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What I learnt from Natalie Cook

Natalie Cook, a 5 time Olympian in Beach Volley Ball. A pioneer of the sport which includes an Olympic Gold Medal at her home games in Sydney in 2000 and a Bronze at Atlanta in 1996. She is with Kerri Pottharst became one of the sports if not the greatest team of all time. What has really impressed me is her transition away from the competitive playing arena. Her giving nature radiates when you speak and listen to her, she is a true giver and her intent to make the world a better place is something I admire.

To listen to the entire interview please use the play below:

Here are a few important lessons that I learnt from Natalie Cook:

 

 

BE YOUR OWN SUPERHERO

Body language and self belief are huge things where we can let ourselves down. Natalie has a great tool she uses to enhance hers.
 

“For those that know me be no I'm big superhero fan, I’m even in my office right now looking at superhero things that inspire me. I have a kind of an Alter Ego, so when Natalie Cook is having a bad day or moment, or a bad week I literally have my Superman cape that I put on and I feel different when I see the Superman symbol it reminds me to have my shoulders back my head up to become strong and confident and tackle things in front of me”

 

 

 

BUILD BELIEF BY CREATING A SUPPORTIVE TEAM

An interesting topic I brought up with Natalie was what was the aspect that closed the gap to move the ladies from a bronze to the winner’s podium. To quote Natalie:

“Both me and Kerri sat down and we said we can do this, but the first thing is you've got to have this in inkling of belief, it wasn't a full believe but it was an inkling for us to develop the full belief overtime we had a coach Steve but what we thought is we had to get a few more people in the team not just physical people in the team like our strength coach about success coach but also other people such as sponsors and medical. We built this group around us that put positive energy into everything that we did so that when we had bad days they were there to lift us up"

 

 

FIND YOUR PURPOSE

Another interesting analogy of one of the major changes the ladies made on their quest for gold. Finding their “WHY” and really reflecting and understanding why they did things helped them better understand themselves.

When you have focus towards a goal and you get a deeper richer papermache of what could go on it strengthened our bond. We came up with our purpose and we did a workshop to understand why what we do is important and why winning a gold medal was important, why we miss friends birthdays and why we go to sleep early. When we really understood our purpose, once we got through all that, there was nothing stopping us”

 

 

 

CELEBRATE WINS

“Now without celebrations weather it is a packet of chips, a piece of cake, we used to plan everything in. We used to have regular dinner with the whole support crew. If we had competition on a Friday we would plan dinner on a Saturday so then everyone knew because you don't finish the event until you've had the celebration. It was really important for us because then we could start the next cycle”

 

We all achieve so much but are we even acknowledging our efforts and sharing it with those in our inner circles. I know I’m guilty of skipping over achievements, but it is something for all of us to reflect upon.

 

PRIORITISE RECOVERY

Why I love interviewing athletes is finding out the little things they do differently to their competition. Athletes are a special breed of human, but most of the time what they do can be applied to other areas of life.

 

“I'm a big celebrator and I'm a big proponent of recovery, I think they go hand in hand. The reason why I made 5 Olympics was because I planned my week around recovery. Most people go into a week thinking about what needs to get done, the training sessions, the weight lifting sessions.  I would plan first my massage and physio was when my day off. Otherwise when you do it the other way, you come to Sunday and then you're looking for a rest”

 

 

BE PUBLIC WITH YOUR GOALS

Often we are afraid of what people think or scared because we fear failure. We here is some great advice from Nat:

“Most people are afraid to express their goals outwardly, vocally or tell other people because they are afraid to fail. My question to people is well if no one knows your goals how are they going to help you? I’m a big proponent of standing up and yelling your goals at the top of your voice, if people don’t know, how can they can’t even offer help. Of course you’re going to get the naysayers, people that say you can’t do that but it’s your job to get your own inside voice louder than the naysayers”

 

 

 

CONTROL YOUR BEHAVIOUR WHEN YOUR DOWN OR LOSING

"It's easy to hi five when you're winning but can you enjoy it when you're losing and that's one of my secrets to longevity - you got your resilience piece but it’s your ability to bounce back that counts"

Nat was known for her character under pressure even at times celebrating or cheering errors. It that positive mindset that would carry her ability to move on from a bad moment and put her in a position to continually move on. Control your controllables.

 

 

 

To sum up the key lessons I learnt from Natalie in my interview:

  • BE YOUR OWN SUPERHERO

  • BUILD BELIEF BY CREATING A SUPPORTIVE TEAM

  • FIND YOUR PURPOSE

  • CELEBRATE WINS

  • PRIORITISE RECOVERY

  • BE PUBLIC WITH YOUR GOALS

  • CONTROL YOUR BEHAVIOUR WHEN YOUR DOWN OR LOSING

 

 

If you enjoyed the article be sure to share it with your family and friends and if you haven’t yet check out some incredible stories of our Australian and Kiwi athletes on Talking with TK, which you can subscribe for FREE on iTunes and Stitcher or you can listen directly through the website.

 

Be sure to continue to follow Natalie on her journey, she is an incredible motivational speaker.

https://www.nataliecook.com/

https://www.facebook.com/NatCookVB

https://twitter.com/natcookvb

 

Cheers

TK