Athlete Minded: Stories

This podcast consists of the real stories from athletes about the toll athletics takes on the mind and body. We discuss the mental and emotional struggle athletes face, and what we can do about it.
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Athlete Minded: Stories




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Dec 20, 2016

Today we talk to a sports psychologist and mental coach for NBA athletes, Graham Betchart.  

Graham has been coaching athletes on the mental side for years, having worked with top NBA draft picks and with George Mumford, who helped train Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant on the mental side back in the day.

Dec 13, 2016

Today we talk to Martin Braxton, who grew up playing basketball in new york city and who has been a referee for over 25 years.  

This episode was really cool because we see the other side of basketball, not from the player, but from the official who has to deal with fans, coaches, players, and who don't get much recognition at all.

Nov 23, 2016

Welcome back to the athlete minded: stories podcast. 

For today's episode, we step outside of the US and talk to Olympic Wrestler for Canada, Korey Jarvis. We spoke to him before Rio, and he talk to us this time about what it was like down in Rio from his personal experience. The media kept portraying it as this place that wasn't finished, but he said he had a great time.

Get in touch with him on facebook at Korey Jarvis, and on instagram at Korey.jarvis.

Nov 15, 2016

Alvin Pearman, Former NFL Player and Current Doctoral Student at Vanderbilt joins us to discuss his NFL career and what he is doing now.

Alvin's research focuses on urban schooling, social inequality, and neighborhood effects. His current research on education examines the impact of city-wide income inequality on schooling outcomes, the influence of neighborhood gentrification on disciplinary patterns in schools, and the role of neighborhood environments in shaping the efficacy of preschool interventions. Other projects examine the effects of neighborhood poverty on the mathematical trajectories of Black children, as well as descriptive analyses of the social and economic contexts in which urban schools are located nationwide.

Overall this was an amazing interview, and I hope we can discuss in more detail in the future.

Nov 8, 2016

Cubs Win! Cubs are World Series Champions for the first time since 1908!

I was outside of Wrigley Field for the Cubs win in game 5 of the world series this year, and was shocked when they finally won in game 7 in the 10th inning by one run.

Absolutely amazing.

So this episode is for the Cubs, and JDH.

Oct 21, 2016

In this episode of Audiobook Friday, I talk about my life during my sophomore year of college when I was playing Division 1 basketball.

A tough time, but it made me realize where I was, and I learned a lot about myself.

For more, just to go to

Oct 11, 2016

For today's episode, I talk to my main man Bobbito Garcia. When I was growing up, I watched videos of Bobbito with the And1 mixtapes, the Nike commercials, and even "Bobbito's basics to boogie" that they promoted on NBA.comTV. When I came to new york, Dime magazine hooked me up with him, and I have been attending his open runs in new york city ever since he invited me to the first one.

I can't name all his accomplishments and all he's done because it's so much, but this episode will be focused on his new york city streetball tournament called full court 21. It's a type of game where it's every man or woman for themselves. If you score a basket you get 2 points, then you have a chance to hit 3 shots from the top of the key for free, with the game to 21. there are a lot of other rules, so if you want to learn more about it just to go

Also bobbito just turned 50, so bobbito, happy birthday man, you rock.


Aug 24, 2016

For today's episode I talk to my former south jersey competitor, Kyle Hines.

Kyle was a high Division 1 basketball player who has played in the EuroLeague for a bunch of years. most recently he's played for CSKA Moscow in Russia being one of the best players in the league. He's an awesome guy and it's really cool to see someone I grew up battling with being one of the best players in the EuroLeague year after year.

You can find him on twitter with @sirhines and check out his academy at

Aug 19, 2016

Well, here we are. The final episode of our olympic series. This has been amazing talking to the top athletes in the entire world for their sports. think about that for a second. There's seven billion people in the world, and these are the top 5, top 3, or even top athlete in their sport. In the entire world. that's pretty amazing.

Finishing up, we talk to Korey Jarvis. This episode was powerful because he talks about the losses he occurred in the past, even one where he lost in the final 3 seconds. It's heartbreaking to lose in that way, but he mentions how he eventually got back into the training mindset, and how he eventually qualified for Rio.

He wrestles tomorrow, Saturday August 20, so look for him. You can find him on twitter with @daddyjar86 and watch him live at

Aug 18, 2016

With only a few days left in these Olympic games in Rio, we have two more people to talk to. today's episode is when the pentathletes compete. Last episode you heard Margaux Isaksen, and today we talk to men's pentathlete for the USA, Nathan Schrimsher. Nathan is also in the US Army, and talks about his training, along with his military duties.

He competes today, so make sure you follow along. You can do that at

Aug 17, 2016

These olympics have been amazing so far, and in today's episode we talk to Margaux Isaksen, a women's pentathlete for the USA. This episode is really cool because as pentathletes they not only have to be good at one sport, but 5. these sports are fencing, swimming, equestrian, shooting, and running.

She competes tomorrow, Thursday August 18, so check out her compete at where you can watch her live, or where you can watch the replay after she's finished.

You can also find out more about her at

Aug 16, 2016

Today, we talk to Stephen Lambdin, USA men's over 80 kilograms Taekwondo athlete who will be competing on Saturday, August 20th.

We talk about his training, his experienes growing up, and most recently, with his experience with Wim Hof, also known as the Iceman, where Stephen picked up breathing techniques that he uses to increase his performance.

I'm excited for him to compete in Rio, and he's a smart, amazing guy.

You can check him out on his website at or on twitter with @stephenlambdin.

Aug 15, 2016

For today's episode, we talk to the captain of the #1 women's volleyball team in the world, team USA's Christa Dietzen. This was an awesome episode since she was an all-american volleyball player in high school and college, and now they have the possibility of winning a gold this year.

Their qualifiers are completed, since they played China yesterday. The quarterfinals are tomorrow, august 16, the semifinals are Thursday, august 18, and if they make the finals it will be on August 20.

Watch their replays at and follow christa on twitter with @christadietzen

Aug 12, 2016

Today, in part 5 of 10 in our Rio Olympics series, we talk to Michelle Carter, who is competing in the women's shot put for the USA. She is actually competing today, Friday, August 12, so you can check her out at

This episode was really cool because her father actually was a shot put champion and got a super bowl ring and an olympic medal in the same year. We discuss her career in shot put, her time when she was featured in ESPN's body issue, and the real life of an athlete. She mentions how olympic athletes have to get jobs to make money, as well, and they don't just practice their sport for 4 years straight.

She also is a makeup enthusiast, and you can find her at

Aug 11, 2016

Today, in part 4 of 10 in our Rio Olympics series, we talk to Victoria Folayan, who is competing in the women's rugby 7's for the USA. They already finished competing, but you can watch their replay at

This interview was powerful because Victoria was one of the best rugby players at Stanford, and how she continues to compete. We also discuss a scary head injury she experienced earlier in the year, but how she continues to compete even though she knows there are risks with playing a full contact sport like rugby.

You can find her on twitter with @vixfly and watch their replay at

Aug 10, 2016

Today, in part 3 of 10 in our Rio Olympics series, we talk to Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass, who are both competing in the equestrian event for the USA. They are actually competing today, Wednesday August 10th, so if you can't catch them Live check out their replay at

This interview was really cool because they talk about how they not only have to be prepared physically and mentally, but they also have to make sure their horses are prepared physically and mentally. In Laura's case, she's been working with her horse for over 10 years to develop harmony, and now she's competing to be the best in the world down in Rio.

They are competing in the equestrian dressage event, and you can find Kasey and and Laura at

Aug 9, 2016

In part 2 of our Rio Olympics series, we talk to Rugby 7's player JJ Javelet.

She discusses her experiences growing up, and changing sports to rugby.  Very interesting, and shows that being a high-level athlete isn't an easy thing to do.

Watch the replay of them in the Olympics at, and you can follow her on Twitter at @jjavelet.

Aug 5, 2016

For the first episode of our Rio Olympics series, we talk to USA women's soccer player Christen Press, who was actually recently featured in ESPN's body issue.

It was really great hearing her story, and about how the women's soccer team really hasn't had much time to relax since winning the world cup in 2015.

She also has some great writings on her website at, and you can follow her on twitter with @christenpress.

Aug 3, 2016

Today's episode is really special because we get to talk to the mother of Maria Burns-Ortiz and Ronda Rousey, who co-authored the book "My Fight, Your Fight", which I consistently reference in this podcast. If you've been listening to the episodes, you know what I mean.

Her name is Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, and she was a world judo champion in 1984, the first american to accomplish this. She now runs 7th generation games, which helps young people learn in a practical and fun way.

She also has a blog which I absolutely love. Her blog website is and learn more about 7th generation games at

Jul 30, 2016

Remember, we have the Olympic series coming up with some amazing guests, so we will be focusing on that for these Olympic games in Rio.

Now, for Part 11 of my book hoop dreams fulfilled, I go into what my freshman season playing Division 1 basketball was like, the road trips we went on, and how I barely was able to balance school and practices.

For more, just go to

Jul 27, 2016

Today's guest is Brandon Hudgins, who is a runner who just missed qualifying for the Olympic by a few seconds. We discuss that, and the pain he felt, second-guessing himself and wondering if there is more he could have done.

He also has vasculitis, which is a disease that made him quit running for over a year at one point. It's an amazing podcast, one that goes into the business and the mental toll of the sport of running.

You can find Brandon on Twitter at @bhudgnasty and if you want to help him out just go to

Jul 25, 2016

Today, we talk to Kally Fayhee, who was a Divison 1 swimmer at the University of Michigan, and who helped to co-found Michigan's Athletes Connected program, which helps athletes through the mental side of sports.

We talk about some really cool stuff, like when people asked her, "Why aren't you in the Olympics yet?" and the constant pressure she put on herself.

Check out Athletes Connected at

Jul 22, 2016

Today, part 10 of my book Hoop Dreams Fulfilled, I go deep into what a day in the life of a division 1 basketball player is like. Hint, a lot of training.

For more, just go to to get your copy of the audiobook, kindle, or paperback.

Jul 20, 2016

Today's episode we talk to Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman. Why do they call him the Spaniard? Because he was a school teacher who taught Spanish.

And what did he do after that? He fought in probably the toughest organization in the world, the UFC, and became at one point the #7 fighter in the world for his weight class. He also talks about his wrestling career growing up, and how he transitioned that to the UFC, and how now he has to transition again to life after fighting.

I actually read Charlie's autobiography before this episode, so I had a ton of questions for him going in. It's really cool how our lives were pretty similar, just in different sports and different directions.

To get a copy of his book and for more about Charlie, just go to

Jul 18, 2016

Today's episode is powerful, especially with all the division that's going on in the world today. Our guest is Hudson Taylor, who was a 3-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland.

But it's not his athletic accomplishments which make it so powerful, it's what he is doing now. He is an advocate for LGBT rights in and out of the athletic arena. When I asked him why he takes what he does to such a level, he has an amazing response, how it's not just about this generation, but the next. He mentions that people will look back decades from now and ask, "Why didn't they do anything?"

He also has some great direct action steps for people who may be unsure about how to approach somebody using homophobic or derogatory slurs.

Overall, an amazing episode, and you can find more about Hudson at

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