Freedom + Passion = Performance

Hi Families,

Happy New Year!

In this post I will reflect on and review a podcast that I listened to recently.

In this series Michael Gervais interviews people who have found excellence. The series is called Finding Mastery. Mastery refers to true skill, not just result. Results come from mastery but they are two separate ideas.

Gervais asks a few critical questions to each person he interviews.

Specifically he tries to listen and learn about their journey and what brought them to now.

He asks how do they understand the world and what mental skills do they use? He is trying to understand the framework from which they work.

His interviewee for this podcast is Karch Kirlay who has 3 olympic gold medals in both beach and indoor volleyball and now coaches the women’s national volleyball team.

So what can we learn from Gevrais and Kirlay?

Much of the discussion surrounds progression and how Kirlay from a young age devoted all his efforts to improving. You might think, great yes it’s all about progression, focus on the process not the result. However I know this phrase can be overused and this interview helps breathe palpable life to that perhaps overused phrase.

His father had a deep passion for the sport. He played on his lunch breaks at work as a doctor. It was totally for fun but he put everything he had into it. This demonstrated passion and effort to young Karch. The balance and power comes when Karch looks back on playing with and being coached by his father. He said “whenever I was ready to play, he was. When I wasn’t he wasn’t” How easy would it have been for the father’s passion to have impeded the son’s journey?  However in this case it only floored it. Similarly his dad always focused on effort, not praised result. He never said “you are so good, so young”. The focus was on the authentic excitement which was the the driving force for performing at one’s best in the present moment. Karch developed a mindset around the relentless pursuit of “better” not perfection. He had a growth mindset that believed mistakes were part of the process. He said it helped decrease the need to be perfect. He developed the skill to play every point like it was the only thing that mattered. Because of his experiences he was free of pressure and fueled by passion, a powerful combination leaving one in the present moment to be your best.

I think this is a great example of the power of a passion, led by the son and supported by dad. I highly suggest the series! The link for Gervais’s website is below, where this and many other podcasts can be found.