick one thing that you wanna get better at, one thing at a time. And for me it was kinda like
Mark Burik (01:39:12):
How long would you spend on that? So if I wanted to get better at hitting a highline, how long?
Kerrie Pottharst (01:39:16):
I had a great Highline story. So I've been playing the sport for a few years. I think I'd already played one Olympics and one training. I was trying to do a highline shot. So that was the drill. Couldn't do it. It happened to my hand. It's broken, like it just work. And I started like panicking and I'm like, where is it my light shot that we call it light shot, my light shot. It's gone. It's gone. I can't play it anymore. Like what's happened? And I started to seriously, I just absolutely lost it. And this is what I'm saying, you can't work on everything at the same time. Cuz there're gonna be periods within your career that you might be really good at one thing and not so good at the other thing. And then that might flip six months later it and it's all in your head, right? It it's actually all in your head because my line shot was still there, but for some reason I was freaking out over doing it. All I did was just calm down to start with and then just practiced it. Um, how long did I stay with it? I guess I stayed focusing on it long enough to get it back. I don't know how long it took, but it was there. Right. But if you're learning something new, then I just think, and I say to my players and I sometimes coach social, social players, the mums,
Mark Burik (01:40:29):
The other social players, not social players. The other ones,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:40:32):
Brandon Joyner (01:40:33):
Not the ones that are watching
Kerrie Pottharst (01:40:35):
I say to them, or even juniors sometimes I, I help with whenever you're warming up, do something that's gonna help you towards getting better. So if you're running around, I'll use this ball. Just run around and bounce the ball on one hand as you're running around the court because that's just gonna gonna get your touch on the ball better. Or if you are warming up, do some practice block jumps or some practice spike approaches, whatever you are working on at the time to get better. But make it part of your warmup so you do it consistently. I think it's the consistency rather than the length of time. So if it takes you two weeks to get better at it, do it for two weeks. If it takes you two months or two months might only be two days or two hours, you actually have to do it and can do it consistently.
Mark Burik (01:41:22):
I like that. Like why, why go run for half a mile to warm up. Like just approach for half a mile, you know, if you don't have your right left, right, left yet. Like if you can't, if you don't have that footwork down, you know, do that instead of jogging, do your defensive starts and just turn that into like a light easy jog. Um, instead of just going linear for for half a mile of warm up. So at least your nervous system is starting to scope some things in, in the right patterns.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:41:49):
Well it's interesting because when we realize that our ball touch had to be so much better to beat you guys and than Brazilians, we stopped doing just a pepper where we'd just go one touch back and forth, like dig, they would say I would hit. And we started digging to ourselves, setting to ourself, hit to a partner, dig to yourself, set to yourself, hit your partner. So you were doing the three touches to yourself and back. And that's, that's how we pip it forever in a day. And that's how I taught my son, who's 13 now and just played in the first national championship for his age group. And that's how I taught him from a really young age. We just play with the ball a little bit, but I taught him how to dig to himself, set to himself and hit it to me before we did the one back and forth pepper so he could just get used to the touching the ball a lot. Just little things. It's just all those little things add up
Mark Burik (01:42:38):
Because you think it might have, like in my mind I'm looking at the self pepper, like touching myself as my feet have to prepare faster, you know, in between my touches I have to be more accurate and practice like lifting a ball instead of just sending it back out into space and relying on the other person to go pursue it. Like now I have to touch quickly, reset, be agile, and then rebalance again and yeah,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:43:01):
Absolutely. And if you can't do that, you can't play.
Mark Burik (01:43:04):
Okay. So we we don't have too much longer i i I don't wanna hold you Carrie. Um, but before, before decides like to to go, can you introduce everybody just to what you are doing, motivational speaking, what moves you're making next, what companies you have and how people can get in touch with
Kerrie Pottharst (01:43:23):
You? Ah, cool. Well, since I retired, I coached for a couple years. I coached an American team, Rachel Walk Holder and Tyra Turner for a season. And then I coached a Belgium team and then I, I'd already had a child at that point I decided that just didn't wanna travel anymore. It was just getting too hard. It was quite emotional as well. I'd get really caught up in the whole game as well. So I decided to stay home more and I just got more and more into speaking and got better and better at it, it through practice and I was really aware of when things were landing well with the audience and so I just got booked more and more for speaking work. So I've probably spoken at some point to almost every major business in Australia. I've a little bit overseas, but not so much. Maybe just normally in Australia I do about 30 corporate jobs a year. So 30
Mark Burik (01:44:15):
Kerrie Pottharst (01:44:15):
Year. Yeah, 30 speaking gigs a year. Some little ones to big ones, some small audiences in a boardroom, in a, you know, executive boardroom talking about the challenges of success or resilience or whatever they wanna talk about. They can also grill me like you have today, but you haven't really grilled me. But, you know, ask, ask relevant questions to their, their stuff. Um, all the way through to, you know, audiences of a thousand or more. So it's been really, I'm really grateful that I've been able to turn my journey into something that I can inspire other people with. And now I've decided in the la I'm trying to reinvent and pivot again. So last year I thought, well what am I really good at now? I'm good at speaking and yes I'm getting speaking work, but how can I use that now what I'm good at?
How can I teach that to other people? And I didn't wanna go and just teach it blanketly to all the corporates in the world and or people. I wanted to focus on athletes because the world is inspired by sport. Like when the Olympics come up next year, 2021, it's going to be amazing cause the world would've healed, we hope by then. And it's just gonna bring everybody together and it's gonna be the most amazing, amazing event for a long, long time. So I want to now, and I, so I've created a new business I haven't kicked off yet. I'm, I'm still working on it, um, called The Athletes Story. And so it's about teaching athletes how to tell their story. So athletes who have had their own journey, they don't have to end, have ended in a gold medal. Um, it could have, could be anything, but be able to find out what the lessons were in their story and and unpack their story and help them develop it so then they can go and use that to inspire other people. That's kinda my speaking side
Mark Burik (01:46:02):
Is there is a website where people could go and find that athletes who are trying to uh, to learn speaking.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:46:07):
I'm just looking at the, yeah, the Olympics is delayed
Brandon Joyner (01:46:10):
2021. We were able to educate someone at the Olympics. Yeah, ,
Mark Burik (01:46:16):
There's nothing else from
Kerrie Pottharst (01:46:18):
This. Look, I haven't developed the website yet. I have my own websites, carrie potass.com, which we're updating at the moment with just a lot of stuff about what I've achieved and what I'm doing speaking wise, team building stuff I do. But people can always connect with me through Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn. I'm on all the social media channels as my own name. And then the other thing I do is I have a nutritional network marketing business. Here's where I feel right now with what's going on in the world. This is something that everybody should look into having a side gig. So I've had this side gig for nearly six years and right now it's the only thing that's paying me. So the side gig is helping people with their health and wellness, getting people results, transformations, incredible transformations. Like okay, 20 kilos, 30 kilos, I don't know what that is in pounds.
Mark Burik (01:47:09):
Kerrie Pottharst (01:47:11):
Yeah, three pounds, massive weight loss or massive regains of energy or turnarounds with their health. So that's what, and I, I didn't do it lightly. I looked into the products and I, I made sure the science and they were backed and it, it's informed sports. So I've got Olympians on the product as well. But by doing that as a site gig, I now have an income that's still coming through every week because these people are actually ordering more products because they wanna stay even healthier right now
Mark Burik (01:47:39):
And they can't eat out. So you were, you were poised really well especially
Kerrie Pottharst (01:47:42):
Deliver to your door. The thing is, our company might not be the right company for other people. There are a lot of companies that use a network marketing model and all that means is that you're a referrer, you just refer whatever the product or the service is to other people, which we do naturally anyway. When we like something we refer it. Yeah. So what I did today, I posted the thing saying I was on care today with you and so I was referring your business, my network. So that's all we are doing, we're referring people and we don't have to take care of any of the logistics. So it's the perfect business cuz you don't have to worry about marketing, you don't have to worry about websites, backends, anything. It's all delivered. So if you can find the right company and there are many out there, then I would say look into the industry because it really is the industry of the, of the 21st century. It's the industry that doesn't take much of a hit depending on what they're selling. Our especially not at this moment that's moving forward.
Mark Burik (01:48:37):
Is your company, uh, the company that you work for and with in the us what's the name of the nutritional network?
Kerrie Pottharst (01:48:42):
Yes. So it's called Isagenix, oh US Company. And they've been around for 18 years, I think they just had their 18th year incredible owners. It's family owned and just today they released that they've, I think they've donated 1.5 million in nutrition to kids and um, not just to kids but to kids in other charities right now, right now while we need it, while people need the, the food. So they're all forever giving back. Contribution is one of the highest values and they're all science backed, all natural.
Mark Burik (01:49:14):
They have amazing events, they're corporate amazing events are unreal. Do you have a specific referral code of of your own that you'd like to share with
Kerrie Pottharst (01:49:22):
Us? Just contact me. I mean obviously if you've got a family member or somebody that you know that's close to you who uses a products, go through them, help them out. But if you don't, I'd love to hear from you because obviously we build a team and so that's my, I build that with Natalie Cook, so she introduced me and we build that together with our team and we have a bunch of athletes, we have a bunch of personal trainers. We attract kind of, of that industry. So you tend to attract your own type of people. So yeah, we'd love to hear from you. You can check them out online but if you wanna get involved it'd be great to thank you for allowing me to talk about
Mark Burik (01:49:57):
That. Yeah, of course. No like when we throw this up on YouTube and everything, um, I really want to have your referral links so that you can definitely see more and more benefit out of this. Um,
Kerrie Pottharst (01:50:06):
Because yeah, just my social media, it's easy. Pm dm, my email's just my name at my website so carry cpos.com so that's pretty easy. Or [email protected] or any of my, yeah, social media is so easy to get in contact with people these days.
Mark Burik (01:50:22):
The last thing that, that I want know, so here's where I'm gonna take it selfishly, that transition that you made. So for me, I'm fairly comfortable talking in front of groups. Of course I'm always talking about a subject I'm really knowledgeable about or I at least pretend to be knowledgeable about volleyball. I've always been kind of an an extrovert. And Brandon, the same way, you know, he picked a profession coaching and before that teaching where he was just in front of group and had to be. But as an athlete who needed or wanted to pivot and convert to a new role of public speaking, was that really uncomfortable? Was it a natural transition and did you have to practice speaking and like improve that and get coached and everything like that just like you did in sport?
Kerrie Pottharst (01:51:05):
Yeah, great question. The interesting thing was after Atlanta, we were offered a free course in public speaking all the, all the medalists from one of the Olympic sponsors in Australia. So, and it happened to be in Sydney and I went, okay, I'll do it. It was a two or three, I think it was a two day course and I was a little bit nervous about even standing up in a group of I think maybe 10 people in a boardroom and having to talk in front of them. Actually I was a lot nervous. And it all goes back to a memory I had where I was on tour with the indoor national team and I walked into somebody's room and there are a whole lot of people in there, some of the staff of the, the team and there was a man in there and oh man and this's there and, and somebody said, oh Kerry, this is such and such. And I went, oh hello, what do you do? And everyone burst out laughing and I'm like, what have I said? Or he was actually the president of the Australian Volleyball Federation and I didn't even know Third
Mark Burik (01:52:10):
Kerrie Pottharst (01:52:11):
No, no, this was when I was playing indoor. So,
Mark Burik (01:52:13):
Ok, ok, OK
Kerrie Pottharst (01:52:15):
. No, no, no. Yeah, back when I was playing indoors. So that memory stuck with me forever. People laughing about something I was saying in front of a group. So let me tell you, I was never confident about speaking in groups at all. More, almost the opposite self-conscious and worried about saying something wrong. So anyway, I did this course, I constructed what I thought was a story and then I was actually offered, I think it was like $500 or something to come along with a bunch of other Olympians to an Ernst Young. It's my first paid gig to an Ernston young conference. There were probably, I dunno at least 500 people in the audience. And I was sitting next to like one of the legends of Australia athletics. His name was Herb Elliot, no longer a competing way retired, but he was a legend. And so I was already nervous sitting next to him and I looked down at the, it was almost my turn, it was 10 minutes.
I had to talk for only 10 minutes. And I looked down at the carpet and I had a lot of patterns, but this patterns were moving. So I was getting so freaked out and this is what stress does to you, right? Stress makes you, is a vision, like your vision can go. So my vision was going, I was that stressed, my vision was going and the patterns were moving and I was obviously breathing faster or I was like feeling looking nervous and Herb just put his hand on my arm and he said, Kerry, you'll be fine. It's okay. And he gave me this kind of little bit of reassurance and I kind of, and then I went up and I had my notes and I read it word for word because that's all I could do at that point. I had page 10 minutes word for word.
But I had a really interesting story. I got a good wrap. You know, people said, oh that's a great story, good wrap. And then I went, okay, maybe I can do something with this. And so I started to investigate an offer to speak for free initially and then slowly start to get a little bit of money. And then I went from four pages of notes to paragraphs in different colors so I could see where I was up to if I had to glance down or often glance down. Then I went to dot points, then I went to the cards, you know, like a hand card. And then I went to nothing and now I can speak as you can probably tell for two hours with nothing. Cause all those stories are well and truly ingrained in me. But I had, as I went, I just pivoted and adjusted and reviewed and adjusted each time.
So I never had any formal training, no one really trained me. I had one guy, it was actually Julian Prosser who was the Olympian, who then went into, in a role where he was coaching people on how to present. I had him come to one of my talks and then review me in the taxi on the way home. And he basically gave me some really good points about what I was doing on stage. My, the speed in which I was talking, how I was moving my hands, my story was already good, it was my story, it was interesting enough I'd found I'd you know, hit the right points. But it was about the presentation now how I was presenting. So I got better at being a presenter on a stage. And then I watched other presenters just like I did with volleyball , I watched other presenters and I went, what are they doing that I like?
You know? Oh, that he moves too much. Oh, he's just, I love the way he's standing one foot on the edge of the stage. Oh I love the way she's dressed. You know, you have to worry about how you look because if you've got something on that's distracting, people not listening to you, they're staring at something that you've, you've got on maybe your button's undone or you've got a see through top on or something crazy like that. So, so I had to learn all that along the way and I just did that as I went. And then I got very good at being aware of the audience and going, they're bored, I better get onto the next story. Or oh my god, I've got them on the edge of their seat with this story. I'll just pat it out a little bit, put some more fluff around it, make it, you know, deliver it a little bit more entertainingly. And then I, sometimes I'd throw a news story in which I thought was funny and not get a laugh man. Well that one's gone
Mark Burik (01:56:15):
End up comedian process of just trying things out. How the audience, that's so interesting that in public speaking, like your points or kills from beach volleyball are like giggles, laughs or gasps from the audience, you know, like the way their body posture is. And so the biggest things that, that I picked up right there were you didn't really know but you were slightly interested. What did you do that you went to a class first you found somebody who was teaching it and you're like, what an opportunity. Cool, I get to learn. You went and you did it for free, you did your voluntary internship. So you said, Hey, can I do this for you? Can I do this for you? With no expectation? And eventually then you found another coach and you said, Hey, can you just look at this for me? I know that you're not the world's expert, but can you just give me some honest feedback?
And then you were able to slowly start building and maybe asking or or having the knowledge to ask money or maybe some of those people that you spoke for for free. They started saying, Hey, you spoke for this company and my friend works for this company and they're looking for somebody for a team building event. Can you come here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like the path to me. And that sounds like an automatic path for any athlete or anybody who's picking up like a new skill. You're interested, cool, find a coach, take your basic class, get familiarized, then go and show up. It doesn't matter if you're gonna win the tournament, it doesn't matter. Like if you wanna learn coaching, go and stand next to a great coach's court and say, how can I help you? How can I help you? I'll do it for free. I'll do it for free. And you'll just pick the things up there until to some point somebody on that court is gonna be like, Hey uh, coach's helper, we need a fourth to jump in here. Can you, can you step in on these drills? And now all of a sudden you're bumping, setting, spiking with the people who are the masters.
Kerrie Pottharst (01:58:12):
So yeah, cool. Love that right analogy of bringing it back to the volleyball
Mark Burik (01:58:17):
gotta gotta tie it in for the audience. A little .
Kerrie Pottharst (01:58:21):
But the thing is, everybody can be a speaker too. Everyone has a story to tell and no matter whether you are a beginner volleyball player or you're um, you know you're Olympian or, and it's whatev whatever you're doing outside of the sport, whatever job you're in to be able to tell a story is really important. Storytelling is how the world has evolved through people sharing stories. That's what I wanna do now. I wanna help athletes tell their stories so they can use that to influence. They don't have to be speakers, but they might just need that to influence one day in their job or in their home or whatever. Imagine being a grandparent and having little Johnny on your knee and you be, you're able to, because you did this course with Carrie back years ago and you learn how to tell your story that you can now tell that story to little Johnny. And he become so inspired that one day he goes to his very own Olympics but maybe in another sport that he was inspired by his grandfather. So
Mark Burik (01:59:21):
I love that visual.
Brandon Joyner (01:59:22):
That's really cool.
Mark Burik (01:59:24):
I love that visual. My uncle Carl was like a big leader in his company. Uh, an architect. He actually was one of the guys who built the TAL bridge in New York and he was just, every single dinner that we spent with him, he was the best storyteller. And I like, I've always admired that in him and wanted that exact same scenario that you just said, like you're surrounded by all your little grandkids around the fireplace. How do you keep them like
Brandon Joyner (01:59:51):
, I'm talking about kids a lot this episode
Kerrie Pottharst (01:59:54):
, it doesn't quite work out exactly like that cuz my 13 year old does not listen to me about
Mark Burik (02:00:00):
Grandkids. It's gotta skip a generation. It's
Brandon Joyner (02:00:02):
Skips, it's a tough, that's a tough edge. He's around,
Kerrie Pottharst (02:00:07):
He's been in the audience plenty of times listening to me tell my story so he could probably tell it, but if now I try and tell him about how to do dig sense spike. He's like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh no, the sand. Oh no it was the sun. Oh no, it was the set, you know, but that's why I don't coach.
Mark Burik (02:00:22):
So we got a couple just audience questions and thank you so much for spending all of this time. Three questions that we've got the q and a, one of them's from Tanya and she says, although this has less to do with volleyball, what advice would you give to people right now going through this rough time to stay focused on reaching their goals? They don't even know if their industry, you know, there's so much uncertainties. They don't know if their company, their cost, their industry is even gonna exist in a month, two months, three months. So how do you stay focused on your goals in tough times?
Kerrie Pottharst (02:00:50):
Yeah, well if you are that unsure of what, what the future is, then you just have to reduce those goals to next week. You know, and instead of thinking next month or in six months time, bring them back to just, let's set a goal for next week. What are we gonna do? And then work out all the little things that you need to do along the way. How you have to pivot, how you have to review where you're at, how you have to um, change that goal. What the date's gonna be, what are the steps along the way to get you to where you wanna be at the end of next week. If it's as small as that, if you know that your industry will survive and you, your business or your job will be able to continue on, then you still have that vision, you still have that vision, but along the way the things that you thought you might have had to do, they're gonna have to change.
So you have to replan, you have to plan everything out again. But it has to be a little bit different and be flexible. That was on our list of standard of champions that was in one of the rings. It was about being flexible because you have to be able to switch at the, you know, you have to be able to wake up in the morning when you thought you had one game and then, oh my god, I've got three games today or at the Olympics in Athens, we actually woke up thinking we had no game, we had a rest day and there was a note put under our door saying, oh no, you do have a game today. It's at two o'clock and it's against the other Australian team. So, and that was completely not, you know, it wasn't in our thought pattern. That's a whole nother story cuz I was playing with somebody else.
So I had to play Natalie in Athens cause I'd retired and then come back. Another story I'd say, you know, just, just re plan everything and be prepared to have to change it up and then just stay focused on the, be an optimist, not a a pessimist but not a like a motivation and everything's gonna be alright, da da be a realist and be optimistic as in we will get through this. What can I focus on that's positive? How can I keep my mindset at a level to be able to achieve my goals? Like you still need to know what's going on, but don't watch it all day and read both sides of what's going on in the world. There are people saying that hey, we're gonna be fine, just let's get through this. There are people that are going, oh my god, it's just so bad we're all gonna die. I like to be well informed but then at the same time focus on what I can do that's positive and help the people around me.
Mark Burik (02:03:09):
Yeah, it's what I like the part ofo I want to be next week. Yeah, what do today to get there and if next week you wanna be back in your old job and that's not possible, pick two places you might wanna be next week and if you have time today , you know, take that single step in both of those directions. I like the self assessment and knowing where you wanna be in smaller chunks that I think huge goals are so overwhelming. Like I know that right now with this company [email protected], like we have so many great ideas for what we want to do. And it's like as soon as you start thinking about all of them at once, you don't move an inch. So it's like, okay, let me fix today one blog post so that the SEO is better and it uses keywords and it is attached to this course so that people can learn from the blog post. Let's, let's fix that like this, this one blog post. Instead of saying that I need my like hundred email series or
Kerrie Pottharst (02:04:01):
Whatever. Exactly. Think of all the Olympic athletes that now have to re plan and completely change what they had in mind for the next six months. It's gonna be completely different, but they just have to go, okay, my goal is still the same and I'm sure everyone's goal is still the same, they're working in their job because think about why you're doing what you're doing. That's not gonna change. So how can you still get those things or be those be that personal or contribute or whatever you wanna do in a different way. And it may be that you have to relearn or re-skill, you know, reeducate in different areas. So use our time, use this time wisely, definitely have a rest and just think and be and like appreciate the world but use the time wisely as well. Like I got up at 7:00 AM this morning and I've been getting really lazy and that's early for me, seven standard, not early.
I do get up early, but I was getting lazy and staying in bed cuz I'm like, oh, I don't need to get up. My, my son, he's, he's on the computer at nine for school and you know, my husband's around, he's there. But this morning I set, I did like an online workout in my living room. I've never done that in my life, life. But I just thought, why not? I have to get into some sort of structure. So be careful that you don't get yeah. Called down this rabbit hole of oh, keep yourself up and have some sort of structure. Like you said, one blog post, see yourself one thing
Brandon Joyner (02:05:23):
To do. I like that. I think keeping the schedule is pretty big. Um, that's something I, I've been doing, I mean with Mark and I, when we were coaching, we're out on the beach almost every single day by what, 6 45 or seven maybe. And during this time I've, I definitely have slept in a few days, but there's also, like this week I was like, all right, gotta set the alarm. You gotta get outta bed at at seven o'clock or 6 45, whatever it is. Just get up for a little bit. Do something that you would normally do just so that the production value's still there. I think that that's huge.
Kerrie Pottharst (02:05:53):
Yeah. And that's, that's great for like, for our own mental health too, right? Because this will, we will get through this, we will go back to somewhat of a normality even if it's a different normal right or a new normal. But we can't let all those great habits that we've worked so hard to create, you know, with that structure and with those, you know, daily, daily method of operation that you used to, can't let all that slide and then have to develop it all over again.
Mark Burik (02:06:22):
Yeah. Uh, yeah. Again, then going back to like you in the beginning, uh, uh, what you said about being a professional acting with like professional deeds and how you would picture a successful person waking up today or waking up tomorrow. Like where do you wanna be? What is your why? And then what would you do tomorrow if you were the best version of that? Moving towards
Kerrie Pottharst (02:06:42):
That, think about what other people might be doing. Have a look around what other people are doing who have lost their jobs. You know, what are they doing to actually move forward? Like you hear so many amazing creative things that people are, you know, thinking up or starting and or just learning about some great stories out there.
Brandon Joyner (02:06:57):
I think it is important to remind yourself that you're not alone in this, you know? Yeah. If I ever do get to a point where I look at myself and I'm like, man, what's going on? I immediately remind myself like, hey, this isn't just you, this is everybody and everybody's in the same situation. Everybody's gotta find a way through it. And the quicker you can kind of come to grips with that and figure out a formula to kind of achieve that new goal, uh, it's definitely important.
Mark Burik (02:07:27):
Um, okay, last question. Kara promise then he get to your family if you haven't had enough of them in the last two weeks. Sydney Olympics was still big court, so we know, know that, right? 2000 was still big work. Okay. Was it hard to find, and this is kind of like similar to what we were talking about, was it hard to find motivation when you were hurt? Um, and was it your passion that helped you overcome that? Or was it something
Kerrie Pottharst (02:07:49):
Else? Um, when I was injured, was it hard to find motivation at, at first it's like a grieving period because when you're injured you're like, oh no, I, I had so many, so many things I wanted to, to be doing. And then you dunno what the future holds, you dunno how long it's gonna be before you can get back out onto the court. So it's that grieving period that very quickly, because of the passion that I had for volleyball, I found a way to start to plan with this and start to look ahead. And as I said, I'm, I'm very much a planner, so I was, I'm always looking ahead and sometimes that's not a great thing because I don't enjoy the moment. But being someone who's always looking ahead, I didn't sit in that grieving period for very long. Now here's a, he's a quick story about, it's not volleyball, it's a relationship story.
So I was with a guy, I remember what year it was for a number of years and I thought we were good. I thought we were gonna be good forever and we split up, wasn't my choice, but we split up. So I was crushed and I remember feeling crushed for a long time, for weeks and weeks and all, all I would do would talk about it with people around me. And I'm sure those people were just like, ugh, energy draining when I'm around Carrie, because she's still so heartbroken. And I remember being in a, on the, um, out in the ocean on a speed boat with my sponsor, ballet sunglasses at the time. And I was with the guy who was my sponsorship rep and he was a really good friend of mine. And we would happened to be talking again about this guy that I'd just broken up with who also happened to be an athlete that was sponsored by, so that's why we were talking about it.
And he just looked at me and he said, Kerry, it's a long time in a pine box, right? So what you're saying is get over it, move on. Because who knows how long we've got, you know, and it's the same right now. Enjoy every single moment, get over the crap and move on. And the other thing our success coach said to me is, no guy is gonna wanna be with you if you are this like energy sapping feeling sorry for yourself person. So, and that made me go, oh well I don't wanna be that person. So just a couple of little things just jolted me into, okay, it's time I've had my grieving period, it's time. Like pick myself up because there's just too much more to do and to be, and to have happen overnight. But it really just kind of stuck in my head that, okay, I've gotta get over this guy so I can move on. You
Mark Burik (02:10:26):
Did the same thing with the injury.
Kerrie Pottharst (02:10:28):
Mark Burik (02:10:29):
, this has been so amazing. It's such a blessing to call you a friend and, uh, that I somehow got to meet somebody who was so excellent in this world long time ago. So thank you for coming on and sharing with our audience and we're, we're gonna throw this up onto YouTube and it's just been amazing talking to you and I know how much that you've added to, to my life and, and reaffirm some of the things that I believed and then now you're also providing like, inspiration for, you know, my next step cuz you've already blazed that trail. So I'm, uh, I'm looking forward to, to following some of your footsteps and then making some of my own.
Kerrie Pottharst (02:11:04):
Thanks Mark and Brendan, I just really appreciate all the nice things that you've said too. Like, it's just so kind and yeah, of course. I love what I, I love what I've done. I love volleyball and I love to be able to share it anytime. Good luck.
Brandon Joyner (02:11:18):
Thank you very much for sharing. It was awesome.
Kerrie Pottharst (02:11:20):
Mark Burik (02:11:21):
All right, Carrie, have a great day.
Brandon Joyner (02:11:24):
Yeah, enjoy it
Kerrie Pottharst (02:11:26):
. Thanks guys. See ya. Bye.
Mark Burik (02:11:29):
How lucky was that
Brandon Joyner (02:11:30):
Man, that was great. I like have so many notes written down. I was like trying not to like look away from the screen. I was like, oh, okay, I got this just, and I hope everybody else out there haven't taken notes during that. Definitely watch it again on YouTube and write down some things because not only as a volleyball player, but if you take her advice and apply it to every aspect of your life, there's absolutely no way your life is not gonna get
Mark Burik (02:11:57):
Better. Yeah, absolutely. You know, for me it it, it shot me that she had played and competed in front of thousands. Yeah. And then she was like nervous about talking in front of a group of 10 people. And for, for the people out there who were kind of shy and not knowing, like if they're going to be good at something, they think that somebody who wins a gold medal, um, somebody who win the Olympics three times, a lot of people tend to think that they're somehow like superhuman, but they don't go through these little bits of, of insecurity or tough times. She does such a great job of just like masking it with how positive she is, you know, at the end where she shared that like, yeah, I went through a breakup and it was miserable for weeks. The greatest players in our sport and the greatest people in any industry, they all go through the same insecurity. You think your cut shot sucks? Yeah. So does the guy on stadium court, uh, he's having the same God I can't side out right now or I'm just not succeeding right now. So like I must suck. And it's important that everybody realizes and recognizes that even that the best performers in the world, they have those same insecurities and I think they just seek out better tools and people to push them beyond those. They don't get stuck on the little like Yeah. Insecurities and doubts, right? They find a tool and a person to get 'em
Brandon Joyner (02:13:16):
Beyond. Yeah. And that, that's where we come back to. I mean, that's why we practice anything. It doesn't have to be volleyball. It can be, so for me, I was a guy in college, I freaking loved the crowd. Like after I got a big block, I would literally face the crowd and I would like put my hands up like gladiator style and like, are you not entertained? Like I wanted them to love me, you know? And then fast, fast forward four years later, I get into a classroom where I'm an eighth grade teacher and I have 14, 13 and 14 year old kids staring at me. And it was by far, my first day of teaching was by far the most nervous I had ever been in my entire life. And it's literally 23, 13, 14 year old kids that are staring at me with big googly eyes. And it's just like, I'm just like, oh, Brita, don't you mess this up, . But I mean, after a month of being surrounded by great teachers and getting advice from principals, friends, my parents, I was able to get comfortable with it to a point where four, like I taught for four years and at the end of those four years I felt really, really good. And then my sister got married and I had to give a speech at her. I was actually her, her man of honor, which
Mark Burik (02:14:30):
Brandon Joyner (02:14:31):
pretty cool. But then I had to give a speech to 200 adults and I went through the exact same process, you know, it was like once again most nervous point in my life. And so it's just, I mean, you have to face those things and 99% of the time after you were done with that event or whatever it is, you're going to feel better about it. I don't, I think, uh, I don't know who's gonna beat her to, to messaging or me or you. I'm not really sure yet. . I think, uh, I think um, Terrence might have beat us all to it. He was, he was messaging her halfway through.
Mark Burik (02:15:09):
You might, so Terrence is starting. Um, so he's a good friend of mine, physical therapist, and he's, uh, we've been bouncing back and forth a lot and he's trying to build his own. He's already DMing Harry
Brandon Joyner (02:15:20):
Mark Burik (02:15:21):
Yeah, he's building an online presence as well. He wants to train people online teaching how to take care of their own bodies online. So, um, a little bit of physical therapy advice. Terrence, go ahead and, and pop your, de your, uh, pop your d um, go ahead and throw your your handle into the chat. And if anybody who is remaining and wants some physical therapy advice or how to heal themselves, um, just go ahead and write that and you can follow my friend Terrence, uh, who's been here. But, uh, if you guys are ever interested, of course we have a, uh, a bunch of beach volleyball courses. We have online training. So if you ever wanna meet with me or Brandon and discuss your beach volleyball game specifically, and let us put you onto a course of training, goal setting session, uh, where we can plan out your training and help you get to the next level, schedule one of those 30 minute sessions with us on better.
Brandon Joyner (02:16:15):
And even if you're a coach, like I, one of the things that I've set into my goals for this week is writing a, how to design, how to design a practice or a plan. And as I, I mean, I sat down and I was writing today and I'm gonna have to go back through and kind of take out some stuff just because I didn't realize how much I knew about designing a practice, designing a system that can make people grow as athletes. So if you're a coach, these analysis don't have to be centered around making you a better player. Um, they can definitely be centered around how you can better run a club, practice, how you can better run a club team, how anything, and if you're a club director, it's even better because then you have the system beneath you that you can push it out to. So just keep that in mind too. Coaches love to talk to you. That's something that Mark and I are extremely passionate about. Uh, and any chance that we can get to learn from a coach, we do. And any chance that we can share that information to coaches, we want to.
Mark Burik (02:17:19):
Good point there on the, on the half hour meeting. All right guys, thank you so much for coming tomorrow. Tomorrow's episode we have Sam Pelo, uh, currently the top blocker in Canada and ranked number 15 in the world in a talk shop with him about how he became arguably the fittest man on tour. I'm excited to, to hear what he's got and the knowledge that he can bring about blocking as well as his story. He says he doesn't wanna do too much video analysis and that teaching's not his
Brandon Joyner (02:17:49):
Thing. So I mean, talk about another guy that's gonna be great for motivation as well. He, he's, if you don't follow his account, you need to, he's one of those guys that will post motivational quotes and they're so, and most of the time they're connected with an idea that he's been working on in practice. So he does a really good job of connecting motivation with output in, in his volleyball career. Uh, and so I'm really excited to talk to him too. It's gonna be awesome
Mark Burik (02:18:14):
Working out twice a day right now. He's like, EEA buddy. I'll, I'll text you in a minute. Like, uh, I'm on number two right now. I'm sure sucks
Brandon Joyner (02:18:21):
. I'm surprised he's not doing a three. I'm gonna let him know I'm upset with him.
Mark Burik (02:18:26):
. Aw. Alright guys, thank you so much for coming. Um, we hope you are here tomorrow. Uh, if you enjoyed this, please, please, please share it, share our Insta or our YouTube account, which is better at beach and, uh, just, just let your Bali or Beach B Trends know that, uh, well, we think we're doing something awesome. And our guests have just been amazing. So they're booing us, booing, not booing. Uh, so go ahead and share light, subscribe, do all the fun stuff, and we will check you tomorrow.
Brandon Joyner (02:18:58):
All right. Thank you guys.