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Your Core Values as an Athlete (Ep. 4 Transcript and Show Notes)

Strong Athletic Podcast Episode 4: Your Core Values as an Athlete


Hey, everybody. Welcome to the fourth episode of the Strong Athletic Podcast. I’m your host, Nadia Kean.

(Music by the Little Bicycles)


If you’re tuning in for the first time, first I’d like to welcome you. Welcome. As I said, my name is Nadia Kean. And if you read my name, you might be surprised to hear how I pronounce it. And the way that I like to teach people to say my name is to think about how a horse would say it. So, I think that a horse, if a horse was saying my name which would be pretty spectacular, I think the horse would say, “Neigh-dia.” And so, that’s how I teach people. And then you think of candy canes. And then you get my name. Nadia Kean. If you’re somebody who really likes to pronounce things while reading them, don’t try to read my name or you’ll always mispronounce it.

It’s been really fun making this podcast. And the reason that I decided to start making it is for a few reasons. One is because I was looking for a resource such as this one, a podcast that’d help me get better at coaching. I really like podcasts. I think they’re a cool format in which people can learn about cool and interesting things. So, I was looking for a podcast to help me get better at coaching because that’s something I’m always striving for. And I couldn’t find one. And then, you know, it got me thinking about if there's a podcast that teaches athletes rather than coaches. So, it teaches athletes how to become better at getting coached. And so I looked for that and I couldn’t find one. And so the type of person that I am is if I can't find something and I think it's of value, then I'm going to create it.

I started this podcast because I wanted to create that resource for people in the sports community. And also it's an extension of my t-shirt company. The goal of my t-shirt company is to give people a platform in which they can express themselves. The very, very first Strong Athletic t-shirt, which was designed in the fall of 2013 by Kristin Perks, was made because Kristen had heard me say over and over, “What a fine group of strong, athletic women.” And Kristen heard me say this at derby practice. We were teammates. And I used to call my teammates a fine group of strong, athletic women in protest of us always being called girls. So I was over us being called girls and I wanted to educate people that it was incorrect to call a grown woman a girl. And so, I’d call people this. Well, Kristen took it one step further. And she was playing around with screen printing. And so she designed me this shirt that said, “Strong Athletic Woman” in really bold white letters on a simple gray shirt. She gave it to me for Christmas and that essentially changed my life. So, Kristen I know that you're busy these days, but if you're listening to this podcast, I just want you to know I'm forever grateful for you doing that for me ‘cuz that was a massive thing that you did for my life.

So my t-shirt company, Strong Athletic, has this goal in addition to giving people a platform in which they can express themselves, we also want to help keep people in sports. And this is not to say that we think everybody should play sports or sports is good for everyone to do. But I am positive that being active in some way is good for your health and good for your body and your brain, and that playing sports is a wonderful platform in which you can be active. I also believe that it's really unfortunate when people leave sports prematurely. A premature departure from sports would be one that somebody felt like they were forced into, or the situation on their sports team was so uncomfortable they decided the easiest thing to do was to leave. I think these types of departures from sport are really unfortunate. And one of my goals with my podcast is to give people ideas for how they can better communicate with one another, whether they are looking at that from the perspective of the coach or from the athlete or a teammate. And so if you're finding my podcast useful for that, then I'm really happy about that because that's essentially why I’m making it.

In last week's episode, we talked about your core values as a coach. And if you're coaching and you've never thought about your core values, and you did the exercises that I asked you to do last week, then I hope that that gave you some insight. You might recall that I told athletes that y'all weren’t off the hook, that I wanted you to do the exercises too and think about what you would hope your coach’s core values were. So athletes, if you listened to that episode and you found it useful, wonderful. If you think that your coach is in alignment with those core values, then that's great. But if you are finding that you wish your coach shared more of the core values that you think a coach should have, then perhaps that's a conversation that you need to have with your coach.

If you didn't get a chance to listen to Episode Three, no big deal. After today's episode, go back and have a listen to it because I think it will give you some insight. You'll just be approaching this concept from the perspective of the athlete first, rather than the perspective of a coach. And really, approaching it from one way or the other doesn't really matter. It's just most important that you just do it.


So as you know, the Strong Athletic Podcast is all about helping you solve problems that you have now or that might come up while you're in sports. And sometimes those problems are sort of heavy and they, you know, they kind of dig deep into who we are as athletes, or people, or coaches, because they have to do with real problems that we really care about. So, we’re going to solve a problem that’s pretty annoying, but it’s really easy to fix. And it’s that I had no idea where to put my cell phone while I worked out. And I like to listen to podcasts when I'm running or lifting or erging, and I didn't have a good place to put it. I put them in my bra, but then my phone would get really, really gross. And so I had heard that Superfit Hero was designing activewear that had pockets in it. And so, I thought I'd look into it. And holy smoke! I'm so happy that I did. So, let me tell you about Superfit Hero if you haven't heard of them. So, they started off as a derby company, but people in all sports wear them. And they just make this premium activewear. And it’s super tough, and it’s great for any workout. They are designed and tested for athletes of all sizes, so from extra small to 5XL. And they're manufactured ethically in Southern California, which I love. And again they have those pockets, so it's perfect for me. The only problem is that I need to buy a couple more pairs ‘cuz I only have one pair and I don't work out once a week. Oh, you know. But I don’t think Superfit can do anything about that, except that they are offering 15% off of your next purchase. So, go to That's easy to remember. And check them out. And then if you find something that you want and you put it in your cart, use the following code at checkout. Okay. Get your pen out. It’s kind of complicated. The code is STRONGATHLETIC. So, anyway. So, I’m gonna go to and I’m going to use that code so that I don’t have to do laundry all the time. And I think you should too. And hey, Superfit Hero, thank you so much for supporting Strong Athletic.


All right. So now that we've tackled the big issue and dilemma of where am I going to put my cell phone when I work out, we’re now going to tackle other issues. Isn’t that great? We can just scratch things off our to-do list. So, what are your core values as an athlete? S, if you've thought about this, then it might be the case that you haven’t actually thought about what are your core values as a human. So, examples of my core values as a human are, I try to put my family and my friends first. Or, nothing is taken; I earn everything that I have. So, those are my core values as a human. So in a moment here, I'd like for you to hit ‘pause’ and you're going to think about what your core values are as a human. If you came to the session prepared with your Strong Athletic Podcast notebook, then go ahead and jot down your core values as a human. And if you did this exercise last week, then you're already sort of prepared for it and maybe you thought about it more and they've changed. Or, who knows? Maybe it was a big stretch of time since you listened to Episode 3. Maybe you’re not listening to this in real time and it’s been a year. I don’t know. But anyway, write down your core values as a human. And then when you're ready, hit ‘play.’


I’m assuming that you've hit ‘play’ because that's the only way that you could hear my voice. Maybe you never hit ‘pause’ in the first place. Who knows? Anyway, so now we're going to move on to your core values as an athlete. Rather than give you examples of what core values could be, I'm going to go ahead and read you my list of my core values. But before I read you my list, I want you to write down your own list of core values. I don't want mine to influence yours. And then you'll be able to listen to mine and then… Get this. You're not going to believe it. You can hit ‘pause’ whenever you want and go back to your own core values. Fair? Fair. Also, why don’t you go ahead and date today’s date where you’re writing down your core values.It might be interesting to you in years to come to flip back and see what they were on this date. Go ahead and hit ‘pause’ and write down those values. And then when you’re ready, hit ‘play.’


All right. Again, if you can hear my sweet, southern accent, then I think you've hit ‘play.’ And it's time for me to read you my core values as an athlete. And it was interesting doing this because I actually do this exercise myself in preparation for this podcast. You're having to do it. You decide to do it. And I had to do it too. Without further delay, I'm going to read you my core values. I have nine core values. So, you know what they say. Lucky number nine. I don’t really know if anybody says that. But I think my mom thinks 3’s are lucky. So, three times three is nine. I don't know. Anyway, I digress.

So, here we go. Nadia Kean’s core values as an athlete. Core value number one: I am an intelligent human and I can think for myself. Core value number two: I don't have to learn from just anyone. I must be treated with respect if I'm to learn from anybody. Core value number three: curiosity is always my main driver in sport. Core value number four: I need to respect my coach and my teammates. Core value number five: I need to take ownership of my own experience in sport. Core value number six: I need to learn to interpret indicators. Core value number seven: joy and physical health are why I'm in sports. Core value number eight: I need to acknowledge everyday that sport is a human right, but it's also a massive privilege. And core value number nine: I need to stop when I'm no longer having any fun.

All right. So, those are my core values. And I'm pretty certain that my core values that I had three or four years ago would be really, really different from the core values that I have today. So, that's one of the reasons why I want you to date today's date when you write down your core values ‘cuz I think that they’re going to change over time, especially as your priorities and your obligations in life change over time. So, go ahead and hit ‘pause’ now and go back and think about your core values. And you might modify them. You might not. And then also think about my core values and what they might mean to you. And then, good news, you don't really have to guess. I'm going to tell you all about them from my vantage point, and then you’ll have a better understanding of them. So hit ‘pause.’ When you're ready to come back to me hit ‘play.’


All right. Hey, everybody. I'm assuming that you're back. So, let's get into it. So, my core value number one. I'm an intelligent human and I can think for myself. That is my first core value. It's very similar to my first core value as a coach. And in case you didn't listen to last week's episode, I won't give it away, but I really like to acknowledge how I am a human. I'm capable of great thought and concept. And I can think for myself. Sometimes I’ll be coached by somebody who knows way more than me in a sport, and other times I'll be coached by somebody who is my equal in that sport. And then at moments, I'll be coached by somebody who knows way less than I do in the sport. But at any given point, regardless of my coach’s experience or their knowledge base or what they're capable of doing in the sport, I will remember that I'm intelligent and I can think for myself. This is important to me because the thoughts that I have are very important to me. My intellect. The thoughts that I put into my brain. The information I put into my brain. And the ideas I come up with. All of these are very, very special and important to me. It creates my intellectual property. And so, I like to remind myself that I can think for myself.

Now some coaches might hear this and they might misunderstand it. So, what they might misunderstand is they might think that I am saying, “I can think for myself and I do not need their direction.” However, this would be a misunderstanding of what I am saying. When I am being coached, I am inviting information to be presented to me. I'm in fact opening up my brain to another human to tell me their ideas. And so, I do not volunteer that unless I want it to happen. So when I ask somebody to coach me, it's because I respect them. And this is starting to tie into my core value number two. But it's because I respect them. And so, of course I want to hear what they have to say. And of course I want them to coach me. But I also have my own freedom of thought, and my freedom to learn what I would like to learn. So, I can think for myself.

And on occasion, people ask me to do things in sport that I actually don't agree with. And so I have a conversation with them about it because I'm not going to just shake my head yes and say, “Yes. You are right. All of your information is correct. You are the coach. I will listen to you.” No. That’s not the type of human I am. And also on the street, I'm not going to do that. And also in a work environment, I’m not going to do that. So, I’m not going to do it in sports.


So, let’s go ahead and go into core value number two because it really ties into core value number one. But it's that I don't have to learn from anybody that I don't want to learn from. And I must be treated with respect if I'm going to learn from somebody. Have you ever had a teacher that you didn't respect, or they didn't respect you? It was probably hard to learn from them. Learning really, really requires a lot of trust between two people. And you're asking somebody to do an odd thing when they neither respect you, they don't respect you but you want them to learn from you. The teacher-student relationship is a delicate one. And it requires a lot of communication. It requires trust to be there. So, asking somebody to learn from you while they don't respect you, to me is an oxymoron. It doesn't exist.

So coaches, they don't have one opportunity for me to respect them. So it's not like a ‘once I don't respect you, it’s lost forever’ type of thing. But it's an ongoing continuum. So with a coach, I'm always aware of the relationship and if we respect one another. Things that might cause me not to respect my coach really vary. But basically, I start off respecting a coach. So it's not like they have to earn my respect. So, I start off respecting people until they show me reasons not to respect them. There are multiple reasons I might not respect somebody. And that's a whole different show. But I must respect somebody, I must trust them, to want to learn from them.

And because I believe this to be true as an athlete, then as a coach I know that there's not a good reason for an athlete to want to learn from me if they don'