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Athletes Rising

Athletes Rising

By Kelly Gray
Athletes Rising is a podcast that pulls back the veil on what it takes to become an elite athlete.

Each episode consists of an interview with an athlete that grew up playing youth sports and was able to make it to the collegiate level or beyond. The purpose of this show is to show the good, the bad, and the ugly of what youth athletes go through in order to achieve their dreams. We want to expose the multiple failures that each athlete encounters and highlight the lesson that they learned from it and the affect that it had on them in helping or hindering them in their athletic career.
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Currently playing episode

Episode 12: John Stevenson - Sports Psychologist & Mental Performance Coach

Athletes Rising

Episode 12: John Stevenson - Sports Psychologist & Mental Performance Coach

Athletes Rising

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Episode 21: Jon Busch - Former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
In this episode Jon and I discuss his path from a multi-sport athlete in New York to becoming one of the greatest goalkeepers in MLS history.  Having taken a path that saw him in various levels of the professional game, his story is one that all aspiring professional athletes should hear.  Enjoy.
1:23:00
October 19, 2020
Episode 20: Matt Fondy - Professional Soccer Play & Executive Director at Oakland Genesis
In this episode with current Oakland Roots player, Matt Fondy, we talk about his unorthodox path into the professional game.  A true story of self belief and perseverance, Matt's story is proof that there is no exact path to the top.  Tune in and listen to this story of the truth of what professional soccer in America is.  Enjoy...
1:12:52
July 31, 2020
Episode 19: Tracy Hamm - Former Professional Soccer Player & Current Division 1 Head Coach
In this episode we discuss Tracy's story of how she fell in love with the game of soccer, her path to the professional game, and the realization that she wanted to stay in the game past her playing career.  A highly decorated player and coach, Tracy provides an in-depth look at what it takes to be successful at the highest levels of the game.  Tune in for an entertaining episode... Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Schedule your free demo here: https://www.cinchhq.com/schedule-a-demo Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising     https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/   Message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener.
1:02:43
July 10, 2020
Episode 18: Jim Hoey - Former MLB Pitcher
In our first episode with a baseball player we explore the mental side of the game.  Through this wide ranging conversation listeners get a glimpse into the mindset of an elite pitcher, and the ups and downs of a professional career.  For the young aspiring athlete this is a must listen.  Tune in now... Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Schedule your free demo here: https://www.cinchhq.com/schedule-a-demo Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising   https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/   Message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener.
41:22
June 19, 2020
Episode 17: Chris Wingert - Former Professional Soccer Player & MLS Cup Champion
In one of our most colorful episodes, we talk to former professional soccer player Chris Wingert.  Chris played for Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, and New York City FC.  He also played extensively with the US Olympic Team and even the Men’s National Team.  We talk all about his career starting in Babylon, Long Island and the various decisions that he had to make as he progressed through the game of soccer.  Touching on the heartbreak of getting cut, of losing starting spots, of not knowing what to do at times and much more, this episode gives a great glimpse into the truth of professional soccer in MLS.
1:23:58
May 8, 2020
Episode 16: Michelle Clementson - Former Division 1 Soccer player & Coach
In this episode we dive into the effect injuries can play in a player’s career and why approaching them with the right mentality is crucially important to persevering through them.  This is such an interesting conversation with Michelle because she brings the point of view of both a player and as a coach.  Tune and and have a listen and as always please visit our website at www.athletesrising.org.  Make a donation to allow us to continue telling the story of athletes from all different sports and perspectives.  
42:11
May 5, 2020
Episode 15: Chris Aloisi - Former Professional Soccer Player
In this episode Chris and I discuss the difficult decisions that all players go through throughout their career as a youth, college and professional player.  We get into many of the larger lessons that are vitally important to learn through the participation in youth sports.  Enjoy this fun conversation with Chris Aloisi.
1:10:58
April 24, 2020
Episode 14: Kevin Goldthwaite - Former Professional Soccer Player in MLS
In this episode we talk to Kevin Goldthwaite.  Kevin was a professional soccer player in Major League Soccer for San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, and Portland Timbers.  We talk about all of the various transitions in a career from youth player to high school, college to pros, and finally into the post athletic career.  It is a thrilling conversation so please enjoy...
53:40
April 17, 2020
Episode 13: Courtney Carroll Levinsohn - Coach & Founder at Growth Through Sport
Courtney Carroll Levinsohn Founder, Growth Through Sport A former captain and MVP of the women’s soccer team at UC Berkeley, Courtney created Growth Through Sport (GTS) to help athletes of all ages develop the competitive and emotional skills to both excel in sports and have fun doing so. Based in New York City, the organization also partners with local clubs to support sport as a vehicle for positive social change. Within the soccer community, GTS focuses on increasing access to the game by helping coaches, educating parents, and empowering players. Courtney coached the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) amateur women's team to a National Cup championship in 2010 and currently sits on the board of Brooklyn City Football Club. Links from today’s show Website: www.growththroughsport.net www.Coachthemovie.com Instagram: @growththrsport @coachthemovie Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Schedule your free demo here: https://www.cinchhq.com/schedule-a-demo Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
1:05:14
April 10, 2020
Episode 12: John Stevenson - Sports Psychologist & Mental Performance Coach
In this episode we take a look at things through the eyes of a performance and mental coach in John Stevenson.  We talk a lot about motivation, what it takes to reach the next level of performance, and how to constantly be pushing to be the best we can be.  Have a listen and let us know what you think... Episode #12 John Stevenson Links from today’s show Website: https://zoneperformance.ca Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Schedule your free demo here: https://www.cinchhq.com/schedule-a-demo Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
51:59
March 30, 2020
Episode 11: Aaron Seitz - Former College Basketball Player & Elite Coach and Educator
In this episode we talk to Aaron about his basketball career and what it took for him to get to the college level of the game.  We get into the real reasons that players need to play and why some healthy competition is good for a players development and growth.   Links from today’s show Website: www.hashtagcompetitionmatters.com Facebook: @hashtagcompetitionmatters Twitter: @AaronLeonSeitz1 Instagram: hashtagcompetitionmatters Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
42:36
March 20, 2020
Episode 10: Lea B. Olsen - Former Division 1 Basketball Player & Broadcast Analyst
In this episode we talk to Lea B. Olsen. As a parent, sports broadcaster and former collegiate athlete, Lea B. Olsen has experienced sports culture from every angle. Since playing basketball for the University of Minnesota, where she studied journalism and mass communication, Lea has worked for NBCSN, ESPN’s national WNBA coverage, currently she is a game analyst for the Minnesota Lynx, and a sideline reporter for the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Fox Sports North. Lea also broadcast both the boys and girls Minnesota State high school basketball tournaments. Founder of her non-profit Rethink the Win, Lea now champions young athletes as complete people and the positive impacts of sports beyond the game. Lea has been a public advocate for promoting women in the media, served on the Minnesota Twins Community Foundation Board and served at the invitation of Gov. Mark Dayton on the Minnesota State High School League Board. She has also mentored African American athletes at the University of Minnesota, moderated a civil rights discussion featuring U.S. Congressman John Lewis and interviewed Bill and Hillary Clinton.
43:55
February 15, 2020
Episode 9: Sonya Looney - World Champion Mountain Biker and Extreme Sports Athlete
In this episode we discuss how Sonya found Mountain biking and almost immediately fell in love with the sport.  We get into the different kind of racing and some of the hard decisions that she had to make to further her career.  A true entrepreneur, Sonya is a perfect example of someone who saw an opportunity to pursue her passion and found a way to make a living doing it.  Listen in for a great conversation... Episode #9 Sonya Looney Links from today’s show Website: www.sonyalooney.com Moxy & Grit for Apparel and EBooks: www.moxyandgrit.com IG: www.instagram.com/sonyalooney1 Twitter: www.twitter.com/sonyalooney FB: www.facebook.com/looneysonya Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sonya-looney-show/id1233067098 Newsletter: www.sonyalooney.com/newsletter Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
55:36
January 28, 2020
Episode 8: Kristi Lynden - Former Santa Clara Soccer Star and National Champion
In this episode we speak to Santa Clara soccer star and national champion Kristi Lynden. We explore the process of discovering what sport is yours and get into the challenges that come up while climbing the ladder of soccer.
1:03:57
December 23, 2019
Episode 7: Matt Schembri - Former Division 1 Soccer Star & Cancer Survivor
In this episode we talk to Matt Schembri. Matt was a Division 1 soccer player at San Jose State University.   We discuss his journey to discovering his goal of playing college soccer and the various challenges that he faced while trying to make his dream a reality.  We also jump into how the lessons learned in soccer helped him face the daunting task of beating cancer.  Tune in and enjoy the story. Episode #7 Matt Schembri Links from today’s show https://sjsuspartans.com/sports/mens-soccer SJSU Men’s Soccer Instagram Tuesdays with Morrie Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
1:17:38
December 13, 2019
Episode 6: Lauren Hanson - Former Professional Soccer Player and Current D1 College Coach
In this episode we talk to San Jose State Women's soccer head coach, Lauren Hanson.  We talk a lot about her youth soccer playing career and jump into her playing career in college at the University of Portland and her coaching career at University of Portland, University of Oregon, and now at SJSU.  There is a lot of laughing, some crying, and a lot of great stories of both personal and team perseverance.  Have a listen and be sure to check out our website at www.athletesrising.org to help support the project.
1:14:57
December 6, 2019
Episode 5: Logan Pause - Former Chicago Fire Captain and Legend
In this episode we talk to Logan Pause.  Logan made 286 appearances for the men in red before retiring in 2014.  He represented the US National Team at multiple levels and is an absolute legend in the Chicago Soccer scene.  He has played the role of player, coach, administrator, and fan, and brings a unique perspective to the conversation of soccer in this country.
45:28
November 22, 2019
Episode 4: Mark Hogenhout - Former Washington Huskies and Youth National Team Soccer Star
In this episode we talk to Mark Hogenhout. Mark was a former standout athlete for the University of Washington Huskies Men's soccer program and went on to play for the Seattle Sounders professional team.  He represented the United States National Team in the youth ranks and has continued to be involved in the beautiful game as a youth soccer coach in Northern California. Episode #4 - Mark Hogenhout Links from today’s show https://gohuskies.com/index.aspx?path=msoc https://instagram.com/uw_msoccer?igshid=1oujtp2nnn21i Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
1:00:49
November 15, 2019
Episode 3: Kelly Gray - Former Professional Soccer Player
Latest episode of Athletes Rising we talk to co-host and former professional soccer player, Kelly Gray, and unpack the story of his athletic career and some of the challenges that he faced throughout his youth, college, professional, and international career.   Episode #3 - Kelly Gray Links from today’s show Kelly Gray (@iamkellygray) Portland Men's Soccer (@pilotmenssoccer) https://portlandpilots.com/sports/mens-soccer https://www.chicagofirefc.com/ Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
1:01:50
November 11, 2019
Episode 2: Dustin Avol - Former USC Men's Volleyball Captain
In this episode we interview co-host and former USC Men's Volleyball captain, Dustin Avol, about the trials and tribulations he experienced throughout his career. Starting with the conundrum of which sport to play, followed by the path to college volleyball, and all of the magic in between. Subscribe and listen to get insight on the journey. Episode #2 Dustin Avol Links from today’s episode: www.instagram.com/uscmensvolley/ https://usctrojans.com/sports/mens-volleyball Dustin Avol (@dustygringo) Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
40:46
June 12, 2018
Episode 1: Overview of Athletes Rising
Welcome to Athletes Rising. In this episode you get an introduction the what Athletes Rising is all about, as well as a quick little introduction to the two hosts of the show. EPISODE 1 Welcome to Athletes Rising. In this episode you will get an introduction to what Athletes Rising is all about and you’ll meet our hosts, Kelly Gray and Dustin Avol. Our goal is to help parents and children understand that failure is not negative and how you can learn and grow from it. Show sponsor: www.cinchhq.com CINCH. HQ - FOR ORGANIZATIONS Cinch. HQ allows organizations to manage their entire business from the convenience of a tablet.  Organizers can create a program with just a few taps and publish it to the public allowing players to register simply and easily from their mobile phone. CINCH. - FOR PARENTS Parents and players can discover sports programs right from their mobile phone.  Create your account, add your players, and get started finding activities for them.  Search for camps of all sorts and register your players with a few simple taps. Manage your entire sporting life from your phone. Get episode show notes here: www.athletesrising.org Be sure you are subscribed to this podcast to automatically receive new episodes Connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date on all our episodes: https://www.instagram.com/athletes.rising https://www.instagram.com/iamkellygray/ https://www.instagram.com/dustygringo/ Send us an email at and tell us what you think about the show. Or message us on Instagram and use the hashtag #AthletesRising so we know you’re a listener. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on Athletes Rising, please contact jaclyn@athletesrising.org
11:00
June 4, 2018