Guest Interview - Kerri Walsh Jennings

Season #19

You might recognize my highly esteemed guest today as one half of what was once called “the greatest beach volleyball team of all time”

With three (yes THREE) Olympic gold medals and one Olympic bronze medal to her name, Kerri Walsh Jennings is a Beach Volleyball legend and a force to be reckoned with. 

What makes Kerri such an amazing guest on this podcast is the fact that she truly lives what she teaches. Not only is it evident on the scoreboard, it permeates every part of her life, on and off the court. 

Juggling her elite career with being a wife and a mother of three, Kerri shares deep, internal wisdom about the importance of choice, cultivating joy, and what it takes to earn the mindset of a champion. She is vulnerable, honest, eloquent, and an endless fountain of wisdom for all things sports and motherhood. 

Through commentary about Mikaela Shiffrin at the 2022 Winter Olympics, stories of family and coaching her son through a loss, and awesome quotes that somehow come to her at the perfect time every time, Kerri proves time and time again that she is a gifted storyteller and a natural teacher. 

This interview is one I know I will return to time and time again. 

About Platform 1440:

P1440 was founded by Kerri Walsh Jennings and her husband (and fellow Beach Volleyball legend), Casey Jennings to engage, equip, and encourage beach volleyball athletes to pursue their dreams. P1440 gives athletes direct opportunities to compete and grow alongside a dedicated community of high performers and big dreamers. 

Learn more about P1440: https://www.p1440.com/

Follow them on Instagram: @platform1440



Here’s a glance at this episode:

 

[4:24] Lindsey and Kerri discuss the fallacy of perfectionism and Kerri’s relationship with failure through her younger years. She discusses her crushing disappointment at Rio and what it took to push through it. 

 [9:21] “Our job is to show up and do our best.” Kerri relates her experience at Rio to Olympic Alpine Skiier, Mikaela Shiffrin, and encourages athletes like her to reframe the way they think about failure. 

 [12:54] What does the phrase “Play so hard to win that it hurts so bad to lose” mean to an Olympian?

 [16:06] Purpose and self-love through the ups and downs are essential to being a successful athlete and happy human. In Kerri’s words, “If you don’t love yourself because you’re in a funk right now, you’re literally playing for the other team; you’re fighting against yourself.”

 [17:53] Quoting Andrew Huberman, Kerri insists we need to be having conversations with children about the power we have within to create our outside environment. And we have to understand that greatness takes time. 

 [19:39] Not unlike the lion and the gazelle, how we interpret stress actually impacts how our bodies respond to it. 

 [24:44] Kerri remembers a conversation with her Sports Psychologist that changed everything. 

In summary, the words you choose MATTER because every word you speak is MOMENTUM. 

 [30:39] What does it look like to be an Olympic athlete and a mother of three? Kerri’s vulnerable answer includes an acknowledgment that It’s messy. 

 [38:04] “If you’re committed, you have to commit through the good times and the hard times…” Kerri describes her complex pursuit of greatness and her commitment to her purpose, as an athlete, a wife, and a mother. 

 [45:30] Kerri describes a few surprising ways in which becoming a mother helped her in her career. She makes a case for defining your life pillars and filtering your actions accordingly. 

 [50:11] Kerry shares a relatable story about coaching her son through a big loss. She reminds him, “The truth of who you are is unafraid”.

[55:42] Lindsey and Kerri wrap up their episode by outlining Kerri’s mental training routine - on and off game days. From sleep, to cold plunging, to journaling, to talking it out, being where your feet are, and choosing what feels good, Kerri believes in creating sustainable routines that last a lifetime and cultivate joy.

 

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