Making things happen – episode 29

On this episode I interview Kate Richardson-Walsh; Olympic Gold Medal Winning Captain and most capped female hockey player in her country’s history. We talk about transitioning out of elite sport, obsession and making things happen.

On work-life balance

I think it is individual and it will change. Be curious about it and make the best decision for you 

As an elite athlete, sport can become obsessive yet Kate has always tried to find ways to switch off. Working in 4 year cycles (as all Olympic sports do), Kate and several team mates believed after London 2012 that they could go better in Rio 2016.

This was a straight line; they failed hugely as a team after London 2012 before turning things around in the 18 months leading up to Rio 2016.

Transitioning away from hockey

In the lead up to Rio Kate was made captain of the team and part of her role involved doing more speaking engagements.

Following the Rio games Kate and her wife Helen decided to set up their own business, combining speaking with going into schools and businesses and providing training. Something Kate describes as longer lasting; allowing others to thrive.

Being able to do something that you enjoy is important to Kate and she loves the nervous energy that she gets when speaking. The nerves remind her of her days as a hockey player and competing.

Strengths

For a long time when she was growing up, Kate didn’t really know what she wanted to be. Her first thoughts were around teaching and she openly admits to ‘bumbling down the road’ in her earlier days.

However, she was able to see opportunities (like getting involved with hockey) and making the most of them. Hard work and making things happen were the drivers behind how Kate approached things.

‘Emotional yet consistent’ is how Kate goes on to describe herself and this has helped throughout her life.  She never felt she was good enough and this has allowed her to try harder. Openly critical of herself, Kate has been able to use this positively to drive her onward.

Feedback

Having come from a place where you are always receiving feedback; both Kate and Helen in their capacity as speakers are always seeking feedback on how they can improve.

Feedback is so important and whilst Kate views it as a gift, in the world outside of elite sport people aren’t as forthcoming.

Whilst she’s had moments of failure or challenging moments, Kate is not one for having regrets.

The GB Hockey Team had a vision for Rio 2016 which Kate has taken forward into her purpose and passion today;

Be the difference, create history, inspire the future

A quote to leave you with from Kate;

It’s not about what you want, it’s what you need

Check out what Kate is up to here

Start a conversation with her on;

Twitter

LinkedIn 

Instagram

If you enjoyed this episode then you might also like;

Doing what makes your heart sing – episode 25 with Fiona Murden (Author & Psychologist)

A rolling stone – episode 12 with Kriss Akabusi (Motivational speaker and Olympic athlete).

Tune in next time to hear Dr Emma Foden (my wife) and I reviewing the fantastic guests (alongside some feedback from the listeners) that have appeared on the show during Series 2.

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