I Interviewed the CEO of Life Time (fitness).Mar 23, 2023
Let's get rocking with today's edition!
Today’s edition has two parts:
1. An Entertaining Video – I Interviewed the CEO of Life Time (fitness)!
2. My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball – Lessons Learned Embracing Tough Conditions.
An Entertaining Video:
When I was younger, my grandfather told me, “Kyle. You gotta learn to talk to people.”
It’s advice I never forgot.
Except this time, the credit goes to my friend Danny, who’s the best “talk to anybody” guy I’ve ever met. A little over a month ago while at a tournament, he sparked up a conversation with this woman, Jennie, before I walked up to join him.
When I got there, Danny brought me into the conversation. One thing led to another. And next thing I know, Jennie is helping to set up an in person interview with the CEO of Life Time Fitness, Bahram Akradi, and me while I was set to be in Minnesota the following week.
Huge shoutout to Danny and Jennie! Because it led to this awesome opportunity to talk with Bahram about:
- The business of pickleball
- Why it’s growing so fast, and
- The role LifeTime plays in that growth.
The newly released interview!👇
My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball:
Two weekends ago, I had an incredible weekend in Daytona, but this past weekend just wasn’t the same. The weather was in the 50’s. The wind gusting at over 20mph. Rain coming down on and off.
And those are just the start of my excuses.
My foot hurt. My paddle wasn’t working. The courts had dead spots. Someone yelled during backswing. I had an itch on my face. My Clif bar was stolen (and it was macadamia nut, my favorite). And a bird flew through the court and disrupted my vision. The audacity of that hummingbird.
It just wasn’t fair. And that’s why I played so bad this past weekend.
Anyway, I hope this blog inspired you and was enjoyable. See you next week!
But honestly, it felt good to make some excuses before I got into the real story. Anyone else blame 47 things before taking ownership when things don’t go their way?
Here’s the real moral of this story.
I gotta get better at pickleball. I wasn’t good enough this weekend, and it led to a 1-2 performance in mixed doubles and a 1-2 performance in men's doubles.
There’s no doubt the wind was tricky and it actually doesn’t favor my game. Because my current belief (and I’m absolutely open to continuing learning on this) is when it’s extremely windy, it’s good to rip balls harder more often than you typically would. Because hitting a 3rd shot drop can be quite difficult.
When you drive it, the ball often swirls in the wind and it's tricky for the other team to handle, even if it's going way out.
All of which, isn’t my greatest strength. I’m a much better player being aggressive around the kitchen rather than driving a lot of shots hard from the baseline.
But with that said, it’s windy at a lot of tournaments. Which helped me realize two things:
- I need to be way better in the wind. Most blame the wind (and internally I did). I can't do that. I need to embrace it instead.
- I gotta work on my ability to rip the ball from the baseline so I’m prepared for whatever conditions come.
Because here’s the thing. The top teams still won despite the tough conditions.
So here’s an idea for you. And I’m stealing this from my good friend Sam Allen. When tough conditions or difficult circumstances come your way… Have a trigger word to overcome it. It’s not magic, but trust me it helps.
Sam's has always been, “GOOD.”
- 25 mph winds that shift the ball in every direction? “GOOD.”
- Playing with a new partner you’re not accustomed to? “GOOD.”
- A long delay before you play your next match? “GOOD.”
Because here's the thing. In anything in life, it’s easy to make excuses before identifying the problem may actually have been you.
And truthfully, in this last tournament, it wasn’t my partners, or the wind, or the ball, or the court, or my paddle.
It was my fault.
And that’s something I’ve been reflecting on this past week!
Until next week,
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