CYBO P-Rod Paul Rodriguez – Part 1

Coach Your Brains Out is a volleyball heavy podcast so it’s great when we can get out of the world of bump set spike and hear from coaches and athletes in other sports. There are always lessons to be gleaned from anyone working to master their craft and handling pressure. It can also teach us to look at our sport in new ways.

This interview is with professional skateboarder, Paul Rodriguez. P-Rod has accomplished so much in the world of skateboarding including eight X Games medals and continues to push himself toward new challenges.

Check out his Nike commercial.

Paul’s passion for his sport is clear. It’s also a necessary component. It’s what gets you through the grind of practicing the same trick over and over, taking your scrapes until you get it right. When you find joy in your craft, hours of practice pass by and “time disappears.” It’s that love for what you do that gives you the grit to persevere through the pain and hardships.

Paul talks a lot about his mindset and how he’s learned to be in the moment. From when he “accidentally” won his first X Games to how he later dealt with the pressure of expectations. He embraces tough moments as exciting challenges to see if he can control his mind and keep his thoughts positive. He’s learned not to fight his nerves or pretend they don’t exist, but to let them settle.

“If I have shaky knees, I just let them shake and I focus on breathing…visualize each trick one at a time and go through the whole competition in my mind and just see it over and over again.”

One of the most interesting ideas I got from this interview is that when your craft (skateboarding, beach volleyball, whatever) is always on your mind, you can pull lessons from anywhere. Because Paul’s brain revolves around skateboarding, as he drives around LA he notices stairs and railings and imagines new tricks. He even grabbed a lesson while watching the Mark Wahlberg action movie Shooter, pausing the movie to write down the sniper’s mantra that parallels skateboarding.

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” – Bob Lee Swagger

When you live in your craft, the lessons are everywhere.


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Check out Part 2

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