Posted on August 31 2016
Olympic silver medalist and Physiclo co-founder, Keeth Smart understands the importance of preparing for a competition. Keeth made it his mission to help many of the Rio athletes maximize their training for the Rio games by outfitting them with Physiclo's resistance technology.
We also sat down with several of the athletes including Rio 2016 Olympic Beach Volleyball Player, Casey Patterson, to talk about resistance, a common theme in many athletes live's both on and off the competition floor.
Cheer him on at the AVP Championships in Chicago Sept. 1-4.
Your mind sets your limits & your friends set your tone, is what we gathered from our interview with Casey Patterson about his athletic career.
“Physically, I was very behind when it came to competing at a high level and that was something that I struggled with for a long time” says Patterson about the struggles he faced when starting his volleyball career as a freshman at Newbury Park High School. “Because of that, (being the “right” body size and having the agility needed) I learned how to win in ways that I didn’t need to be super physical to accomplish.”
Before Casey ever stepped onto a volleyball court he primarily played baseball and basketball. “There was something about volleyball that I liked so much more,” says Patterson regarding the other sports he played before he found his craft.
“The skill aspect of the game - from the very start I was really good at hand-setting and that is normally really hard for people to do. So, I felt like I had a bit of a headway because that skill came naturally to me" says Patterson. “I really fell in love with the sport and it blossomed into something that I wanted to do all the time and not just sometimes. As a kid, you play almost every sport and then, later on, you find the one you want.”
“I was somewhat of a late bloomer and when I became physically capable of competing at the next level I could now play competitively against everyone else. I knew how to get out of problems because I had to learn the game and the skill sets as an athlete who didn’t have the advantage of physical height or jumping capability," recalls Patterson.
“I had to switch-on, learning the game in a very critical way. How could I accomplish the same things that everyone else was accomplishing? It definitely was a mental preparation for later on in life," says Patterson about facing the physical resistance in his early years of playing volleyball.
“Before I went to college, I played high school volleyball for four years and then I went on a 2-year mission for my church and then came back,” recalls Patterson about his time attending Brigham Young University. “I ended up growing another 2 inches and was jumping around 6-8 inches higher and I was like, WOW! this is something I can do at a high level now, says Patterson.
“I was finally faster, stronger and quicker. It opened my mind to possibilities. I began looking past college...and telling myself- 'I want to play professional indoor volleyball overseas and then play professional beach volleyball long term.' That moment after my freshman year of college, I came back and I was like, Oh yeah, I can do this now,” reflects Patterson.
Patterson said that it was his friends that contributed to his career. “I had about six of the starters on my volleyball team that I was really close with. We all went to church together, grew up in the same circles and went to high school together.”
“I had a really great support system around me as far as good friends, good morals, and making good decisions from the start and that really helped me stay focused and kept me practicing and pursuing my passion of volleyball to the next level,” says Patterson.
When asked about who his key mentor or coach was that helped him reach such high achievements in the sport Casey said, “My close friends were the people I was spending the most time with, for me, that was extremely important, more than anyone else, it was huge.”
“I didn’t notice it at first but I had a very big chip on my shoulder because I didn’t really start in college, I was rarely off the bench. I always felt like I had more to offer the team I was on, to the game and to the sport. I felt cheated because coaches would decide whether I played or not,” says Patterson. “I was able to battle through all those struggles. A lot of athletes end up quitting the sport they love because they had a bad involvement with the coach or because of a situation that didn’t turn out the way they pictured it or even that it wasn’t a great experience for them,” says Patterson about overcoming the mental obstacles and setbacks of being a competitive athlete amongst many who have the same dream. “I was able to battle through the mental stumbling blocks and that is a huge part of my success. I wanted to show everyone that it wasn’t the end for me and I knew if I could outwork anyone, for sure then, in the long run, I could beat them all and get to where I wanted to go.”
Patterson shared a piece of advice that he wanted other’s to remember:
“It’s really important to have a good attitude about whatever you're doing. You can’t always control all the variables that surround the sport or whatever you are passionate about. If you can work as hard as you can- train, lift and put yourself in the position of that top 95 percentile who are constantly working at their craft you will eventually push through those variables you can’t control.”
“Understanding that those variables can still be there. That shouldn’t detour you from your goal, says Patterson.
He tells himself often that, “stay confident and mindful. I can’t control everything but I can control how I prepare for it. If I feel like I’m more prepared than anyone else then I’m in a good position and I know in the long run that I’m going to win.”