#45 Do It With Passion Or Not At All with Dustin WATTEN

#45 Do It With Passion Or Not At All with Dustin WATTEN

October 23, 2016

USA National team, professional indoor volleyball player and vegan athlete    

#44 Remaining In the Moment with Berit KAUFFELDT

#44 Remaining In the Moment with Berit KAUFFELDT

April 3, 2016




For today’s Athlete Case Study, we have a German Volleyball Star, Berit Kauffeldt on the line telling us her story. We will dive into how she got into volleyball and where her hard work has taken her throughout her career. She will give out some tips and tools that will help you optimize your path to whatever success you may be seeking as an athlete or a business person in this world and most importantly, REMAINING in the MOMENT.


  • Born, Berit KAUFFELDT, from Parchim, Germany .

  • One younger brother, parents divorced since she was 4 years of age, raised in her mother’s household,

  • Began playing volleyball at age 11; Left home at age 13 to go to school and train to improve in the sport; lived at a boarding school; graduated as an honorary student in academics

  • Has studied Psychology Via online courses and books sent to her home and is expected to graduate this Spring and is . 

  • Played for Junior National Team since the age of 14; Winner of the European Championship in 2007; advanced to SENIOR National Team in 2008 and train with the team ever since; World Champion of 2009; Bronze Medal at the 2011 Grand Prix; 3X German League Champion with Schweriner SC

  • Has played in multiple other countries such as Italy, Poland, and currently for a Champions League team in Baku, Azerbaijan

  • Berit's is active in the stock market at the moment.

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“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”


  • When was one of your bigger struggles during your volleyball career so far?

  • What did you learn from these struggles?

  • How did you move forward?

  • When did you have your lightbulb moment in your career, moving from good to great?

  • What is one of your proudest moments in your non volleyball related life?

  • What was one of your proudest volleyball moments this season?

  • What are you most excited for coming up in the future?


  • When tough times come around during season, never forget to focus on yourself and your improvement.

“I started focusing more on myself and developing myself, I started doing yoga
and also reading about nutrition…” -BK @ 17:36

  • Only you can decide how your attitude is and your reaction to coaches and teammates, you control your own efforts to be better

  • We can either run from challenges or face them head up and conquer them no matter how tough it may seem

  • It is important to be able to tell yourself at the end of each day, training, match, that you gave 100%

“When I went to the gym, I always tried hard, I DIDN’T GIVE UP...my positive volleyball moments, I got not from matches, but I got it in practice...after each day I want to say I tried hard.” -BK 19:46

  • Remember to remain focused on present; not the next ball, or next play, not previous ball or previous ball, not the stats, STAY IN THE MOMENT

  • Strong relationships you have built with people is one of the biggest joys you can get in life while being an athlete as you make you way around the world

Berit’s Daily Ritual

In bed between 10:30-11pm, wake up between 7-8am, Oil mouth Rinse for 20 minutes, brush teeth, prepare bag for practice, breakfast, check phone, Get to practice by bus with the team


Berit’s TIP JAR


Recommended Book: How to Train a Wild Elephant : And other Adventures in Mindfulness, by Jan Chozen Bays
Tool/Habit used to stay Healthy: Meditation every morning
Parting Piece of Wisdom: Never stop trying, try your best, and that is enough, don’t put yourself under big pressure


Facebook | Instagram | Matches


“If you can respect all people and all people equally, and feel empathy for the people you are acting with.” -BK


#41 Mastering Your Fate & Captaining Your Soul with Carly WOPAT

#41 Mastering Your Fate & Captaining Your Soul with Carly WOPAT


March 24, 2016

Athlete Case Study: Professional volleyball player who graduated from Stanford University, plays for the USA National Team, and currently plays in Ankara, Turkey


In this athlete case study, we focus on what it takes to overcome the most difficult times in our lives. Having people around you to lean on, finding what outlets work best to express yourself, and focusing on doing what is best to accomplish your dreams are just a few of the topics we cover with our infinitely resilient guest: Carly Wopat.  


  • Born, Carly Wopat in Santa Barbara, California on October 13, 1992.

  • Parents: Ron and Kathy, younger brothers: Jackson and Eli. twin sister: Sam (passed away in 2012).

  • Graduated in 2014 from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology and a concentration in Human Performance and Behavior.

  • Began gymnastics when she was 3 and was a tri-sport athlete in high school.

  • Trains with the USA National Team.

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“It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley


Most influential people in their life:

Liz Towne-Gilbert; Club coach, great person that has taught me a lot of life skills

Kerri Walsh; volleyball athlete, spreads light and happiness to everyone

Ron Wopat; father, humble and is a very caring person



  • What has been the biggest struggle in your life?

  • What can we do to get through these hard times?

  • Share a moment that you feel you accomplished something that you have been trying to accomplish for so long.

  • What are some non-negotiables you must do to stay on your journey?

  • What are the most important things to do to be ready for your next matches?


  • The world is a beautiful place but there is also tragedy and loss

  • After losing someone very close to you, get to decide how it changes you.

Four years ago, “my family experienced an unexpected suicide. My twin sister Sam had been struggling with depression. She was a beautiful person through and through. We did everything together growing up...losing her was devastating. Everything I knew came crumbling down and a huge piece of me was lost forever. It is a void that can never be filled and she can never be replaced. Accepting this is the most difficult thing; that things will never be as they were. You get to decide whether (in times like these) you cower from life and fight everything uselessly, or embrace it…and attempt to find your footing in life again.” CW @ 14:20

  • Finding outlets for our emotions and ways to express ourselves is a major means to get through difficult times in our lives.

“I had a sculpture class that I could go in and just spend hours working on projects and building things; an outlet of self expression through art. I also wrote poetry, taught myself how to play guitar, got into photography. I have just learned how to express myself and get emotions and feelings out through different types of media.” CW @21:00

  • There is strength in the people around you and in new ways to find outlets.

  • Different mentors bring different things to the table. It is important to go about these mentor-mentee relationships with an open mind and receive advice without judgement.

  • Dreams may seem impossible at the early stages of the pursuit, but keeping up the grind is the only way to achieve them.  

“One of my biggest dreams was to play on the national team and play professional volleyball. I would look up to these girls playing the highest level and try to imagine myself in their position. It seems so impossible when being so young. Just kept climbing the ladder.” CW @ 27:00

  • Cross training and diversifying activities is a great way to increase mental and physical health.

  • Recovery is crucial in performing at your peak

  • Search for resources and people that are subject matter experts to learn about staying healthy.



What is one insight you would give to athletes in your position?

“Do not let your performance define you. Even if volleyball is life (or any other sport), it can overtake your mind and everything you do. When we lose or don’t perform as good as we want, we feel bad. Just know that playing bad doesn’t mean you are a bad person! If you make a mistake don’t check yourself out. It is only a mistake in that moment. Don’t let your performance define you.” CW @ 48:00


What advice would you give to your younger self?

“Follow your passions. Don’t worry about going on the route society has set up for youth today. Everyone has opinions on how kids should transition and what the career path should be. Just because yours is different doesn’t mean it is wrong, it’s just your path.” CW @ 51:05


Resources Mentioned:

The 4 Hour Workweek - Tim Ferris

The 4 Hour Body - Tim Ferris

The Model Health Show - Sean Stevenson

Invictus - Poem

Past/Current Teams:

Stanford University

RC Cannes Volley-Ball

Halkbank Bayan Voleybol Takimi


Instagram | Twitter | Blog

Snapchat: carwo | Email: carwopat@gmail.com


“It means not just being an amazing athlete but (also) having skills, passions, and hobbies outside of athletics. It is really starting to grow, being beyond athletic. It is amazing to balance and juggle so many things. Being an athlete at this level is a big feat, but having other skills as well is amazing.” - CW


Helena PERIC | My International Student-Athlete Experience

Helena PERIC | My International Student-Athlete Experience

Helena PERIC | My International Student-Athlete Experience

First, a little background on you and the school...


  • Your full name:
    Helena Peric 

  • Your country of origin?

  • Name of your college/university?
    Missouri State University West Plains & University of California Riverside 

  • This school is in...

  • ...your sport?

  • ..your jersey # ?

  • ...received a scholarship?
    Full Athletic

  • ...enter your major(s):
    Media and Cultural Studies with Film Production

  • ...select your status in school:

  • Lastly, please enter your profile link from your school’s team: http://gohighlanders.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3440&path=wvball

Tell your experience BEFORE you got to your foreign school...

  • ...how difficult was it to decide to go to a foreign school?

  • ... If you knew what you know NOW... how difficult would it have been to decide to go to a foreign school??

  • What were the main things that convinced you to choose to go to a foreign school? :)
    The opportunity to play the sport I love and go to school at the same time

  • ...What, if any, were the difficulties in choosing to go to a foreign school?
    Paperwork takes time and costs a lot of money but it is nothing compare what is waiting for you after...

  • ... and how did you overcome these obstacles to get to a foreign school?
    My parents and coaches from the USA helped me a lot.

  • ... how helpful were the staff at the school with getting you admitted?

  • What things  helped you get everything done to get to a foreign school?
    My coach from Junior college helped me get everything done.


Lastly, your experience at your foreign school...

  • ...your happiness with international student-athletics?

  • ...What, if any, were the difficulties to adjust to life in your school’s country?
    The language might be a little difficult at the beginning and getting use to completely different culture.

  • ... and how did you overcome these obstacles to adjust to school life?
    My teammates were always there for me. I met a lot of amazing people who were there for me for anything I need.

  • ...What were your best experiences in your foreign school?
    Meeting some of my best friends, getting educated, travel all around the country, playing D1 volleyball with people from all around the world... 

  • Anything else you’d like to mention?
    This is a great opportunity for everyone who loves sports and school at the same time. It is great experience to help you succeed in life and grow as a person. I would highly recommend this to everyone who is not afraid to try something new.

  • Did you enjoy talking about this?

  • Would you be interested in an international athlete network?

  • Do you plan to be a PRO in your sport after college?