Tag Archives: team force

28: Kayla Harrison on Winning Olympic Gold and Overcoming Trauma

Play

kayla-harrison-podcast-interview-take-it-uneasy-604

In episode 28, I talk with Kayla Harrison, first American to win Olympic gold in judo, about her training methods, visualization, competition mindset, Olympic final experience, warm-routine, Eminem and country music, overcoming a past of sexual abuse, PTSD, finding forgiveness, finding strength in judo, being coached by Jimmy Pedro, her Team Force teammates, moving up two weight classes, strength and conditioning, going to college, writing her memoir and also a book on recovering from sexual abuse, new judo rules, serving as the IJF athlete representative, and much more.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or RSS, and check out our facebook page.

Quotes

Kayla on the evolution of women’s judo:

“In 26 years (since Ann Marie DeMars became the first American world champion), we’ve seen women’s judo come a long long way. I’m very fortunate that I had pioneers like Ann Marie and Rusty Kanokogi and women like that who paved the way to allow me to pursue my dreams.”

Kayla on what was going on through her mind as she was stepping on the mat at the Olympics:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever forget that day. I was just a psycho. (Lol). I am very big on visualization. Before the Olympics even occurred I visualized that day a thousand time in my mind. I would go over it and over it and over it. And I would tell myself: ‘Kayla Harrison, Olympic Champion. This is my day. This is my purpose.’ And all that day, Jimmy (Pedro) was chirping in my head: ‘Do you want this more? Have you worked harder? No one deserves this more than you. You’re Kayla Harrison, Olympic Champion.’ “

Kayla giving credit for her success to her coaches:

“In order to be a great coach, you can’t be an athlete’s friend. He’s not afraid to make me cry. They are not afraid to light that fire, and tell me when I’m wrong. They are not afraid to push me when I need to be pushed, and pull back when I need to pull back. They don’t really care if I like them. I do, but they don’t really care either way.”

Kayla on whether fear/doubt enters her mind in competition:

“When I was younger I used to be pretty scared. I was more afraid of losing than I was willing to win. And when you’re afraid to lose, you don’t compete,¬† you don’t show up, you just worry about losing. Through the years, through experience, and just literally competing in every single tournament on the face of the Earth, I started to get into a habit… One of the things I’ve heard before and that I completely agree with is: ‘Success breeds success.’ When I start to win and I get on that roll, I don’t question myself, I don’t doubt myself. If you look at that video of me on the day of the Olympics, every match, even the one I was losing, I was losing my quarterfinal to a girl I’ve never beaten before, at no point did I question myself. I don’t know, I was a psycho. I thought I was going to win, and damned if I wasn’t going to go out there and do it. I trained too hard, worked too long, sacrificed too much, been away from my family too long to lose.”

Kayla talking about losing a match at the 2011 World championships:

Failure is my fuel. If you beat me, I’m going to sleep that night thinking about ripping your arm off.

YouTube Audio-Only Version

Links

27: Chris Round on Climate Change Science and Policy, Balancing Sport and Study

Play

chris-round

In episode 27, I talk with Chris Round about judo, balancing sport and study, the science and policy of climate change, his work at the School for Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University, growing up with asperger syndrome, training under Jimmy Pedro, conditioning, groundwork, harai goshi, Team Force, the science of global warming, scientific consensus and public opinion on climate change, Naomi Oreskes, evolution in schools debate, industry funded doubt, China, fossil fuel consumption, the motivation of the scientific community, empathetic messaging, being open to the possibility of being wrong, etc.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or RSS, and check out our facebook page.

Quotes

Chris talks about focusing on being prepared:

“If you do everything right leading up to a tournament. You handled your weight correctly. You trained hard. You did everything right. If you go out there and you lose, and you did everything right to get there, then how the hell can you be a loser?”

Chris on balancing judo and study:

“I’ve managed to finally strike a balance through a lot of practice at striking a balance, a lot trial and error.”

Chris’s advice on putting a lot of effort into building a habit of study and training:

“It’s really easy at the end of a long day to say: ‘Alright, I’m taking practice off.’ The first three weeks are key. It’s establishing habits more than anything. First three weeks of a semester or first three weeks of getting back on the horse in training, you have to chuck a lot of mental energy at making sure you go to everything.”

Chris on why climate change is often such a device topic of conversation:

“I think a lot of people fuse (political issues) with their identity and what makes them a good person. And when you attack an idea related to that issue they are not taking it as a rational discussion. They are taking it as: ‘You’re attacking me as a person. You’re attacking my identity.'”

Links