/   buregdzinica.com   / English  

2019-09-23 06:13:43

Clockwise from top left: Payson McElveen, Isaiah Kacyvenski, Brad Keselowski, Kai Lenny (Long Ngyuen/Red Bull Content Pool; Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images; Matt Sullivan/Getty Images; Courtesy of the World Surf League)

Launched a year ago, our Athletes Voice series gives athletes a forum to talk about how technology has impacted their careers and their lives away from sports. Over the last 12 months we have spoken to 55 sports stars across the sports ecosystem, from baseball to cricket, rowing to surfing, and football to esports.

To mark the one-year anniversary of Athletes Voice, we’re bringing you a shortlist of some of the insightful highlights we’ve learned. We will be back next week as usual with the next athlete in our second season. To read that story in our newsletter before anyone else, you can subscribe here. 

*** 

On succeeding as an athlete …

“From the outside, athletes that have ‘made it’ sometimes seem almost untouchable in a way. Like it’s binary. Like they play for a living. They have a blue check mark next to their Instagram. Things come to them easily, this, that and the other. And it really couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s so many people out there that are really good at mountain biking or climbing or skiing or whatever it is—but things just didn’t quite align for them for whatever reason.

“And likewise, I think there’s people that made it professionally who maybe in some ways aren’t the collection of typical ingredients to be a successful athlete, but just sort of willed it into existence.”

Read more about how Payson McElveen trains, his experience of sprinting up the Red Bull Bay Climb, and his fans.

On learning the financial world …

“The first thing they tell you in the NFL is, ‘Be scared, because you’re going to lose all your money if you don’t take care of your capital.’ They put a healthy dose of fear in every single player, for good reason.”

“When I [was] very first handed a check—I was signed with the Seahawks, drafted in the fourth round in 2000—I remember them handing me a check and realizing I had zero clue. [I had a] sciences background with chemistry, physics, calculus, earth science, whatever. I realized I didn’t have the background to actually handle money, to handle finance, and to handle investment. So I learned everything I could from the bottom up. Hired two financial advisors, peppered the crap out of them for as much information as I could learn about the public and private market.”

Read more about how Isaiah Kacyvenski transitioned from football to the investment world, and where he sees the greatest opportunities. 

On climate change …

“In my lifetime alone, being born and raised on Maui, you definitely can see the typical patterns on the ocean are very different [compared] to when I was really young. I would say there are extreme fluxes. Like the wind direction, for example. The trade winds have shifted. They’re not as easterly as they once were. They have a little more of a northerly direction. The rain is a lot less consistent. It might dump for a very long time, and then it might be dry for a very long time. When I was a kid, I would remember in the mornings there would be no wind, and then there’d be wind [later in the day] whereas now it’s just windy or no wind all day.”

Read more about Kai Lenny’s experience in the World Surf League and how he sees a changing environment affecting the Earth’s oceans.

On 3D printing …

“I believe firmly that additive manufacturing is going to improve the human experience in a significant way. What that’s going to be is hard to say. Metal additive manufacturing, to me, I don’t want to oversell it, but it feels like the new Internet. It’s the technology that’s going to take us not just to space, like we’ve been, but space like going to Mars. It’s the technology that’s going to make us live healthier and longer. If you look at some of the medical tools that are out there, they are made possible only by 3D printing out of metal.”

Read more about how Brad Keselowski developed an interest in engineering, and how he believes 3D printing can change the world.

Clockwise from top left: Ellis Wyms, Meghan O’Leary, Mike LaBelle, Hillary Allen (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images; Ed Hewitt; Courtesy of MLS; Courtesy of Hillary Allen/Greg Mionske)On the power of the internet …

“The internet has just flipped the whole world on its head. There was a time when I grew up where you just didn’t have access to information and certain learning opportunities. When you grow up in an environment like that you’re going to have a lack of resources. But the internet has given us all access to information. No information is hidden, no learning opportunities are hidden, it’s all out there for you to go and learn. All you have to do is decide is what you want to learn and what’s important to learn.”

Read more about how important Ellis Wyms believes computer programming skills will be for today’s students as they aspire to be tomorrow’s problem solvers.

On rowing storytelling …

“For a sport like rowing, where it was one of the most traditional, oldest sports in the current Olympics program, but the reality is that we’re at a time where tradition no longer carries like it used to. If we’re talking about solely at the Olympics, it is the sports that bring viewers, that bring money, and that bring interest. There are so many interesting things about our sport, and we just have to … ‘pivot’ and ‘evolve’ … We can keep what’s great about our sport, but we need to do a better job about sharing that.

“Rowing, by nature, we’re self-proclaimed that we just put our heads down and work. I love that about the sport. It’s a meritocracy. It rewards hard work. But on the other side, I believe it’s a duty of being stewards of the sport and being able to open our lives up a little bit in an effort and a way to spread awareness, spread interest to sportswriters, media outlets. If no one knows that it’s happening, it’s not happening, really.”

Read more about Meghan O’Leary’s winding path to the Olympics, her use of wearable technology, and her hope to generate more interest in her sport.

On finding social inspiration …

“If I were to choose anything, I would actually not bring my phone on runs. I’m actually new to Strava, too. I only joined Strava when I got this injury as a way to help see progress in my recovery and all this kind of stuff. I am a very pensive, independent, introverted person and so for me running was the time that the world could just go away. I didn’t have to talk to anyone, I could just de-stress or plan out my day or think about these problems that I was trying to attack in my research. It was just a time for me.”

“Now I think social media plays a huge part, especially after my accident. I was getting messages and encouragement from people—from strangers—I didn’t know. And they were genuinely sending me messages like, ‘Oh I’m struggling with this injury and you’ve helped me find the strength to deal with this and this. Now I’m running again. Hang in there, I’ve had the same injury.’ It felt more connected and I could communicate with people on a different end of the world and we had this one thing in common.”

Read more about Hillary Allen’s sport, how she worked her way back after falling off a cliff, and her new podcast, Athletes Unfiltered.

On growing esports …

“We’re at the beginning of competitive gaming, at least within terms of FIFA. We’re at the infancy stage and we’re able to push that. It’s something that was going to happen, in my opinion, regardless at some point, but we’re here from the very beginning. For me, that’s very exciting. That’s an opportunity to really be able to shape something—shape the future, shape the culture, shape what’s happening in competitive gaming.

Read more about Mike LaBelle’s career path, the FIFA eWorld Cup, and the in-game celebration named after him.

Clockwise from top left: Alison Tetrick, Eric Winston, Theo Fleury, Shawn Springs (Chris Graythen/Getty Images; Patrick Smith/Getty Images; Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images; Rick Stewart/Allsport)On talent identification …

“I’ve had good results from all sorts of different sports. I’m an athlete-minded, Type A, smart individual, and very driven. But I would have loved it if somebody at 10 years old could tell me what was my sport of calling.”

“Cycling’s my passion now and I’m world class at my sport … But I think it would be kinda fun if somebody could say, ‘Hey, this is the sport you should have done.’ We love riding our bikes so we’ve chosen bike riding, but what if someone said at 10 years old, ‘You should sign up for badminton. This was what you were supposed to do because you have this femur length and your tibia is this long and you have this muscle fiber.’ “

Read more about how technology affects Alison Tetrick’s training, racing, and overall job as an athlete.

On data privacy …

“If you start getting into these ideas of heart rate and [if] you start getting into these ideas of very personal information, that’s what it is—it’s personal information. It’s not something that your employer should be able to just [say], ‘Oh, we own that.’ No, you don’t. No employer owns the heart rate [monitoring] of an employee. No one’s ever done that. To think that that should just be part of it, to me, is crazy. And unacceptable, quite frankly … At the end of the day, if there’s something that we all want to agree on together or not agree on together, then maybe there is, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s how I look at players’ data: it’s personal and it’s private.”

Read more about how technology evolved during Eric Winston’s playing career and what areas of tech the NFL Players Association is most interested in.

On athlete safety …

“I don’t think there will ever be a time where a professional football player especially, but a professional athlete will ever turn down a [chance to play]. You have to save the athlete from themselves. Because, especially when you get to the pro level, the truth of the matter is even today, if you tell me if I had to get a concussion or wear something lighter for performance. What I would do, I probably would say, ‘Well I’ll risk the fact that I’d get a concussion and I’m gonna make $7 million, or $10 million, because I can cover and I can run.’”

Read more about Shawn Springs’s childhood as the son of former NFL running back Ron Springs, entrepreneurship, and his impact protection company, Windpact.

On sharing his struggles …

“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. The one thing that I hadn’t done was get honest and truthful about what happened. And the reaction that I got was people started coming up to me and telling me, ‘Hey, I read your book, and you told my story. Me too.’ That right there was the catalyst for me to say, ‘Hey, this is what I was meant to do. This is the true purpose for my life, to help as many people get to where they need to go.’ ”

Read more about Theo Fleury’s addiction and mental health struggles, why he’s advocating for suicide prevention, and his partnership with an app that has the potential to save lives.

Clockwise from top left: Chiney Ogwumike, Walter Powell, Matt Forte, Ryan Howard (Robby Klein/ESPN Images; Courtesy of Walter Powell Jr.; David Banks/Getty Images; Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)On impacting the world outside …

“Sports has now become a platform. They always say sports is a unifier and it totally is. It’s now also a platform to not only share your best self as an athlete and competitor but also to show the world what you care about. Athletes that do that understand we have a responsibility as leaders in our communities, as people that people look towards to create change. Not just be entertainers but to also do something impactful outside of their sport.

“A lot of times people wanted athletes to be the summation of their stats. Like okay, that player always gives you a double-double and that’s it. That player is the best three-point shooter or has the most touchdowns. But we’re human-beings first and foremost. When society has issues, people look to us. By nature of being an athlete, we’re brave, not afraid, and taught to face our fears and push for success. That makes us comfortable to take those things in society head on.”

Read more about Chiney Ogwumike’s growing media career with ESPN and the evolution of the WNBA.

On athletes’ voices in society …

“Just ‘cause a person took a knee, that’s like saying they don’t have the freedom of speech. It’s just a real touchy subject. Ever since they took a knee, [other people] just really blew it out of proportion. A lot of those veterans who served in the military, in the army, in the service just period, respect [the athletes] for that. They fought so that we can take a knee, so that people can take a knee and have freedom of speech and be able to just express themselves however they deem is appropriate. The fact people are really down on somebody for taking a knee, it’s not about the flag, it’s deeper than that.”

Read more about Walter Powell Jr.’s transition from life as an NFL wideout to being a tech founder, and the Politiscope app that he has developed.

On applying sports to business …

“For me, it was being faced with that little bit of adversity, and that’s for any company or entrepreneur that’s out there: you’re going to be faced with adversity. All people see is the end product of the major leagues. What people don’t see is the work that goes into it, the behind-the-scenes. What people don’t see is the jungle right in front of you because all you see is the mountaintops that are the major leagues. What people don’t understand is the jungle is what you have to go through to get to the mountaintop. The similarities in the business world mirror each other.”

Read more about what Ryan Howard thinks of the potential of wearable devices, the entrepreneurial role models he looks up to, and how sports prepared him for the business world.

On doing more as an athlete …

“I told [David Montgomery] that you should always do more than what’s expected of you when you come into the league. Obviously they have high expectations of him and he probably has high expectations of himself, but I mean in the details of everyday training. If you’re doing the same workout as everybody else, you’re going to be the same as everybody else. You’ve got to go above and beyond that.”

“But also, I told him not just to pigeonhole himself in just being an athlete … A lot of guys retire and they’re like, ‘I don’t know what I’m passionate about now.’ And that becomes a problem because then you’re sitting on your hands and you’re waiting just trying to find out what to do next. Football is a short time. Our time on life here is short compared to eternity. You’re going to have to do something after football, so I always tell them to try and find what your passion is outside of that and start developing that more.”

Read more about athlete tracking, social media and the advice Matt Forte has for this year’s NFL rookie class.

New Athletes Voice stories appear earlier in our newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let us know at talkback@sporttechie.com


sporttechie.com @sporttechie
just have more read world they people were sports athletes athlete like






User comments