Pierce Junior College

#36 A 2x Olympian & FSN/NBC Broadcaster Dumb Enough Not To Quit with Kevin BARNETT

#36 A 2x Olympian & FSN/NBC Broadcaster Dumb Enough Not To Quit with Kevin BARNETT

Athlete Case Study: Former Member of the Men’s USA National Volleyball Team,
2x Olympian & Professional Broadcaster


April 13, 2015

Listen ON-THE-GO (01:04:36) NOW -or- mobile via iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn Apps!


On today’s episode, we will be talking with one of my so called mentors, even though he may not have been aware of that, many things he did in the sport of volleyball, I shadowed and mimicked throughout my career to get better and create my own game. I’ve also always been inspired by the person he is and his character has encouraged me to be someone who speaks up. Today we will discuss the importance of having the will to show up no matter what and to keep going at it, and we need to give the best we have in that moment, and although we may not always be 100%, we need to give 100% of whatever we have on that day.


  • Born, Kevin Rees BARNETT, from Lockport, Illinois on May 14, 1974.

  • Resided in Southern California in 2006 with wife and twin sons

  • There were no volleyball teams at the schools until his junior year of high school, Kevin didn’t join the squad until senior year

  • Took one year off of school and just trained for volleyball and worked at the Cheesecake Factory

  • Played at Pierce Junior College for two years, transferred and played two years at Pepperdine University

  • Played on the USA National Team for 9 years after making the team in 1997; 2x MVP for USA, USA National Team Athlete of the year

  • Kevin is a two-time United States Olympian turned professional broadcaster; specializing in ball and motorsports, Kevin has covered a variety of broadcast roles since 2006. Over the past three years his primary focus has been Play by Play and Studio Host. This type of work includes: Volleyball / Basketball / Football and Racing.

  • He can be seen regularly on NBC / PAC 12 Network / Fox Sports West / ESPNU and elsewhere throughout the television universe.

LEAVE A REVIEW & Subscribe to #BeyondAthletic in iTunes so other can find us too! Share this with one person you think could benefit the most…

Listen ON-THE-GO (01:04:36) NOW -or- mobile via iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn Apps!


“Get busy livin' or get busy dyin”
- Red  (Shawshank Redemption)

Ken Stanley; Junior College Coach, good man and great coach
Marv Dunphy; contributed to making me into a better person


Key Discussion Points:

  • When was one of your biggest struggles and what did you learn from it?

  • How did you bounce back from being on the bench and injuries?

  • When was your lightbulb moment?

  • When was one of your proudest moments in life so far?

  • What was your plan to be successful in life, other than just your sport?

Key Lessons:

  • The key is to just keep showing up no matter what and never giving up

“ I’m just dumb enough not quit...there’s no genius to doing what we do, its just a willingness to show up every week no matter what happens.” KB @ 17:03

  • Its important to learn how to deal with structures of a team, and be in the good graces of your coaches

“They knew I would show up every single day in practice, and would give everything I had that day..it didn’t matter what had happened before, it didn’t matter what happened after, it didn’t matter how practice went..if practice started poorly for me its not like I’d quit..” KB @ 17:48

  • Give the best that you have at that moment and over time you will acquire skills

  • Its important to pay attention to others and learn from them

  • There can be great satisfaction with the team effort even after a tough loss

“..disappointed that we hadn’t won but very satisfied and very happy with the whole experience..I was satisfied with the play of the team and the way we had performed and fought and done our best.” KB @ 25:22

  • The key is to just keep showing up no matter what and never giving up

  • Strive to finish satisfied with what you’ve done

  • Don’t put EVERYTHING into getting the medal, embrace the actual experience of competing at the highest level

  • The big things you want won’t happen unless you put all of your eggs in that one basket

“...‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’....well you better or you’re not gonna make it….you’re not gonna get in a National Team gym, you’re not gonna get in a professional league, you’re not gonna get yourself on a roster..its just not gonna happen unless you’re all in.” KB @ 30:50

  • Don’t be discouraged by failures

“You can’t let failing at something then discourage you from trying something else.” KB @ 37:16

Listen ON-THE-GO (01:04:36) NOW -or- mobile via iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn Apps!


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You gotta be early to be on time.” -Ken Stanley

What personal habit do you believe contributed most to your success?
Blind Stupidity

What is the one thing you would like to improve about yourself?
I would to not get so aggravated with stuff so quickly

One resource you use to improve yourself as a person?
People around you that tell you the truth and don’t be afraid of it

Knowing everything you know now with the same resources you had starting out and the new ones you have now (Beyond Athletic Podcasts, ESS, etc.), if you had a do-over what would you have done differently to reach success?
Following someone that you respect that you think is doing right that you view is successful and forge a relationship with them.

A book or learning resource you love to use?
Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson

What is a tool/habit you love to use to stay healthy?

Going to the gym 4-5 days a week. Riding Motocross

A useful tool or tip for eating on the go -OR- for traveling in general?

Isagenix/Try and avoid eating in airports. / Always treat yourself to a good meal on the road. It's already no fun to be traveling a long distance. Good food makes it more enjoyable.

What's a cause or thing/action you like to do to add value to other peoples lives that you either know or don't know at all?

My kids! That's where my time goes.


Broadcaster for the Pac-12 Networks and FOX Sports
TheNetLive Podcast/Show Host

Past/Current Teams:
Pierce College Men’s Volleyball
Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball
USA Men’s National Volleyball Team

Follow Kevin

Facebook | Website | Twitter


Pieces of Wisdom
“You’ve gotta be comfortable with yourself and know that you’ve done
right by yourself.” -KB

“Don’t say you want it and not be willing to put out the effort to get the thing and then be disappointed when you didn’t get it.” -KB

Definition of Being An Athlete?

"..its just another person, its like famous people, the more you meet famous people ..you realize they’re just people too and when it comes to the role model aspect of things..you gotta pick the right role model, not just the one who’s the glossiest" -KB