#58 Decoding Human Potential with Steven Kotler

#58 Decoding Human Potential with Steven Kotler

Episode #58 Decoding Human Potential with Steven Kotler of Flow Research Collective

EVER BEEN "ON FIRE" or "IN THE ZONE"... How does it happen.. Can you trigger it whenever you want?

Looking to find that state of flow where you're performing your best? 
Listen to this bestselling author and 2x Pulitzer nominee.

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#31 Learn To Silence Your Ego with Gabi KOEVA

#31 Learn To Silence Your Ego with Gabi KOEVA

Athlete Case Study: Bulgarian Women’s National Volleyball Team, Middle Blocker for Beşiktaş Women's Volleyball (Istanbul Turkey).  Elite Sports Students Mentor  

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February 24, 2015

Listen ON-THE-GO (00:55:44) NOW -or- mobile via iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn Apps!


On today’s episode we will talk about how Gabi got to where she is today. We will discuss how she decided to play volleyball instead of basketball, as both of her parents are former basketball players, but at her age, volleyball was the only option. She explains some of her struggles and decisions she has had to make over the years, as well as some of the mentors she’s had to help her. She also shares how she handled being a bench player while playing for the Bulgarian Women’s National Team and the importance of silencing your ego and continuing to work hard no matter what situation you may face.


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 (00:55:44) NOW -or- mobile via iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn Apps!

“Remember that talent is only 1% of an athlete’s life, and the other 99% is hard work, hard work, and more hard work.” -Gabi’s Father


Dragan Nesic, the first coach to send Gabi an invitation for the Senior National Team, whom she learned the most from volleyball wise; Svetlana Ilic, Gabi learned a lot from her while playing in Switzerland, was one of the only coaches she had to emphasize importance of mental preparation.

Key Discussion Points:

  • When was a time you struggled in your sport or life in general?

  • How did you mentally handle being one of the bench players?

  • When was a time during a match that you made a mistake, and what did you do to move on from it?

  • When was your lightbulb moment?

  • When was one of your proudest moments?

  • What lead you to your studies that you’ve recently completed?

  • What is your current plan to be successful in your life and sport?

Key Lessons:

  • Accept failure!

“We all fail on a daily basis. I think its important that we learn from our failures.” GK @ 10:22

  • We need to learn to silence our egos and look objectively at the situation we are in

“After all, its the National Team and all the best players from your country are playing have to give them respect..good players, they are not just random people on the court.” GK @ 13:16

  • Focus on your skills, getting better, and proving yourself at every practice

  • Competition within the team is what helps evolve players

  • Egos can be good and bad in some ways

  • Find a way to compete and add value to your teammates, make them better

  • Do your best to move on quickly from the mistakes you make while competing

“I talked to myself.. ‘the set is gone, it was just one point, you made a mistake, it was not your fault, focus on the next set, start over, do your thing, try to keep in mind the goals you have, focus on the small things, FORGET about it.” GK @ 17:28

  • The whole team loses/wins a game, not just one individual

  • If you dwell on the last mistake, you are most likely to keep making more

  • Sometimes you have to change your scenery or location to be closer to your success

  • The most successful people are those who challenge themselves, looking outside the box

  • Have your OWN vision for what you want in the future and create small goals to achieve that vision

Listen ON-THE-GO (00:55:44) NOW -or- mobile via iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn Apps!


What is the best advice you have ever received?
Always see the positive in every situation; things are how they are, its in our power to understand them how we want.

What is the first thing you do when arriving to a new team or arena?
Team: I look forward to the first couple of practices so I can see how the coach is working with the team, so I can understand their perspective.
Arena: I check out the lights, they can be disturbing sometimes

What personal habit do you believe has contributed most to your success?
When I start something, I really want to finish it.

Sleep & Morning ritual:
I sleep between 8-10 hours; I have breakfast, coffee/tea, I am up a few hours before practice, on the court half an hour before doing warm up/ mobility exercises.

What is one way you’d like to improve yourself?
Always try to learn something new, reading books

How do you cross-train to stay fit when you aren’t playing your sport?
I go swimming a few times a week

What is one book you would give away as a gift and why?
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday; I would give this book to anyone who is struggling with something in life, sports, business, etc.

If you had a do-over, knowing everything you know now with all of the new resources (Beyond Athletic Podcasts, ESS Mentors, etc.) ,what would you have done differently and why?
I think things would have happened quicker for me, after listening to other’s experiences on a podcast, I would have learned a lot quicker.


Charity/Organizations They Add Value to:
Elite Sports Students; Mentor
Possibly a summer camp, 2015,  in Braham, Minnesota, run by Noah Dahlman

Past/Current Teams:
Past: VC CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria; Voléro Zürich,Switzerland; Minerva Volley Pavia, Italy
Current: Beşiktaş Women's Volleyball; Bulgaria Women's National Volleyball Team

Definition of Being An Athlete?

"Very important in our society; sports are famous, entertainment; people feel a direct impact from sports. If you have a role model, you are interested in all aspects of their professional and personal life. We as athletes should be giving a good example to the young kids. We are influential and
should take it seriously" -Gabi Koeva


Books Mentioned:
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Relentless: The Ultimate Mind & Body Challenge by Tim Grover


Also Mentioned:

Vlado Jaksic; Basketball Peace Ambassadors; Video

Braham, Minnesota
Noah Dahlman
VC CSKA Sofia,
Voléro Zürich

Minerva Volley Pavia
Beşiktaş Women's Volleyball
Bulgaria Women's National Volleyball Team
Elite Sports Students; Mentor
Beyond Athletic Podcasts
European Volleyball League
Pleven, Bulgaria
National Sports Academy "Vasil Levski"





-Ryan (Owner @
Elite Volley Agency
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