Happy New Year! I've had an exciting Fall & early Winter and I wanted to share some updates, including my takeaways from the espnW Women + Sports Summit, traveling to two club partnership teams, and speaking with Davita Health Partners. I was also featured on The YOUnique Piece podcast and had the opportunity to broadcast USA Swimming's Winter Nationals for FloSwimming.
espnW Women + Sports Summit
Back in October, I attended the espnW Women + Sports Summit in Dana Point, California. It was a great weekend being surrounded by so many strong, inspirational women. I wanted to share my top 3 takeaways from the weekend with you.
1. Dream big, but focus on the small: This is all about embracing the journey and focusing on the opportunities that ultimately lead to a bigger goal. After 21 years of swimming, my most fond memories are the times I spent with my friends and teammates in the grueling training hours and the crazy travel stories we share.
2. God's delays are not his denials: Patience and determination when working towards one's dreams are key. Just because opportunity isn’t present and obvious doesn’t mean it will never come. This is something I’ve been repeating to myself for a while now. Perseverance is something I learned from my days as an athlete working for years for one moment of opportunity.
3. Proximity is power: Consistently putting myself in a position where I can learn from mentors has made me feel closer achieving my goals. When I was 15, I had the opportunity to train at Club Wolverine in Michigan with swimming legends Tom Malchow and Chris Thompson. The mere proximity to these successful Olympians made me realize how achievable my dream was. As I work toward new goals and dreams now, it helps having access to great mentors like Summer Sanders and Brian Berger and attending events like the espnW summit.
The YOUnique Piece
Last month, I was featured by The YOUnique Piece podcast (https://soundcloud.com/user-472965030/the-younique-piece-in-kara-lynn-joyce-the-empowering-leader ) where I talked about my secrets for preparation and focus and shared some stories about how a strong mindset allowed me to compete at the biggest stage in the sport. I also had the opportunity to share how I'm currently using my experiences as an athlete to empower and inspire the next generation of girls.
"Doing that one thing today that scares you a little...will get you closer to the next step for you to do something that makes you happy."
Olympian Club Partnership
Over the past two months, I was able to visit with two of my club teams as a part of my Club Partnership program. I first visited WEST Coast Aquatics in Washington and then traveled to UMAC at the University of Maryland.
Working with these teams really highlighted a big question in the swimming community: "How are these kids so fast - and how to do they keep getting faster?!" Attending several practices with both of these club teams made it abundantly clear how: both Tim at UMAC and Nick at WEST are incredibly attentive to details and are constantly evolving with the sport to provide their athletes with the most up to date training methods.
I noticed how important it was to both programs to empower their athletes with knowledge and information to help them grow as athletes but also as people.
Speaking and Broadcasting
USA Swimming AT&T Winter Nationals: I loved working with FloSwimming (http://www.floswimming.com/event/254492-2016-at-t-winter-national-championships) and talking with all the athletes on deck after their races. I enjoyed watching new swimmers become first-time National Champions and was especially impressed by the young up and coming club swimmers knocking out best times at a National meet.
Davita Health Partners: I also had the opportunity to speak with Davita Health Partners last month. It was great to share my story with their group and talk about how my experiences training for the Olympics relate to leadership and having a strong mentality. Any time I get the chance to speak locally - I jump at it. Davita had a gorgeous location downtown with a perfect view of the mountains and they couldn't have been more welcoming and accommodating.
It's already 2017 and great things are starting to happen!