Google + hangout with former Stanford Basketball player, WNBA and USA National team member Carolyn Moos. Carolyn shares her stories growing up as a player and how much she enjoys being a CoachUp coach.
Host: Hey there CoachUp folks, welcome to our Google hangout with Carolyn Moos. You might recognize her mug from her days on the WNBA, she was also a Stanford alum and she is also a CoachUp coach with us now. So we’re here to chat with Carolyn, get to know her a little bit, follow up with her to see what she’s getting up to these days and talk to her a little bit about coaching. Carolyn is coming in from Arizona and she is a trooper, we kinda messed up on that time change over here, spring ahead got us a little bit crazy so Carolyn, thanks so much for being here.
Carolyn: Well thank you, it’s great to be here, I think the world of CoachUp and obviously I really enjoy working with your athletes that come through CoachUp so I’m excited to be here today.
Host: Cool. Well, we’ll get started. Per our usual sort of format we have a few questions to get to know you better. We’ll also throw in a couple questions that are submitted via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and then we’ll take it from there if that sounds good to you.
Carolyn: Sound great!
Host: Alright, so Carolyn, you’re known for basketball, so walk us through how basketball started in your life: when did you start playing, and did your parents sort of have an influence in your longer term career?
Carolyn: Absolutely. You know what’s wonderful with my parents was they never put pressure on me and I think that’s very important. I’m yet to be a parent, but when I am I think it’s very important to give children an array of opportunities, whether be gymnastics, or golf, or tennis, or soccer, or football, or whatever it is and in fact, I have a older brother and I ended up playing every single sport he played up until about sixth grade. For some reason I wanted to emulate him. I really looked up to him, so I became six foot in sixth grade, and that’s relatively tall as you can imagine as a sixth grader. And so my coaches came up to me and said:” hey you know, you’ve played every single sport except for basketball, why don’t you give it another try?” And I definitely remember the very first practice I came running home and I said “mom and dad, I love this game, I don’t want to play anything else for the rest of my life.” So I pretty much fell in love with the game of basketball and it combines athleticism, with rhythm, with coordination, with running. To be honest with you volleyball was fun, but it wasn’t enough running for me, and I like getting up and down the courts so I just fell in love with the game. And that’s something else I tell children is that you have to love what you do. Absolutely love every minute of what you’re doing, never feel pressure, and in that, you’ll work harder because you’ll lose track of time working hard. It becomes literally a part of your DNA at that point. So my parents were very supportive, my mom is very proactive, and so she found the best AAU teams, she found, I was on a national championship team, we actually won Nationals, so the best team in the United States for our age division. Of that team, four of the athletes went on to play in the WNBA. So it was a pretty phenomenal experience, and that was only two years after I started playing. A lot of kids say: ”hey, when did you start playing?” I tell them end of sixth grade, they don’t believe me, they said between sixth and eighth grade you became this great? Only in a year and half or two years? And I said I was pretty much a gym rat, I mean, I was in there three or four hours every day, you know maybe taking a day off a week, but my parents literally had to pull me out of the gym and that’s how much I loved it. So I think that’s what it comes down to, it’s just loving what you do.
Host: Well so great to see you have parents that supported you, but I can also imagine that in a long career such as you mentioned AAU, through your first team that you had a lot of great support from your coaches. So curious to hear, since we are a private coaching company, was there ever a team coach or coach that give you sort of this one piece of advice that has some mantra that you sort of live by or build into your identity these days?
Carolyn: I can honestly say every single coach that has come into my life has changed my life forever. My parents are wonderful, my older brother, wonderful, great role models, huge influence in terms of sport psychology and supporting me. But it does take an outside person, someone outside of the home, especially a coach, who understands you academically, who understands you socially, who understands you athletically and can really bring the best out of you. So I have three that come to mind. The first was my seventh grade coach, she was actually six foot six herself, and her boyfriend at the time was six foot eight. And they would both work with me one on one, and I was very fortunate to not only play in team sports, but to earn my right to have lessons. You know, and that was something I didn’t take it for granted. And I said this is my opportunity to work one on one on my personal development, despite the fact that you have ten to twelve athletes on the team, you need to take off season and work on your personal development so that you can bring back more the next season. And this particular teacher was actually my seventh grade science teacher as well as my basketball coach. So she saw me socially, she saw me academically, and she also saw me on the basketball court throughout the entire day, and that’s a very special experience for someone to see you in all facets, so that they can understand how is this person gonna grow and how are they gonna get to where they need to go within two years, because I have very specific goals, I said I want to play for the best AAU team, and I want to win Nationals, and I wanna see have all college coaches to see me by the time I am eighth grade, and that was a pretty intense goal given the fact I just started playing, you know, the end of six grade. And she was a huge influence.
Another one was an older gentleman, he and his wife actually worked with me, and we worked on a lot of skills, this was eighth grade through eleventh grade, and I would say I had lessons two or three times a week, where I would bring in other players and it’s so funny because he ended up bringing in six eight guys, six nine guys to play against me and I never won. I mean to be honest with you I maybe won ten percent, five percent of the time. We’d play one on one, we’d do post moves, we’d play pick up, up and down, play coed pick up, he would help organize everything and he says strategically I’m putting you in the most challenging experiences so that when you step on that court, you won’t be intimidated by anybody. And to this day I can say when I played in the WNBA, I’ve played against seven foot two girl, I’ve played against six ten girls, you know, I’m here at, six five, six six, and I said that’s nothing you know, I’ve done this before and, so I thank him for creating those top experiences, you know and teaching me at such a young age not be scared and not be intimidated.
And then my high school coach. We did win State and that was a tremendous experience because my particular school is an incredibly challenging academically and we went from losing by 30 points a game, and I wasn’t a part of that team at that time, to within two years beating people by 20 or 30 points. So it was a huge turnaround within my school to make such a successful athletic program, given an academic environment, not to say you can’t have both, but we did have a discrepancy in talent for about three or four years prior to me entering my ninth grade year. So that experience in and of itself and having him as my head coach. He was also six foot eight, and he would come in and play against me in our practices, so that made me a lot better as well. So those three coaches really had a tremendous impact, and then not to mention obviously my Stanford coach, phenomenal people, very intense, they coach the Olympic team so that you can imagine. And my USA basketball coach as well, another intense person, and I would also say my WNBA coach for the Miami Heat, he actually currently coaches the Miami Heat as well. So all of those combined were very good experiences.
Host: Yeah, and it definitely sounds like a theme across all your coaches in your chain has been resiliency and just, you know, putting yourself in places where you have to rise to the occasion whether it was confidence or physically.
Carolyn: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think it teaches you to really turn within, and persevere, and also the intimidation factor, never looking at your competition and saying they have something on me; obviously being realistic, when I played against my older brother I was very realistic that, for three to four years, that I would probably never be as strong as he is gonna be, you know, and I was never gonna, you know, beat him every game but I knew it would make me better. So I think contextually relevant goals is always important to say, ok the context is here is a person two years older than me who plays football and hockey and you know, he’s probably gonna make me better but I’m never gonna win and it’s okay to do that. To be okay with somebody pushing you to that extent.
Host: So the next question is somewhat inspired by some of the questions we collected from Social Media, so this one’s two parts. Scott, he’s an awesome supporter of ours out in Colorado, he actually was curious about your tips for ex athletes, who are continuing transitioning to the next stage of their lives and careers, I thought perhaps you could give some advice but also share what it is that you’re doing after your professional career.
Carolyn: Yeah, that’s wonderful. I think the biggest thing that I see as a professional athlete going into your next step, next career, is time management skills. I very much am into utilizing your time to its fullest capability, I don’t watch TV very often, I’m always managing my time so that I can optimize outcome. For me, lifestyle choices are huge. I personally value sleep. Sleep allows you to perform better mentally and physically, hence why I don’t watch that much TV because by the time you end your day you already have nothing left other than to pack and get ready for the next day, so for most athletes you have to switch your time. Let’s say you are an NBA athlete, an NFL athlete. A lot of times when you have road trips, and videos, and games, your lifestyle shifts according to your sleep patterns, and so you might have down times before a game, and then you’re expected to go until eleven o’clock at night. And then by the time you’re amped up after the game it’s hard to wind down, and you know, get ready. So for me getting up early is important, you know obviously, stepping into the corporate world. I’ve always worked out early, I enjoy getting up early, either at 6:00, 6:30, in the morning and typically that’s when I rise, you know to workout before work and I always workout five days a week you know before work and on the weekends I’m even up giving basketball lessons and training people. So I think managing your time so that you optimize your lifestyle choices. Also nutrition, you know, if you eat healthy in the corporate world, you’re going to think better and function better. And I also think exercise helps as well, so you know, you can still be an athlete, but alter the time to do physical activity and taking a break, you know, among two meals. And also I think a bigger component is taking your role on a team and transferring that to a team setting in a corporate world and being okay with learning again, that’s the biggest challenge I see professional athletes having is being the rookie again. You know, you take someone that’s been in the leadership role for eight to ten years and they’re the starting center on so and so’s team, then you ask them to learn how to live stream and they have no clue where to start. Sometimes the humbleness factor has to come into play, and being humble, and being able to absorb new information, and being that person to say, look, I know I’m new here, and I’m ready to learn, please show me the way, I’ll do whatever it takes to start from the bottom and work my way up. And I think that’s something like a kind of a learned skill, something for the professional athletes as they transitioning.
I also feel that once you’ve learned a skill, is learning how to teach. A lot of pro athletes, the lead athletes don’t necessarily, unless they run youth camps, learn how to teach themselves. So taking your expertise and transferring it down to the next level of talent, is very special. You know and most corporations and groups of people enjoy that skill set because it allows them to be mentors again. And I think a lot of athletes have a hard time once they’ve reached the highest level, you know at the very very top, to learn how to do that in a corporate setting. I personally love it, you know, I love learning new things, I love, you know, technology. I’ve worked for a live internet streaming company, it was just so much fun, to be able to teach our up and coming talent how to do your things, and you feel very accomplished. I think most athletes are very competitive, and when they learn something that they feel is highly valuable within their organization to be able to translate that and replicate that is a very rewarding experience, and I think that’s what athletes miss the most, they miss competition, and then they miss the challenge of learning things that are new and really, you know challenging. So I think that the biggest thing for athletes is to combine humbleness, work ethic, time management, the ability to teach, the ability to replicate that which they learn, and the ability to move up the ladder in a way that is progressive, yet also patient. You know, I think athletes obtain things so quickly, they’re used to applying their skills and then overnight really, you know, excelling pretty rapidly, and they need to learn how to slow down and absorb everything so that they can grow at a consistent rate.
Host: Yes, and what I love about your advice is it touches upon you know, mind, body, soul, physical motion, about time management, and it’s not ironic that these are the same skills you need in order to succeed in athletics I mean, you know, the CoachUp mission really embodies sort of that idea of changing kids lives, all of us. So all the lessons you learn in sports, and it’s just about a transition and applying them in different settings. Whether that be corporate, or you know post-collegiate or whatever your endeavors might be. So I think it is awesome awesome advice, especially the getting up early, I’m gonna try working on that myself. Baby steps though. We got actually a loaded of question from Google +, so we’ve been actually talking about top performing athletes, and often top performing athletes end up in the coaching field. She actually commented on our hangout invite and she wants to hear about examples, if you’ve had any, of maybe coaches that weren’t necessarily the best or played at the highest level that still were effective coaches. So embedded in there’s sort of the question: is a good coach always having to have experience playing at the very highest of levels. Can you still be a good coach, but maybe didn’t play in the NBA, or WNBA?
Carolyn: These are great questions, because I have those coaches. You look at Tara VanDerveer, she is a great example of this. She actually openly kind of jests about it, in a very playful way, but she said she was only known for being the best screener on her team. That’s the highest level she’s ever played but she is brilliant, you know, when it comes to Xs and Os, I think it comes down to passion, understanding, and also studying the game. So I do believe that some coaches who have not played are excellent coaches. Let’s take the NBA as well, you know you see these young coaches that have started, the youngest one that I saw have some experience was coach Frank, you know when he coaches for the Nets, you see some of these young guys coming in, and the biggest thing at the highest level is respect. You have to have the respect to your players. If you don’t have respect, it becomes very challenging to change them, to mold them, to get their attention, and to make them play together as a team. So if you know the game, and you layout a very strategic plan, most athletes respect that. If you’ve played, you have built in respect coming in so the danger there, I feel, is that you won’t back that up enough with studying the Xs and Os, having a strategic game plan, getting a video down every night dissecting what’s occurring in the games, so sometimes you can use your plain experience, somebody potentially could, as a way to mask the inability to really execute and really do your job to the fullest ability. So my coach Tara being the best example, she loves the game, she just you know obviously didn’t play all the way up to the Olympics or anything that she’s coached, yet she literally would spend eight hours watching video straight, she couldn’t put the videos down. We’ve been on road trips, she’d be up till two or three in the morning, you know, thinking about what would we could do better here, it’s literally a part of her DNA, like she could not stop coaching. It would be literally the worst, you know, nightmare in her life if she had to stop coaching. I think it comes from wanting to do so well about what you do, that you’ll learn how to do it better than somebody else, and that she’s very competitive in that way, she said okay if my team doesn’t win it’s what am I doing wrong? She takes ownership about of that, and so I think the best coaches take ownership of their wins and loses, they also realize again having the respect of their players, how am I gonna extract that on a daily basis, and also being strong enough that if you do have one athlete or two athletes that are bringing other players down to say maybe this player is not a good fit for our team and how am I gonna change that. So I think some coaches are intimidated, let’s say you have a star NBA player and he came to your team, yet he’s causing issues. Are you gonna be strong enough to go to the GM and say you know what, I don’t think this player is really doing a good job for our team, what can we do to change that. So I think if you’ve been an ex player, it’s much easier to say those things. Because the GM would say oh okay, I get it, you’ve played, you probably understand the chemistry, but maybe if you haven’t been a player then the GM would say, I don’t know why you think that, he might question it a little bit more so I think, you know, transitioning into a coaching position does not require that you’ve played in the highest level, only because I’ve been at the receiving end of the phenomenal coaches that have not done that and yet they’ve been the best coaches I’ve ever had. And it’s interesting, I think you can have both but it’s not actually about both.
Host: So talking a lot about coaching whether that was team coaching, or private coaching, but you’ve actually embraced the digital way, you are partaking in virtual coaching, you use fitforlivinglife.com, to meet with clients, and manage your virtual coaching businesses. Can you walk us through what digital coaching kind of looks like from nutrition and the actual physical coaching part?
Carolyn: Absolutely, so on my website, fitforlivinglife.com, what I do is I analyze people’s logs in terms of macronutrient profiling, glycemic index, and it goes through text, email, phone, even a live stream. Typically text is very efficient because people are so busy that what I do individually is I have them snapshot images of their meals and they text it to me throughout the day. So that requires no downtime, no writing, no, oh I forgot, what did I have at 10 AM this morning, and it keeps people on point, and that works really well through the internet because I can share photos of ideal meals versus what they’re having. And then also in terms of the virtual training, I do Skype yoga, which works very very well for teams, literally with a great webcam you can have a lead person and 10 to 15 people behind them, I think eventually Facebook is working on this so that you can have different compartments for each person joining, so it’ll zoom in for their performance. So as a teacher I would actually have 15 windows open, and I’ll be able to zoom in, you know on their particular stands and analyze their performance. But Skype yoga is great, it works very very well.
And also in terms of submission, I think a lot of people again are very busy, and they need to be held accountable and so I have virtual calendars and text reminders, that are built in, to remind them the night before and the day of, and I think it’s very important for people to feel that they are gonna be held accountable, but it’s also gonna be convenient. That is another factor that I found the technology really helps with is the convenience. And someone after a long day they don’t want to battle the noise of the gym, they don’t want to drive the extra 10, 15, 20 minutes to go to the gym, so they can pull out a yoga mat, workout straight from home, or possibly right before work, you know, just wake up, alright I’m ready to do my workout, and then get on with her day. I think that’s quite helpful. And I think technology, the only downfall is the interpersonal communication component, there’s something special especially with basketball skill development obviously, you know being there one on one talking, asking about how’s homework going, how’s school going, and then really being there to correct their skills, in person, face to face, hands on, you really can’t replicate that in terms of basketball skills development. But I do feel the other parts are very feasible, to be successful.
Host: So that applies to all of your offerings.
Carolyn: Absolutely, so I think nutrition, cross-training, and then sports skill development, if you are a student athlete, are very important. If your are a general, let’s say corporate wellness types of a person, nutrition, the training piece, and then also just the scheduling. A lot of people have a hard time as we get older and have so many pieces of our lives coming in, especially mothers, parents, they have children’s schedules, their own schedules, school… you know, they need to have a built in program they know their every week, at the same time, that’s gonna be easy for their lives.
Host: So you’re saying I need to book some sessions with you so that I can make my schedule easier.
Carolyn: Absolutely! That would be great! And it’s really easy too, to have something where you are again, you’re saving at least 40 minutes on commute time to try to get it done. I found that that’s probably the biggest factor.
Host: And it looks like you have a holistic of sort of view on offering some benefits with virtual coaching, whether it’s offering the Skype yoga, but also recognizing the value of one on one coaching, after all, CoachUp is a one on one private coaching service, but we definitely recognize and support the mission for everyone to live a healthy lifestyle. So whether that’s yoga while you’re near your bed that’s three step away, or you know, working in new sport, or meeting a new coach, there are always ways to get fit, stay healthy, and always eat nutritionally well, you know I don’t do that the most of my time.
So Carolyn, we are wrapping up here but before we go I just want to mention again, fitforlivinglife.com, you can find information about Carolyn’s bio, all of her credentials, she has a stacked resume, so go check that out, as well as all the offerings in her coaching, if you will. Caroline, it has been a pleasure, I look forward to doing more of these. Perhaps a Skype yoga session is on the books, thank you again and look forward to hanging out with you once more.
Carolyn: Wonderful, I think the world of CoachUp I encourage all the coaches out there that are curious about it to get signed up, you put in your geography, put in your expertise so that really kids can find you based upon their specific needs and their interest in finding the coach perfect for them. I’ve had a wonderful experience with the athletes that have come through you, had wonderful experience with their parents, and plus it’s extremely convenient. You know for me the reminders, the scheduling, everything about it, the app, it’s just very very convenient. So I encourage everybody to check it out as well.
Host: I don’t know how much better it gets than that, I didn’t even have to say it! Carolyn it’s been a pleasure and we’ll talk soon.
Carolyn: Absolutely thanks so much!
Carolyn: Okay bye.