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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Jun 28, 2017

Today is a really special episode because we talk to Troy Barnies. Troy is a Mainer through and through. He was the Mr. Basketball for the state of Maine in high school, which is the top men's basketball player in the state, went to the university of maine for 4 years, where he became an all-conference player in his senior season, and who has now been playing professionally overseas for the past six seasons.

His story and journey is really inspiring, as you will hear.

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 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

Jul 16, 2016

In part 9 of my self-published book hoop dreams fulfilled, I take you deep into the world of Division 1 athletics. I don't think people realize what it's like, and all the little stuff you have to be prepared for along the way. At the time my parents were getting divorced and my coach told me I wouldn't play at all that year, so it hurt pretty bad.

But I had no choice but to just keep showing up, battling, and putting the work in.

For more, just go to

Jul 12, 2016

Co-Founder of Locker Room Talk Keirsten Sires discusses her athletic career and entrepreneurial journey.  Keirsten played tennis and soccer in college at Skidmore, and started a project in her entrepreneurship class called Locker Room Talk.

It was an idea, but now it's a reality with over 4,000 reviews of college coaches all across America.  Her goal isn't to bash college coaches, but just the opposite, to make sure every young athlete is completely informed about their collegiate decision.

It's a great website and I can't wait to see what this turns into.  

For more, just go to their website at

Jul 8, 2016

In today's edition of Audiobook Friday, I discuss my first experiences playing Division 1 basketball at the University of Maine. You may have heard me refer to this in other podcasts, so now I'm going to take you deep into that world. It's an understatement to say for my first few months, I was definitely unprepared.

For more, just go to

Jul 6, 2016

Today's episode we talk to Bryan Smothers, who I also grew up battling with in high school playing basketball, and who has an interesting journey. He went to the University of Tennessee for a few months for college, but his grades weren't sufficient to continue. He bounced around to schools until he finally landed in Sacramento, California where he now runs a healthy food company called Hum Fresh.

It's really cool talking to him and seeing our journeys, knowing that at one point we had the exact same vision, and the exact same goal, to make the NBA. But obviously, we can't all make it, and we have to do other things, but we still have that drive and mindset that we are channeling into different avenues.

Show notes can be found at, and if you want to check out what Bryan does, just go to

Jul 1, 2016

In part 7 of my self-published book hoop dreams fulfilled, I previously talked about my high school career, and the final game I played. This part goes into what happened off the court once the season was finished, and the confrontation I had with my head coach.

For more, just go to where you can get the paperback, kindle, and audio version.

Jun 24, 2016

In this episode of my audiobook Hoop Dreams Fulfilled, I discuss my summer all-american camps leading up to my senior year of high school, and the change of mentality I had going into this year. I took responsibility for my team this season, and that's party why I think we became so successful. I made sure we didn't take shortcuts or take it easy.

If you want to check out more of my book, just go to

Jun 22, 2016

In high school, Kevin Saum played football, and on one play he got hit in the head so hard that it ended his career.  After that experience, he felt a wave of emotions about what he should do with his life, since his whole life was wrapped up in being a football player.

Fortunately, he overcame these obstacles, and became an equipment manager for the Rutgers football team, and now does speaking engagements to help young people deal with the experiences they will inevitably have to overcome.

We did a back and forth podcast, where I interviewed him and he interviewed me at some points.  I hope you like it.

For more about Kevin, just go to

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