Sustaining Greatness – an Interview with Three-Time Gold Medalist Karch Kiraly #263


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“I aspire to be not a flash in the pan, but somebody who does it at a really high level for a very long time.” – Karch Kiraly

There is a uniqueness to those who become the best at what they do and then stay there. In this episode, Brian interviews Olympian Karch Kiraly, widely regarded as the best volleyball player of all time, about his decades-long pursuit of greatness. Having won at every level as both an athlete and a coach, Karch gives insight into his drive and mindset, outlines the three things needed to achieve excellence and explains how he approached the challenges of transitioning from playing to coaching.


  • Why you must be demanding of yourself and others.
  • Why failure is critical to success.
  • Why you must always have a beginner’s mindset.


The Talent Code,” by Daniel Coyle

The Emigrant Edge,” by Brian Buffini

Peak,” by Anders Ericsson

It's a Wonderful Life,” movie

Starlings Volleyball, USA


“When you study greatness around the world, in many areas it's not about the facilities. It's not about the technology. It's about great coaching athletes who are passionate and have their passion ignited, and about really intense, mindful practice.” – Karch Kiraly

“Life is filled with adversity, and falling down, and losing and failure. And the people who can pick themselves up are the ones who are acclimated to doing it. If you've never had to do it before, that is a really difficult task.” – Karch Kiraly

“As teammates in life or teammates in any sport, teammates in any career, we have to strike a balance between support and challenge.” – Karch Kiraly

“Ancora imparo.” – Michelangelo

“Approach it as a beginner; approach it as a learner.” – Karch Kiraly

“When we focus on our blessings, instead of on the things that we don't have, we're going to be more grateful and we're going to lead happier lives and be better for the people around us.” – Karch Kiraly




Theme Music: “The Cliffs of Moher” by Brogue Wave

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