In Art Of Coaching Podcast

Welcome to the final episode of 2020. We saved the best for last. 

Burnt out from online webinars, Zoom meetings, and long-winded technical presentations? We are too. That’s why we cut the fluff and created something brand new.

Introducing the inaugural (and virtual)… 

Art of Coaching Communication and Leadership Strategy Summit!

On March 20, 2021, hear top leaders from a range of professions share tactics and strategies for navigating communication challenges in our new normal. After all, the future belongs to those who learn diverse skills and combine them in creative ways.  

Speaking of leaders at the top of their field… today we are joined by none other than pro beach volleyball legend, NY Times bestselling author, mother, model, coach, entrepreneur (Creator of HIGHX® / Co-Founder of XPT®) and Nike’s first ever female spokesperson, Gabby Reece. 

Having navigated the highest levels of sport, business, modeling and motherhood, Gabby is uniquely qualified to offer us real and actionable tools of the trade. Through her concision, efficiency and clarity, we learn why less is more and how to eliminate white noise. 

We also discuss: 

  • Knowing your limit and how to walk away
  • Common traits of Gabby’s best/favorite coaches 
  • Training concision and efficiency in communication
  • How to “gain power by giving power”

Connect with Gabby:

Via her podcast: The Gabby Reece Show

Via her website:

Via Instagram: @gabbyreece 

And while you’re still here… we are going to be releasing a brand new resource VERY SOON. 

This is for the person who wants to have a greater impact but isn’t quite sure how or where to start. If you have the urge to provide more value and help more people, this toolkit will help you identify what you’re best at, who needs it, and how to get it to them. 

Interested? We will be releasing information and dropping hints about Blindspot on our newsletter first. If you want to be in the know, click here


Gabby Reece  0:00  

Put yourself in a situation that makes you live in the best part of yourself. I’m with a partner that he has an elevated game. And he doesn’t say to me, I expect you to do this. It inspires me to stay in my elevated game because I have good sides and bad sides. And I’m just tried to keep putting myself in environments that I can be at my best side. You know, a lot of times when people complain and crying, they’re trying to get everything. All the same, same, same. It’s like how about this? What works for you, you should be focused on your own self, because that is the only thing that you can really be in charge of, and pick somebody that you’re like, well, we’ll work together, we’re better.


Brett Bartholomew  0:55  

Well, welcome to The Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom, and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.


Well, here it is the last episode of 2020. I hope this episode, find you having a tremendous holiday season and at least wrapping up this year, on a positive note. And by the way, for those of you who wrote in with your feedback regarding our most recent episode on burnout, thank you so much. We heard you loud and clear. Given the nature of this year, it only made sense it so many of you sounded off saying you could relate. And that was helpful. If you haven’t heard our last episode, it was all about how to deal with overwhelm and burnout. And if you haven’t dealt with it, perhaps you know somebody who has your significant other, a close colleague, those you lead, we all deal with it at some point in their life. And we go over what the research says 50 years consolidated into a tight podcast episode, and also just how to be proactive so that you’re not sitting there and letting this thing cannibalize your energy, your time, everything that can take away from you being productive. Speaking of being productive, we at art of coaching are planning on starting 2021 off on a strong start. So if you’re burnt out from online webinars and boring zoom meetings, rest assured, we have something new and exciting for you. It is the art of coaching, communication and leadership strategy Summit. Listen, here’s the truth. I’ve done a lot of continuing education in my career, but it continues to baffle my mind, how little people focus on the communication and social science of what we do. So what we are doing is bringing the best in their field. To help broaden our perspective, it does not matter what you do for a living, we are bringing in folks in the military word world, the medical world, the world of performance, the world of finance, we are bringing folks in that deal with a wide range of communication and relation based issues, to talk about how they navigate some of the chaos in their world. Listen, if there’s one thing that we know, given 2020, it’s that we are all going to have to communicate and interact on a higher level, if you want to separate yourself, I beat this drum like crazy. You can be the best technician or tactician at what you do. But eventually, once you get to the highest level, it is your communication skills, your interpersonal skills that are going to set you apart. If you’re a young professional, and you just don’t believe that yet. Wait, because you are gonna get into a situation where you’re gonna deal with office politics, whatever the office means to you. And you’re gonna realize, wow, yeah, I ignored that. If you’re a little bit longer in the tooth, you likely have already faced stuff like this, and you realize it and we all get caught off guard because nobody teaches us how to communicate and your power dynamics and politics. But that’s what this is going to cover. 


So if you just go to,, you will have all the information there. And there’s going to be the date, you’re going to be able to sign up for updates all those pieces, and we’re going to announce the speaker list soon. If that’s not your bag, or maybe you want something else, we also have another thing coming out and it is it’s hard to describe but let’s just say it is something that is meant to ensure that if 2020 caught you off guard with a blind spot or two that you are going to have a new toolkit and we all get caught off guard. Guys, there are things that I’m doing right now, including this podcast that I never one wanted to do or two thought I do and now it’s something that I really enjoy doing the podcast is something I plan on doing for the foreseeable future and doubling and tripling down on it. We continue to grow thanks to your support. But the point is, is that many Much of the time, our biggest blind spots are hidden strengths. And it’s just we’re not looking at them the right way. We don’t know how to really use the kind of alchemy we need to to turn a headwind into a tailwind, so we have something for you as well. So if you really identify as an underdog, somebody that is always had to scrape and scrap for what you want work harder than the average person, put in more time, practice and hours. But now you’re looking for something to really help you take that to the next step the next level. So you don’t have to do that all the time. So you’re not always trading so much of your time, energy and effort for money. We have something so go to I’m being cryptic for a reason, guys. We’re gonna hold off till 2021 To really announce these things. And we’re gonna announce them first on the newsletter. So make sure that you’re on it. Again, if you’re new to the podcast, I don’t spam you. You’re not getting a newsletter every day. We send out maybe two or three a month, and it’s always applicable information. 


All right. On to the episode. Really excited to have Gabby Reece, it was only fitting save the best for last such a phenomenal person. Gabby is not only pro beach volleyball world champion. She’s also a New York Times best selling author, model actress. She was Nikes first female spokes work woman, a TV host a leader in the world of health and wellness, and her lifelong passion for fitness and healthy living led her to create high X which is a high intensity group fitness program. Her and her husband LAIRD HAMILTON surfing legend, LAIRD HAMILTON have founded XPT, which stands for extreme performance training. And that’s become a captivating new way for strengthening improving your cardiovascular system and endurance aptitudes enhancing mental focus, guys, all these different things. Listen, we talked about on art of coaching, being somebody that is balanced, right, this strong mind strong body, being somebody that doesn’t get isolated and solely identified by one thing that you do. This is an example a pro athlete turned businesswoman turned author, we all need to be able to be balanced in that way. If you remember a parable, it was one from good to great. And some people took some liberties with it, but it’s about this The Fox and the Hedgehog, right. And they say the fox knows many things. And the hedgehog knows one big thing. And in the context of many leadership books discuss it. It’s best to be the hedgehog do one thing and one thing Well, here’s the thing, though, foxes don’t just eat hedgehogs. And so the parable talks about at least in one person’s adaptation, how you know, no matter what the fox tries to do, they’re trying to figure out how to eat the hedgehog this that whatever, and it can’t, because the hedgehog can just roll up into a ball of spikes. That’s not how the world works anymore. Right. And why I’m using this as an example is because Gabby is a fox, and not in the way that it made sound. I’m saying this is somebody that is balanced and has a high aptitude in many things, which is exactly what we need to have in the networked age. In 2020 and beyond when we live in a world of emergent change, constant change constant flux. You gotta be the fox these days, the hedgehog and just knowing one thing is not enough. Alright, obviously I’m pretty excited about this episode. I’m talking way more than I usually do. Make sure to listen in. Alright, Gabby Reece, art of coaching podcast, last episode of 2020 Here we go.


Gabby Reece, welcome to the show.


Gabby Reece  8:24  

Thank you, sir. Nice to see you again. Even be it you know on a screen


Brett Bartholomew  8:29  

virtual Gabby, I have to tell you I have I think it’s because I’m a new dad and I have some dad jokes. But I was telling my wife. There’s a bit of irony to you. You know, I know you have roots in the Caribbean. You obviously the work you do is educational yet you really espouse people having a strong constitution. And even though we call you Gabby Reece, your last name, from what I understand is at least Hamilton. So you’re pretty much like the real Hamilton. Do you understand the parallels there? The real Hamilton born there drafted that part of the Constitution. There’s just there’s an uncanny parallel there that I don’t I think I’m the first podcast was ever pick up on and I want recognition for that right now.


Gabby Reece  9:09  

Got it. Because I’ve never heard that before. Yeah. Larid always jokes because we’ll go places and they’re like, Okay, how long is Reece and he’s like, Oh, very nice miss Reece, miss Reece.


Brett Bartholomew  9:21  

Well, I was just thinking of this because again, doing my research and then obviously knowing you and learning about you. I know. There’s so much about your story, right? Like, gotten to volleyball at 15 six foot three kind of got into it late. You know, people know that you’re a mother, you know, you have so many different things. You lived in New York and you did modeling. You learn the beach game of volleyball in Miami and then moved to LA like there’s not a whole lot you haven’t done within your story. But what do you think within that story is the biggest thing that if somebody said hey, Gabby, amidst all your accomplishments, sport, motherhood, all these things like how, What do you think is one of the most impactful parts of your story in terms of like, what it’s made you today? Like? Was that learning through sport? Was it the tragedy of losing your father? Like, what? The amalgamation of these things, what really resonates with you when you tell your story now more than ever before?


Gabby Reece  10:15  

I think you know, it’s an interesting thing when you go through, you know, like, we’ve all had our bumps as kids, I think, then you get to a certain age where you, maybe it’s a reference, but you’re actually trying to offload that narrative. Right, like, I’m trying to figure out the way to make that a reference point, but not a continuation of that story. Because I feel like then we miss we don’t make enough room for the new stories and the fullness of those stories. So certainly, my childhood helped me develop certain skills, like looking way down the road ahead, learning how to take care of myself being organized, all these things that helped me become in this external way successful. It also hurt me, right. Like, it also was like things that I had to figure out how to stop hammering down on things like when I had kids, I don’t know if I told you this, like somebody said to me, like your hammer has been really impactful, but like, you gotta wash the windows, and you need some new tools, right? So I think it’s like, blending that. I think I’ve done a really good job at learning from my mistakes. I think if you asked me, because I didn’t have maybe a ton of representation. So I found good mentors, but I learned from my mistakes. And I think also, if I could be honest, and it took me maybe till I was 40 to realize it, I met Laird at 25. And so partnering up with somebody that is the way Laird is like, so hard working so dedicated to his own vision. Like white noise doesn’t hit layered. White Noise certainly hits me. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:00  

In what way 


Gabby Reece  12:03  

that it hits me?


Brett Bartholomew  12:04  

Yeah, in what way does it hit you? 


Gabby Reece  12:05  

Even just being a female. I mean, it hits me a lot less than other people. But in my home, I’m the one that gets hit with it. Being a female, you know, wanting to come out smelling like a rose, being concerned with what you know, making sure I don’t hurt people’s feelings. I mean, this is when I was younger, right? It’s less now. But it’s like, it’s like an impulse, like, oh, I want people to feel good. You know, whatever. I think with Laird, it’s like he’s so clear. It also is I’m going to be honest, he’s a lot nicer than I am inside. So he is not as careful about his outside, because I actually know that I’m a lot meaner and ruthless in a different way that he’s not. So I’m trying to calibrate what’s actually coming out. And he’s so kind of pure, that he isn’t like, Oh, you took that the wrong way? Well, like that’s not like that’s on you, you know what I mean? But me I’m like, he’s a much more heartfelt person than I am.


Brett Bartholomew  12:10  

I’m glad you took it there. Because this is something that you know, you and I are still getting to know one another. But this is something that made me gravitate to you just observing you coach and speak when I attended XPT, and that retreat, is you do have a little bit of that darkness in you that I like, because I’m like this to Gabby, like, you know, I have to work pretty hard at not letting my inner like I always say Tom Hardy is my spirit animal. He always plays this brooding dude and a lot of his movies. And I’m basically like that in many ways. Inside, you know, somebody goes, somebody wants to me oh, you know, you kind of wear your heart on your sleeve. And I’m like, Ah, I mean the heart you see, you know, and it’s I don’t look at it’s utilitarian in a way right? We all have to be different variations of ourselves in different moments. But there is this inner competitor this voice, this demon and I don’t mean that in a negative context. Everybody knows kind of the ritualistic idea of a demon somebody that pushes you from within. But another thing about you that I think that that is really cultivated is you know, people like I watched you I even watched a video feed of your episode with Joe Rogan. And I want you to speak into camera. You know what you’re doing as a communicator, and you are a communications major but like what you know doesn’t come from what you learn in school. I want to know how you learned to become so savvy, you could speak bullshit with guys in a locker room on the other hand, put on you know the interview face reality TV face if you need to, on the other hand, be the mother how did you become such a seducer and ethical seducer? I want to know this.


Gabby Reece  14:43  

Well, that goes to the thing of looking ahead and navigating the landscape I think because of the way I grew up, you know, when my mom she did the best she could but she took a hiatus from parenting from two to seven and I for me, and I was an only child and I had very great caregivers. However I think all sudden you go, I better start paying attention. And also coupled with a tendency to be kind of systematic. I think it was like, I better understand very clearly who’s around me. And then also be, know how to connect with them. And it was always trying to navigate being as honest as I could, inside because this is the other thing and I won’t get into who. But I had people that were not really adults in my life when I was a kid that weren’t honest. And so I remember thinking really clearly that I really want it to be an honest representation of myself. Yeah. So how do I take a high polish, like if you’re doing an interview, but still haven’t be representation? And then hey, if you’re working with a bunch of male athletes, or whatever, like today, I trained with a friend of mine who’s a male athlete, and it’s like, you just go straight to their language, because it’s like, hey, I’ll have time, and we’re gonna get to it. So I think it’s, and also, it being the thing that would help me navigate that terrain. So it wasn’t just about, oh, I need to know, it was like, Well, no, those are going to that’s gonna be the vehicle for that road at that time. Like, I’m not taking the Ferrari on the four wheel drive path. But when we get on the open cement, let’s go. So I think it’s,  just really understanding and listen, being very strategic.


Brett Bartholomew  16:27  

Yeah. Well, I’m glad you said that. Because it’s something that when I ask people, hey, what do you want to hear about? And we’ve had some of these requests for a while, but I think it hit especially with you, we had a lot of our listeners that say, Hey, you know, I find myself as a female. And this goes for males too. But this specific question was from a female who said, I’m in a lot of high stakes situations, and it’s, I work in a culture and she was careful, you know, she wanted to be respectful and, not give too many hints. But she’s like, I work in a culture where, you know, my authority is questioned. So I feel like I have to get what I want out of likability, what we kind of refer to as referent power. That’s the research term of just saying, Hey, are you likable? Are you looked up to? And obviously, you’re somebody that’s looked up to, in many ways, for many reasons. But I’m sure there’s still some times where that’s not a workable default for you, when you found yourself in situations where maybe you haven’t, but it’s real life. So I’d have to imagine you have, especially with all this positions you’ve been in, where you’re trying to, let’s say just persuade or create change for an altruistic reason. But you’ve got to get your hands dirty, and use some different influence tactics. What do you feel like has been your approach or your strength in that? So I get it, you know, the environment. But what are what are some things that you’ve had to leverage in certain times? If you don’t mind me asking?


Gabby Reece  17:46  

Well, okay, so my first go to is usually the invitation. So it’s saying, hey, I’m interested in the pursuit of excellence, I’m willing to put myself in all these uncomfortable situations. And I’d like to invite you now to come and join me. And then it goes from there. So then it goes to I believe, you know, I believe maybe I’m seeing something in you. And I believe in you in this moment, more than you believe in yourself. And I’m, now I’m requesting that you trust me. Because it has to go from the invitation. Because some people, you can move them through, like, Oh, I feel inspired. Great, right? And then you have to have that plan, you better be ready to go. And then behind that will be like, No, I see you. Let’s get you out of your way. You’re gonna have to believe me more than you believe yourself, right? Now. Let’s go. And then it goes to, you’re going to waste my time, I’m going to be out of here. Either we’re going over not because then you have to, like, Hey, I’m not going to waste my time. So I think it’s always first always the invitation, then it’s like, Hey, if you need a little extra love, because it’s scary, I’m down. I see. I’ve got you I have the strategy in place, I’m going to be super clear in my communication. What we’re going to do is very clear, it’s not jumbled. And then lastly, it’s like you got five minutes, and I’m out of it. because it’s dead weight. And at some point, I don’t know what to tell you. And I always say to people, in my actions. I’m only here to create the environment. This is not about me. This is not about how much I can control you. This is not how much I can hurt you. This is not how smart I am. This is about me being responsible to the space I’m going to create for you. And you go in or you don’t


Brett Bartholomew  19:35  

Yeah, no, I think That’s a good summary. And it’s something you do excellent. Your book. Was it 2013 When was that written? When did that go up for sale? The glass?


Gabby Reece  19:45  

Something like that. 2013 14 


Brett Bartholomew  19:48  

Right. So like with that, I think you’ve always done a really good job of being like being straightforward without being pushy, right? That’s something that I think is pretty easy to see in your work, whether it’s nutrition training, what have you like you’ll tell it like it is and you Your style, but you never tried to push your methods on somebody else. It’s I think we have this kind of loud world that does that, right? Like, here’s my way. And sometimes it’s a reflection of the audience, the audience wants binary, black and white answers. So I appreciate the spectrum you gave there. Because you’re right. Like, even when I find myself in situations like that, you need to know when to reduce your power and be like, Hey, I’m just coming here for X, Y, and Z, you’re the one in charge. And I think you’ve been saying that sometimes is important for some people to hear, you know, you actually gain power by giving power. And then there’s other times where it’s like, Hey, cut this shit, we both want the same thing. Do you want to move forward in this or not? And if you don’t know how, I think sometimes we get our audiences a lot of highly educated people who have a lot of imposter phenomenon. And so they feel like, well, if I’m in this situation, which is everybody, right? Imposter phenomenon means you’re an actual leader, you’re doing some shit we’re doing we all have it, right. And if you guys can’t, since you guys can’t see it, she’s raising her hand. But what I say to them, because they’re like, oh, but if I feel like I speak up, they’re gonna think I’m in it for the wrong reasons. And I want to be a servant leader. And I’m like, Well, that’s all well and good, how you imagine that going, but at the end of the day, like what you want and what that person wants, neither of you are gonna get that you got to ride the gray. You’ve got to ride the gray.


Gabby Reece  21:14  

And do your point is, I heard a quote, by Demello. He said, He who knows, doesn’t say who he who says doesn’t know. And I think the other thing is just frickin be it. And some people will hear the, frequency, and some won’t, because their own filters too thick. And so if you’re coming clean, if you’re saying, Hey, I’m here to serve, and I’m here to help these people in this situation be better. And I’m going to do that as responsibly as I can, which means I’m doing my homework, I’m going to continue to learn, I’m going to continue to expand whatever that is. You got to let the chips fall where they may after that.


Brett Bartholomew  21:57  

Yeah, no, I agree. And I think, again, being biased, like a lot of what I’m studying now, for my doctorate is all power dynamics related because I’d been in a lot of these situations, but you have me beat by a longshot. And so I’m curious, within the modeling world, the sporting world, the parenting world, and all these worlds that you’ve navigated, what have you found to be the most like Machiavellian environment, the one where you really had to be on your toes, more than anything else, when dealing specifically with egos, agendas, personalities of other people, which environment have you found was like the greatest challenge for you? Does that question? Make sense? First and foremost? 


Gabby Reece  22:37  

Yeah it does. So it’s twofold. I mean, obviously, it’s business, right? It’s been in business, it’s been an in being an entrepreneur, and creating businesses and being in dynamics with like, VC guys. And then like, you know, it’s like, these are very interesting things. But I think what you do, when it’s so hard to do, is you find the way, even when you’re playing the chessboard, you’re out. Like, I found it early, that if somebody really, it was just too much of that amount, I don’t give, I don’t care what they have to offer what I need or whatever, I’m out of that. You know, in modeling, I being six foot three, I just always made it very clear. When I walked in the door, you probably would, it’s better to pick a different person. You know, pick someone else. And then in sport, that’s just straight up, you know, you maybe the hardest dynamic would be to deal with a coach. Because with your teammates, that’s something else. That’s about hard work and showing up and being clear on communication and participating the way you can and with a coach. Obviously, sometimes that can be tricky. I fortunately, mostly had really badass coaches. That’s because I was on a smaller sport.


Brett Bartholomew  23:57  

But what would you define as a badass just because it’s so subjective from person to person, right? We have like Bobby knights who choked kids and John Wooden, who loved him. What was a badass coach to you?


Gabby Reece  24:08  

Well, like my coach, I’ll give you an example my coach in college. And again, I said this, you heard I just said it. These are small money sports. When you start getting a bigger money, sports, you got to deal with different kinds of coaches. Right. And I’m very clear that so that’s the luxury of tiny sport. My college coach made it very clear. It was about personal accountability. And she was living by that standard as well. And also what she made very clear to me was, I’m more interested in you and your success as a human being than I am on your role as my middle blocker for the four years that you’re here. Once I knew that I was like anywhere you need me to go, I’ll go she’s still a very dear friend of mine. I’ve been out of college a long time. So she lives she walked the walk herself. But also it was like, and she was a college coach. So she’s there to mentor and she made that And she didn’t go like I’m here for you. She, showed through her actions, she was more interested in me even at her inconvenience, developing as a solid person. And then I had a coach, get a guy named Gary Sado that I played for and as a professional, and he was just so hyper prepared. And this, I didn’t need a mentor at that time, I was a professional. So it was like, he showed up, he was prepared, our practices were prepared, he had the right opponents. And he just understood all the nuance. And if that wasn’t working, we’re going to try this. And so for me, those were important in different coaches at different times. But I still believe all coaches need if they can to let the human being know even if they fire the person, you know the athlete, I actually give a shit about you as a person. You know, this is about excellence and greatness, I got a job to do. I’ve got a coordinate 100 people, but somewhere in here, even if it’s for a second, we’re humans, and we’re connecting, and you’re trusting me. So I need to be responsible with that trust.


Brett Bartholomew  26:07  

If I were to try to summarize that and put it into categories, and I want you to check me on this. So if I’m hearing you correctly, some level of warmth, competence, preparedness, the ability to improvise, and the ability to give some autonomy.


Gabby Reece  26:22  

Yes, absolutely. And, be somebody that is living under the same code that you’re asking everybody else to live under, and maybe at the highest level, like stupid example, when I go to teach, I used to teach his class. And when I walked in, I would say I was like, super official. And it was like hey good morning. And what I was saying is like, oh, no, we’re all here to be our best selves. I was like, Oh, hey, what’s up girl? It was like, Hey, good morning, like, we’re here to perform at a high, high level. And that includes me. So all the human decency and things like that, but as far as the other part, but just so you know, emotionally, whatever, the kids will kick your ass harder than anything else you’ll ever do. Because you care the most, and you’re ill prepared and you never get it. Right.


Brett Bartholomew  27:10  

So no 100% gray area for sure. And I appreciate you going into that because so many times people talk about great coaching or great communication, and it’s easy to just leave it at that. It’s it’s a little bit more difficult for some people to just No, no, let’s elaborate on that. Let’s let’s because it’s not just what they do. It’s how they do it. And again, good tagline. But I was always curious on for like, for somebody like you. Alright, what is it? You know, like, how they do it? And you mentioned it really well, like, hey, are they prepared? Do they show that they care about you? Is there a developmental aspect? Is there an accountability aspect, but it is hard for some people to put those things into words, we find that Gabby even with like, communication, you know, when we started really talking about what we do at art of coaching, all right, yeah, we’re coaching coaches, specifically in communication, we realized that for some communication, just like, Hey, what is a good husband or a good wife or a good coach? Communication? That idea can be nebulous, you know, we look at is like, Well, hey, good communication, I think there was that old Microsoft vision statement where it was like a desktop in every household. So we’re like, the vision for us, then if we’re gonna make communication less nebulous is a world where more work is done, more trust is built and less time is wasted. Right? Now, we’ve got to get really specific about that. And I think, it’s tough to become better communicators, better coaches, better leaders, better spouses, if we don’t really define what those things are, like, almost categorically not that it has to be a, you know, like, a super specific word, but something right?


Gabby Reece  28:36  

I even well, you know, listen, when I did this high X curriculum, right. And then we had to teach it, I even wrote, how you would communicate with people if they were working out with a partner or with one of their children. So for example, I would say if you were standing, if you have to put people on teams, I would say I would never look at the wife or girlfriend, I would say to the guy, are you guys a couple? And he’d say yes or no. And I’d say do you want to work out together? And if he paused, I would look at her and say, I’m gonna take them out and put them in a man group that was it. Same with the kid, if she brought her kid, I’d say, is this your mom? Yeah. Do you want to work out with her? If they were like, Yeah, I know. But if not, I’d say I look at her and go, I’m gonna put him in a young kids group, they’re out. So it’s also and sometimes what I find even in teaching, and coaching, this has really been helpful because you talk about keeping time. Because you know, when you’re coaching, right, you have a lot of responsibilities. And you got to keep the environment conducive for the angle somehow, but consider each person. So I’ll give you a really quick one that I learned that was really helpful. I’d have a class with 100 people in it and I have to go around, put them in groups. I look at each person I see them, but it’s just a second. And maybe I see somebody they’ve been crying. I can see it. Put my hand on their shoulder. Is this the best place for you to be today? They’d say yes or no. And I’d say okay, if you need me, come see me after class. That’s it. So it’s like I’m acknowledging you. I see you I know it’s lumpy I can see it, I need to know is this really the best place? Do you know it’s the best place for you to be right now, you could do it even with one of your athletes is the best place for you to be right now. Because if it’s not, they’ll tell you. And then say if you need me, come see me later. But you got to keep going. Right? So there were things that you could do I have people during the middle of something and someone’s they’re not doing it, right. So instead of saying, Hey, you’re not doing it, right? You go up, you go, Hey, do this and they start to talk, you go, watch me, I take my hands, and I put my fingers and I just go look at me. It’s like, let’s stop talking. Now’s not the time to talk. Look at me. And so learning just in all of these types of communications, when, when you elaborate, when it’s like No, dude, I’m in charge right now. This is it, do what I say Don’t talk, don’t analyze, don’t give me your BS. This is what you’re doing. So it’s also all this nuance that you learn just by, you know, being in it.


Brett Bartholomew  30:54  

Yeah, that’s what I’ve always hated about whether it’s leadership or coaching, kind of the one size fits all romanticizing that we hear about it, we always hear that it’s so you know, just showing that you care? Well, no, like, there’s different ways of doing that. We can’t be that, you know, vague, right showing that you care is like you say, engage, look at them, connect with them. And The other thing, I always remember hearing, when we’re really talking a lot about operationalizing, the art of coaching is, well, that all sounds good, but I coach 50 athletes, or I coach 40 And I’m like, alright, and you ask these people every day, what their soreness, like what their sleep is like this, you’re telling me that you can’t have these micro interactions, these micro touchpoints that if you can’t manage large groups, and at the same time connect and engage, then you shouldn’t really be a coach, you know, because that’s part and parcel with it, you know, and I just find it really hypocritical. And here’s what we’re not telling people. The above the fold headline is, I’ve been coached by you in two scenarios. I went to one of your XPT events. And within that I had to learn how to swim with a dumbbell wedge right in between my crotch do all these things and if anybody’s seen me, lotta hair, and kind of bill, you know, I’m a five, eight squatty guy from Nebraska. I’m not buoyant, right? So you were nothing but compassionate, but also straightforward. I don’t want somebody that’s like, hey, this sandwich technique you’re doing great. Now try this. I just want Hey, Gabby. Two things. Cool. Got it. Let me try again, I just need to spend some time in the water. And then on the other hand, we did the kind of dryland training your high X. And I want you to elaborate on that. So people know more about that. But you had a group of like, I don’t even remember how many people were there and all variety. I mean, you had me and PJ, which PJ And I, you know, we train, right? We’re not the world’s fitness people. But where do we train, and then you had folks that probably hadn’t been active like that for 30 40 years, and you still let it and you still connected? And I would say everybody in there saw that you’ve made eye contact. And that can’t be taught to a degree you can there’s some self awareness there, you can draw attention to it. But how long did it take you to be good or proficient, whatever term you would use for yourself out of humility or otherwise, at managing those kinds of group and social dynamics within coaching.


Gabby Reece  32:59  

So the big group, luckily, it built and went from like 815, to 30 to 60 to 80 to 100. And then, you know, but you know, it was again, I defaulted on my organizational skills, and also my ability, what I tell people sometimes and it’s impactful when you have a large group, use a tiny bit of, I hope I don’t want Gabby to look at me. Keep everybody in check. right. So I can’t be walking around with a looseness I have to be I’m walking around with a purpose, so that you’re purposeful. And then if I give you a look, sometimes with certain athletes, or person participant and you just give them a look, and that’s enough other people it’s like, you walk by a big macho strong guy, you know, he’s not lifting enough weight, but you don’t go, you just go hey, what Wait is that? That’s all you got to say they know, they’ll change it. Or like, You’re stronger than that. Lets go and walk away. And I would say this, and I’m going to decipher it, and I don’t care if people like it or don’t I’m a female. So, here’s the deal. no guy wants to be told what to do by a female, no, alpha female wants to be told what to do by another female. Okay? So what it is, is less is more, one word, two words, three words. That’s it, a touch on the shoulder, one suggestion get away. And the most important, like if somebody’s spine angles off, walk by go, hey, check your spine angle, whatever. Because it’s also about understanding human dynamics. And understanding what how what because and it’s information. It sounds like, why aren’t you lifting more weight? No, what weight is that? Let’s go boom out. So I think it’s also learning those nuances. And that probably took, you know, I was coached by great people. So by the time I was in my 30s, I kind of got that. So I’d say maybe, you know, five, six years of doing it and really understanding how I could do it even more efficiently, faster. But if I come in and I’m paying really close attention, that already jumps me ahead 50%


Brett Bartholomew  35:10  

Ya know, without a doubt and


Gabby Reece  35:13  

Pay attention, don’t swing their, timer and talk to the assistant coach or whatever. Pay attention.


Brett Bartholomew  35:20  

Yeah, I think one thing that brought that to mind is so I’m getting surgery in a couple of weeks to repair a labrum. That’s like five years overdue. I was doing a Turkish get up with about 80 pounds when this was five years ago. And there were a couple athletes behind me. And it was these youth academy we had this like, really competitive group of like a soccer club. This is when I lived in Arizona, they would come in the facility they’d like mob in like 30 at a time, right? Like and train from like six to seven or what have you. And one of them, I guess was goofing around with a friend had kicked a ball, the ball went out of the way. And his buddy like push him into me and I’m facing another direction right now I’m right by the facility. Nobody should have been around me based on where I was at. And these kids basically one push his buddy into me, ran into me as the kettlebell was overhead. Shoulder came out of it socket, what have you. And so you know, for five years, I kind of just had this like, you know, the feeling you had when you had a dislocated shoulder and what have you loosey goosey but no real pain. And well, eventually, it’s gotten to the point now where it’s like, hey, it’s pain, it’s assessed, I’ve got to get it done. Just like I believe it was your knee, right? You’ve got it, you have a knee done, there gets to be a point where no amount of like physical therapy and other alternative treatments, it’s like facts or facts, something needs to get done about especially when I got an 11 month, eight year old baby boy 11 month old baby boy that I want to hold in my right arm, the macho shit goes out the window, daddy stuff takes precedent. But anyway, thinking about that, and I just lost my train of thought talking about my injury for a minute. But when you talked about paying attention, like you’ve got to be able to have this level of engagement and knowing what the other person cares about most. And that’s the only area I would push back. And respectfully of you say nobody wants to be told what to do by a woman or first of all, it depends on the setting, right? If you have date nights, and they’re creative enough, that thing works. That’s just to get a smile at Gabby. But like knowing what the other person cares about most is huge. And that’s why your ideas genius with what if you’re talking to a guy saying hey, what Wait is that? You don’t have to say anything. You just almost checked him. You checked him just saying that. And that’s saying everything right there?


Gabby Reece  37:25  

Well, and when I say that, it’s just more about understanding that it’s a commanding role. And typically, we have to earn that feel that times we will give it to a male just easier now Is it to my benefit that I’m tall? Yes. And by the way, you could have a five foot female instructor come in, if she does a good job two times, she’ll get anybody to do anything at any time. It’s just nuance of learning in this dynamic, you don’t know me, and I’m going to try to be as effective as possible. I’m going to speak your language. And I’m going to take that so because it’s not about like, well, it’s my class, and you should listen to me or it’s my team. It’s like, No, listen, I’m here to do my job. And so how do I do that? Effectively?


Brett Bartholomew  38:15  

Yeah. Well, and that’s why I wanted to talk about it a little bit, because in my research of you and the other interviews you’ve done, and obviously I couldn’t listen to them all. But I know people ask you a lot about, you know, your playing career, they asked you about all the unique things you’ve done in the world of volleyball, your business or whatever. But I feel like nobody’s really focused on your coaching. And you seem to have tremendous passion for that and your own training. And I know people like to talk about Laird’s training and Laird’s a great guy love Larid. But this shit isn’t about Laird, I’m talking to you. You know? Like, do you find that? Where does that sit on your hierarchy of things that you really fired up to talk about to continue to do like, it is training is coaching, you’re like, all those things? Are those still pretty high up there for you? Or what gets you fired up most? Now, when you’re getting into a topic of conversation or what have you.


Unknown Speaker  39:05  

I mean, I love the idea of coaching because coaches changed my life. You know,my coach from college, and I had coaches in high school that they changed my life forever. And so it isn’t me thinking I’m gonna change someone’s life forever. It’s not about that. It’s about the flow and the circle of information and support that we can all give each other as students as coaches and on I want to be, too. And so it’s also about saying, Hey, I’m a little ahead of you on this particular journey. Let me make your journey a little easier and short snippet for you and bring it up on it or make or I’ve made every mistake in this way. Let me get you to avoid those and give you an experience that also watching somebody go from not being able to do something to do something, I don’t care who you are. These are the things it’s like doing it yourself. Like these are the things in life that are so powerful to me, and so rewarding and it’s not like you have to go after and be like, oh my gosh burnin inset. And that’s so profound. It’s like, man, that’s the stuff of life. And, that if you want to, like, talk about, like inspiration, when I see that I’m like, that person didn’t know they could do it, they were scared, they tweaked it here and there, and now they’re doing That’s badass, I’m fired up to try to do that again in my own life. And you know, and so goes the circle. So I really love the the human elements of coaching the information. And also, ultimately, if I’m going to keep coaching, then that means I have to keep, it also creates kind of healthy pressure to be like, Yeah, okay, cool. But what do you How are you changing your message and expanding as a human being so that you can do that better, too. So I really enjoy it,


Brett Bartholomew  39:05  

which I think that’s an interesting piece too, within your coaching and even the way you communicate on these interviews, I noticed something else about you, you do not have many disfluencies there are not a lot of ums uhs likes stammers. And that stuff is tough, you know, because what causes a lot of disfluencies one, they’re perfectly natural and human, as you know, but, and I’m guilty of it. And I study this stuff relentlessly. A lot of times where I run into trouble with them, is when you try to convey too much in a short amount of time, those are more likely to arise. How have you gotten so good at communicating in a concise and clear way within whether it’s within your coaching, or anything else? Because it’s really impressive in your previous interviews, you just don’t do it much. Have you ever thought about it 


Gabby Reece  41:43  

but I think it’s true. I think in a way, like I’m not that smart, but I’m really smart at what I’m good at. And so one of the things I seem to be good at is, taking how I’m feeling and communicating it into words, and trying to express it. And,  one of my desires is how do I simplify everything. even now in my life, I’m trying to simplify everything in my life so that it’s as clear and expansive and open as possible. So whether it’s my relationship with my husband, so that there so there’s not all this stuff. It’s like my house, I don’t like tchotchkes because it’s like visual noise and clutter


Brett Bartholomew  42:25  

Define tchotchkes? Are you talking about the place


Gabby Reece  42:30  

like the little things that people love to like, they’re like, I felt like dust collectors. But for me, they’re visual noise, right? Because I want to, you know, I like the idea of, keeping the decks clean. So that we’re having that clarity and that simplicity all the time, that makes me feel really comfortable. And so to do that, it’s like getting everything down to the essential, the essential, the essential and even very complex feelings and thoughts. It’s not that you can’t, how deep do you need to go into the wormhole? Instead of going, Hey, I think we have an issue here. Let’s take a real look at it. And what can we do also to make a change, versus I have friends that just like to go on and on down the wormhole and further down the wormhole. And I love it. And I actually love philosophy and I love like big ideas. But ultimately, I still want to know how does it relate? Essentially? Because we just don’t have that much time.


Brett Bartholomew  43:30  

like, yeah, and I think a lot of that’s a key to the art of conversation too, right? You know, I have a very simple heuristic, that if I’m around somebody that uses the word profound and divine within 30 seconds of each other at least more than once or twice, I run the other way. But same thing with wormholes, like there gets to be a point where how much of what you’re discussing now is pragmatic, and it’s okay sometimes let these things go and go and go. But we’ve lost the art of conversation a bit in this culture. I think that we all know about the dangers of social media, we know about the dangers of inactivity, unfortunately, those things changing, not so much. But a lot of these things. You know, the thing that is so much of the cornerstone of the human experience is the art of conversation. And that’s what fascinated me about your speech tendencies, and even just your ability to connect. Because, you know, would you consider yourself introvert extrovert, a little bit of both ambivert depending on the situation, what would you consider yourself?


Gabby Reece  44:26  

Yeah, actually, I’m, well, I’m an only child who grew up kind of alone. So there’s a part of me that does all my recharging by being alone. But and I’m highly social. I wouldn’t know I wouldn’t say I’m an extrovert in the sense of like, I need a lot of attention. And I’m going to be the one who’s doing karaoke and all of that. But I really enjoy being around people that I’m stimulated by and that can be being around a person that I’ll give me an example I had an interaction with a friend of mine today. I’m not even gonna call means I trained with her. And she was talking about how she’s a very smart girl who gets a lot done. And she was saying, you know, I feel like I’m losing myself and all of this anyway, my point is that she was very honest and very brave. She wasn’t being a drama queen. it was completely lined up. When she walked out, I thought, for me, that’s a gift back to me, because I’m inspired when people have that bravery and that courage, and they’re like, I’m just gonna show up again, and I figure it out and whatever. So I think in that way, I’m very social, because that’s how I get energy and inspired is by all of the people around me. So it’s definitely a combination. It’s just, here’s the deal, you get a lesson, put it in play. You don’t just talking and analyzing about things over and over. And I like I said, I like high minded ideas, philosophical ideas. But then the more rudimentary, I can get them and go, Well, how can I make that come across in my everyday life with one of my kids or my relationship or my work? That’s what I’m interested in. So I think I can simplify it and say that there’s something super blue collar about me. 


Brett Bartholomew  46:09  

Yeah, well, I mean, that’s simply. And the irony is, is that stuff’s not the sexy stuff that people want to hear. I mean, we, I remember, when telling my wife, I’m like, Hey, we’re gonna start a company that is all about communication. And he kind of looked at, you know, she was like, I get it, you know, but some other people are like, so wait a minute, what are you doing? I’m like, Well, yeah, what’s one thing guaranteed to make anything worse in life? Oh, poor communication? What’s the one thing you know, just like sex education and physical education? Now, in financial management, we don’t get communication training anywhere. We don’t and you know, so whether you’re an introvert extrovert, ambivert, what have you, you know, how do you deal with these social scenarios, and we ask people this, I remember one time, we put out a poll, and people were like, oh, either by going through life or on the job experience, or by watching other good communicators. And that’s kind of scary from like, a self awareness standpoint, you know, of saying, like, like you said, that is akin to these high minded things that are never put into play. You and I can’t go watch a great pianist and be like, we got this give us a baby grand. Let us go. You know what I mean? We’re not playing heart and soul in the holidays, like you and me just go into town Stevie Wonder style, like, but people don’t work on communication. I feel like you work on it. As a byproduct of the reflection you’ve had to do through the things in your life. You see yourself on camera a lot, you hear yourself on interviews? Are you like me? Were you hate kind of hearing yourself, like whether it’s your own podcast would have you you’re the sound of your own voice and 


Gabby Reece  47:33  

Yeah, I’m not, I’m not feeling that too much. I will say also being in a 25 year relationship, where both people that would be intolerant to not identifying things, has been very helpful in sharpening my uncomfortable communication skills. So that has also Laird is so very direct and willing to get into anything. And so that also helped kind of balance out, or round out, my ability to communicate feelings that were uncomfortable in a very matter of fact, way you also learn when you’re in a relationship, you could be having an experience. That is not the other person’s fault, but there’s somehow involved. So even learning how to say, I’ll give you a quick example, because I sometimes think it’s easier. Laird is a very present person, like when he talks to you, he’s talking to you. like, for me, he is very loving. And it’s very, I’m not confused. If Laird is in this relationship, if he loves me, if he desires me, and it gives me a lot of power, like, meaning it makes me feel really good. And, therefore, if he needs to go off and do something or whatever, I don’t feel needy or like, you know, wanting for something. Well, let’s say we’ve gone through a patch where he’s distracted, or he’s frustrated because the ocean is. And he’s just been in a domestic environment too long. right. Because he doesn’t phone it in. So he’s actually really doing it with the girls with whatever. And I feel like he’s not paying attention. Or maybe he’s not. So I say I learned, here’s an anecdote. I said, Listen, I have to tell you, you have kind of spoiled me, you’ve really been so present. And so when it’s not there, 


Brett Bartholomew  49:18  

it’s hard. 


Gabby Reece  49:18  

I really, I really miss it. And I just wanted to tell you, so instead of saying, Well, you know, you’re not you’re not doing this, it’s like, well, no, I really enjoy your attention. And I know you’re going to these other things, but when it’s not there, it starts to make me feel sad. 


Brett Bartholomew  49:38  

Yeah. Well, I there’s a lot of things that can relate to this. And I think, you know, one of the things that I appreciated when I was on your podcast is you talked about intimacy and relationships. And I think it’s funny that, you know, it seems like you took a little bit of heat at one point in time because you mentioned it’s not a bad thing to be submissive in relationships at times. And yeah, and we live in this you know, an And I’m somebody that almost got a minor in women’s studies, I worked at a sorority in college and a boxing gym. I love women, right? Like, we like we and we haven’t done it to try to meet some kind of quota. We’ve had an incredible amount of women on this podcast. And that’s because we want to, but we live in this culture. And I was talking to my mom about this the other night, and you’d love her by the way, she grew up in Iowa, no nonsense word for the government, her parents were broke, she had to put herself through college, all this stuff. But I remember talking to my mom was going on on one of these mom rants the other day, and she goes, You know, I was talking to so and so about their, their wife, and we’re just catching up on their life. And this is one of my cousins, and they were talking about how their wife, you know, really didn’t want to cook or clean because they just felt like, you know, that’s not just a female role anymore, you know, and whatever. And it’s very odd. These are very sensitive subjects. So like, but my mom goes, It’s funny growing up with you, boys, because I have a brother, she goes, I never looked at duty, or like me cooking or cleaning is something that was like, a bad thing. She goes, your dad would help cook sometimes he just wasn’t that great at it. He worked late she goes, but I took a lot of pride in the fact that I could run the house. And I had a full time job and I could be a mom. She’s like, now we live in a society where it’s like, it’s kind of a weakness, you know, and it’s so funny how things change. Like I’m, I was raised to be a gentleman, I’m certainly not a perfect gentleman, I can dial up an animalistic side. But you know, I still hold doors. I’m a Midwestern guy, I’m still gonna pull out chairs, I’m gonna do those things. But it’s a very weird thing as a guy not knowing how to be if I was dating now, I’d be like, weirded out. A good girlfriend of mine was like, nobody ever approaches me at restaurants or what have you. And I go, I gotta be honest, if I was single right now, I wouldn’t approach a female. First of all, I wasn’t that type anyway, at a restaurant or a bar, it’s just not a social environment that’s conducive to those things. Right? I’d meet somebody in class or like, I took a sixth weekend probably, like a natural kind of environment. So I’ll do that. But what are your thoughts about this? And, you know, overall, and where do you think we’ve kind of gone awry of maybe too far off the spectrum here?


Gabby Reece  52:02  

Well, first of all, I need to say that, you know, I was talking to a group where they really talked about women’s investing in business entrepreneurs. And I said, it’s really important, first, that you don’t send out women into the world thinking that half the population is against their success, because it’s absolutely not true. Right? So this is number one. And if I want to do something, or go somewhere, or do it, I’m going to create a strategy to do that. And that’s the way it’s going to be. And the other thing that’s unfortunate that we never talk about is biological responsibility. So if Laird and I decide that we’re going to be CEOs, then all of a sudden I get a yearning, and I’m gonna have a baby. I can’t say, Well, you know, I’ll take the first baby, you do the second baby, right? So how do we equip women first, with all of the things that they’re navigating, which is biological responsibility, so that they can do what they want to do. And that doesn’t mean, you know, people didn’t say it’s not fair. It’s like, well, work is a competitive environment. Like there’s just some things and maybe also we don’t care. Maybe we actually don’t care. Maybe we don’t want to work 14 hour days, and whatever, maybe we want to have a different experience in life. And there’s always that too. So my point is, is for me, it was, what do I want? Okay, and then I have this partner in Laird, there’s things he’s naturally really good at that I’m not, and there’s things I’m naturally really good at that he’s not one of them is organizing our schedules, and making sure dinner style. The other thing is like for him, he like, oh, the fires coming, Laird stays and fights the fire. And then like, you know, whatever, he fixes every single thing around the house. And that’s just how it is. Oh, so I think for me, it was like, coming together and amplifying our talents. And it’s also the confidence to know if this dynamic was not the way I wanted it or wasn’t being treated the way I would like to be treated. I wouldn’t be here. I’m very clear. And the thing is, is when you said like, you have to give power to get power. I’m going to take care of my side of the street, Laird is responsible for his I’m not his mother, I’m not here to nag him, I;m not here and tell him what to do. And that’s part of the reason I chose him. Because there’s not there is no telling him what to do. And let me tell you, that guy shows up in real frickin way. And when I said about the submissive role, it was also about the exploration of my feminine side, because in the world, when I’m coaching when I was an athlete, when I’m in business, it’s a lot more of a masculine expression. with my children, and my lover. I’m getting to explore and I’m getting to enjoy this other side. Does that make me weaker? No, I’m kind of learning some stuff. And I’m getting to feel different things. And by the way, if Mother Nature it’s like, right, like she has all these things, but if you need to, like drop down the hammer, you can but I think femininity, the feminine energy is not only important to be He experienced and put into the world, but it’s really enjoyable as the person who gets to experience it 


Brett Bartholomew  55:06  

for sure. Yeah, there’s something to class. T


Gabby Reece  55:08  

here’s some hard work. 


Brett Bartholomew  55:09  

Yeah. Oh, without a doubt, and there’s something just classic about it. I mean, the, you know, there’s something classic at the end of the day about a guy being able to be a guy in some circumstances and a woman being you know, if Liz and I want to go to a nice, my wife is like, the ultimate tomboy, you know, but there’s all and good for her. But there’s also something like, just awesome. Like, if we’re going out for a date night and nice dinner, you know, and the rare case I mean, when we first met, she didn’t even want to get her nails done. And, there are some days that I’m like, hey, yeah, you know, like, let’s, we maybe can’t go out to dinner and like sweatpants and coaching clothes here, you know, but And now she’s completely different. But like, you know, she loves that stuff. Because she hadn’t explored a lot of that, you know, she had always been in this coach mentality and what have you. And she grew up in a conservative home, and she’s got a wonderful we have wonderful in laws and what have you. But I think like she was taught kind of not to stand out, because she was the oldest of four kids, there was a lot of social comparison. So if she did dress up, she did do her nails or anything like that. It’s kind of like standing out and then you’re gonna make somebody feel insecure, you know, there’s all these sibling rivalries or what have you. And like, with our household, it’s funny, like, I do most of the cooking, I never once have felt like, feminized or suppressed or anything because of that. Liz on a true role reversal. Liz loves mowing the lawn, she just loves it. Her now her dad’s in ag, he had worked for bear and Monsanto and their whole family is farmers and what have you, she loves mowing the lawn, and the neighbors would be like, Oh, you got your wife on the line? I’m like, no, no, what she’s not telling you is she This is meditation for her. She loves that. On the other hand, I do many other things. Or I’m, you know, I’m traveling, speaking. And we’ve never once been like, hey, hey, that’s not right. Like you’re supposed to do this role. It’s like, No, you know, and I don’t always go ahead.


Gabby Reece  56:59  

No, no, I was gonna say so I think the overarching, actually, for anyone listening is, again, be really clear with like, kind of who you are. And we’re always going to work on stuff, and then put yourself in a situation that, you know, makes you live in the best part of yourself. that’s the thing. I’m with a partner, that his he has an elevated game. And he doesn’t say to me, I expect you to do this. It inspires me to stay in my elevated game, because I have, you know, good sides and bad sides. And I’m just trying to keep putting myself in environments that I can be in my best side. And so I, you know, a lot of times when people complain and crying, they’re trying to get everything, all the same, same, same. It’s like, how about this? What works for you?


Brett Bartholomew  57:48  



Gabby Reece  57:48  

What works for you. And by the way, if you pick a partner, and you think you’re going to change them, you’re out of your mind. Yeah, it doesn’t mean we improve, and we don’t tweak, and we learn new skills, and we learn how to dance and communication with one another, you are not going to change a person, nor should you want to, you should be focused on your own self, because that is the only thing that you can really be in charge of, and pick somebody that you’re like, wow, we’ll work together, we’re better.


Brett Bartholomew  58:20  

Yeah. And in that funny being focused on your own self, it’s that old idea, like even iron Rand, being selfish, in many ways, is actually one of the most selfless things you can do. But we’re not really taught that we’re not really it’s, oh, it’s bad to be selfish. It’s bad. And I’m like, Well, why do I go on an airplane and they told me to put my mask on first if there’s a change in cap, you know, and I’m bad at that, too. And I think expressing things like, you know, I’m in control of a lot of things. You know, I have to be on stage if I’m speaking or if I’m coaching or if I’m doing this or running the business. And there are some times I don’t want to be in control and being able to communicate that thing, whether it’s deciding on a restaurant to go to or what’s for dinner, or what’s going on this or intimately or what have you, is a conversation you’ve got to be okay with and I respect that about you, too. You don’t run from those conversations I we probably have some people on our show are listening right now. They’re like, anytime we mentioned the word intimacy, they’re like, Oh, God, where are they gonna go with this? But that’s a real How can you say you’re in the business of relationships, and not be open about those kinds of things? That’s, I think, like, where do you stand on that? Just this idea of like, we’re so scared culturally, to talk about intimacy.


Gabby Reece  59:28  

Well, I think it’s, we’re animals and it’s sort of like a real well, we talk about health. I think that intimacy, if you’re in that situation is a part of eating well, moving, getting to sleep. Sometimes people say to me, I did some a shoot recently, and the lady said to me, because I’m 50 And she said, Okay, what do you why, you know, why do you think you look pretty, you know, young and or young ish, you know, whatever, what do? And I said, Well, my dad like my dad. I was half black half white genetics. Okay, great. And then I said, you know, I really have taken care of myself, my adult life. And I said, But you know what, I also will attribute that I have been in a really, overall really loving relationship, which includes intimacy, I feel like that is really empowered me in a way that your spirit, because what people see is it’s not about your skin and your hair and your wrinkles. But they’re seeing that spirit. And if you see and love and tenderness and kindness, and passion and desire, like these things all feed us. And I think in a real way,


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:39  

no, I would agree wholeheartedly. Gabby, I want to be mindful of your time, we have one more main question that I’d love to get your take on. And this was something that was hit by our audience as well. So we have a good amount of leaders, coaches, like people in a wide variety of professions who often feel like, Am I doing enough? That’s the question many of them say they ask themselves. Now, specifically, these are people that love their craft, whatever that may be. But they also kind of want to cross over a bit. And I can I understand this, this has been my journey, the last four years of no longer just being a strength coach, but going into other roles. Now, some of these people have felt like, you know, they don’t have a platform, you know, they maybe didn’t have a volleyball career like yours, or they haven’t written a book or they. And they feel like there’s this dance between. They don’t want to be loud and self promote, but they know they just can’t do good work and get noticed. How do you think you would navigate today, if you wanted to build a bigger platform, of course, for a good reason, we won’t get into the clickbaity bullshit. Like, how can they go about that in like a strategic way, and an ethical way? And of course, we don’t expect you to have all the answers on this, but just what are some thoughts?


Gabby Reece  1:01:46  

Yeah, I think it’s a really great question. Because I’ve thought a lot about it, I think it would be really important again, you know, what territory you would live in and I would live in would be different. So for example, and then we would have common bridges, right? So I think, first of all, if let’s say you have a female coach, and she’s listening, and let’s say, she will, let’s say she’s a mom. And she’s a coach, for example. So I think what she has to realize is right there, maybe that makes her something about what she’s doing a little unique. So I think, first of all, it’s really important to identify what happens for you easily, what are the things, the little mini extensions off of your life out of your coaching life that also set you apart? So if you were, you know, a male coach, and you coached women, that has a specific tone to it? So for me, I start to craft. What is it that I could talk about every single week that people like me, because it’s not about getting everybody?


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:51  

No, you don’t want to get everybody?


Gabby Reece  1:02:53  

You can’t. And, how up, but also have, again, everything is about as sort of a systemized strategy and the strategy changes, but you’ve got to stand back and sort of build out a long strategy and go, Okay, so for the next three to six months, every Monday or Wednesday or twice a week, I’m going to put up this content, it’s going to look like this, it’s going to be this long, tonally, you can’t be all over the place. So if you’re saying, I’m going to be more of an authoritative figure where I say more of my coachee side, I’m going to blend the human and the coach, I’m going to talk about anecdotes, whatever it is, I’m going to do it with a client, I’m not going to do it with a client, I would create a real strategy about something that they inspired them. Now what somebody that you see us doing that has big numbers and is successful, that’s got nothing to do with you. So what do you want to do? Like for me, I’m actually always interested in the human stuff more than the content. The content is all out there. I know that how do you get people to get to go Oh, yeah. Or, for me personally, because everyone thinks I have. I’m dialed and I’m like all this. It’s sort of like, well, let me just tell you, I did not want to train today. But I did. Because I know it’s important, So for me, it’s all about that. So I think it’s about that creating that and then having a strategy but also then trying to network provide value to other people and other people’s platforms. So if you have somebody maybe who’s a nutritionist go hey, listen, I’ll give you twice a month or four times a month, five of your best body exercises or stretch for your hips or whatever they’re doing. If we could could we cross promote and I’ll put on your favorite smoothie recipes online create value for other people and do that without expectation? Because that’s the name of the game you know, if you talk about Andrew Carnegie 1901 or whatever it’s like go the extra mile. always go the extra mile. So have a strategy. Don’t just start doing you know, whatever whenever and don’t be too slick. No absolutes. Don’t know know everything. And don’t be so slick,


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:02  

very helpful and very tactical. I think that’s point.  that’s poignant right there too, is, you know, and I like what you said about go the extra mile because it’s never crowded, you know. And I think people just try to rush this stuff. And I don’t know if you found any of this. But to use your words, I like how you talked about the little extensions, what I had found is some of the things that were in my blind spot prior that I hadn’t really thought about became strengths as I continued to evolve. So for example, when I had started to kind of grow a little bit more of a platform, I had realized, at one point, I never wanted a podcast, I never wanted to do anything on YouTube, I still don’t like YouTube. But I never wanted a podcast and never wanted to, I just never had any of those aspirations. And then eventually, those things just made sense over time for different reasons whether it was an evolution to the pandemic, whether it was because I got a lot of the same questions that I could no longer answer in context on social media. So I’m like, Alright, I need a more media rich, content rich platform. And then those things I’m like, Oh, my God, all these things that I either never thought about a blind spot, right? Didn’t see or didn’t think anybody would care about became the things. And I just thought that was, I thought that was interesting. Did you ever have, like, something like that? That was in kind of a blind spot of yours, so to speak, that became like, whoa, like, this is actually worked out really well for me now.


Gabby Reece  1:06:19  

Yeah, I have a ton of blind spots. I think people for whatever reason, they’re always drawn to the personal things. On my side, you know, before as an athlete, it was people always said to me after if I started writing books, or the back, oh, I never know, you thought about this stuff. And I was like, Yeah, well, nobody ever asked me, right. So because it was always about like, you know, vertical jumping, and winning, and losing and competing, and all these things that have a limitation to them. And so I found with me that the more I was just as honest as I could be without being virtuous. Because when you share a life with other people, my children, my husband, you know, these are their stories to tell as well. So I have to try to do my best poor Larid, you know, luckily, he’s not on social media. So I talked about him all the time, and he just doesn’t even know. is really, people thought when I was a lot younger, especially Oh, she has everything, everything has been easy. And it’s just being like, I’ve had, it’s been great. It has been great. But I’ll just share some stuff with you. So just to remind you, like, everybody’s going through,


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:30  

yeah. Now listen, you’ve been super gratuitous with your time. I know this your third interview today. So we’re gonna let you go. But before we do that, if there is one place in particular we can steer people to, to support the things that you’re doing, or you where is that spot?


Gabby Reece  1:07:47  

I think my podcast I think the Gabby Reece show. And the reason I say that is I actually think it has the most value that to people versus me promoting myself that my podcast is not about me, you were kind enough to be on my podcast is great. And just my my whole thing is just how do we exchange stories like you talked about storytelling and sharing stories, to help elevate each other and remind each other that part is part of the deal? You know, it’s going to pass some of the things we’ll never really figure out. But if we just keep showing up each day with an open heart and mind, even though that’s uncomfortable, as much as we also need to show up sometimes and be like, this is the way that it is because you got to get stuff done. That really excites me.


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:34  

Yeah. Well, I think that’s simple enough, and we’ll make sure to put all those links for your podcast and for everything else. In the show notes. Gaby, thank you for sitting down with me. Hopefully, we asked you a couple of questions of weeding me and my inner demons about the person and hopefully there was one in there that you hadn’t been asked before. So I appreciate your candor and everything that you provided.


Gabby Reece  1:08:54  

Well, thank you. And you were very successful at least three or four or five times. So thank you.


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:59  

My pleasure, guys. Hey, until next time, this is the art of coaching podcast Brett Bartholomew Gabby Reece, signing off.

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