GRz 058 [in English]: Dustin Watten | How to approach doing inner work in pro sports?

Hello and welcome! This is Mind Rules Podcast, episode number 58. It might be strange for you to hear me speaking English on this podcast as it is only the second episode ever recorded in this language. In case you are curious and wondering, the first one in English was produced with my dear friend and colleague, Peter Schneider, when I did my FEPSAC-sponsored internship at FC Augsburg academy in November 2019. If you don’t speak Polish this is the only other episode you could attend to in my program, and that is episode number 23. Thinking about it now, I must admit it is a shame that I don’t do English episodes more often, because I actually really enjoy them and I believe they can bring much value to my regular listeners. So hopefully this trend will change soon as I plan to expand the library for English-speaking listeners. I also made up for some mistakes that I believe I made when publishing episode 23 featuring the interview with Pete. For example, I recorded the intro and outro in English, so people listening can understand the episode all the way through. I hope this will make listening smooth and enjoyable.  Also the show notes are available all in English, in case anyone wants to follow up on the matters we touched upon today.

Now is the time to introduce my guest today. Dustin Watten, American pro volleyball player who spent last two seasons playing in Polish league in a local club of GKS Katowice. Dustin plays libero and what makes him so special is the amount of time, energy, and efforts he devotes to his inner work. It is exemplary how he had built himself from within and continues to cultivate a strong mindset. He has been inspired by many wise people, including the Stoics such as Marcus Aurelius, existential psychologists like Victor Frankl and George Mumford, mindfulness teacher associated with coach Phil Jackson and the famous team of Chicago Bulls in the 90’. Through implementing simple daily strategies and routines Dustin has organized and aligned his inner life, which not only made him a better volleyball player, but also a better person. At the moment of publishing this episode, Dustin is still pursuing his very best and is ready to work as hard as he can to make it to the USA Olympic team for Tokio this year. Among many questions of mine, Dusty eloquently replies to:

  • How has Dustin’s volleyball journey unfolded so far? What were his assets and roadblocks around the way?
  • What are the pros and cons of being an American volleyball player?
  • What are tips and tricks to better adjustment to life overseas and foreign cultures?
  • What is meditation and what it can do for us?
  • How important can be journaling in building a mental game? How does Dustin work out his journal?
  • What does dichotomy of control entail? What are the things that remain in our control?
  • What kind of effects can one expect from taking the inner work seriously?
  • How can mindfulness help athletes deal with big and small mistakes?
  • What does it mean to take responsibility for your life?
  • How small daily routines can make a big differences in sport performances and life in general?
  • What is a significant of a to-do-list and how can it structure one’s life?
  • How to become a student of oneself and how to be a student of the game one plays?
  • What is N.E.B. all about?
  • What are Dustin’s plans for the coming weeks and months?
  • How to approach a rivalry within the team?

It was a true pleasure to connect with Dustin and casually chat about his inner world and views about the world around him. I hope you will enjoy this conversation as much as I did! So without any further delays, let’s jump right into the conversation as it flows… Boom!

Dustin Watten. Source: guest's archive.

Dustin Watten

Born October 27, 1986, an American volleyball player, member of the United States men’s national volleyball team. On club level he plays for the Polish club GKS Katowice (source: Wikipedia).

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