What’s up Sustainable Athletes!

In this episode we have Rachel Balkovec in the studio with us. Rachel is the first female Strength coach within the MLB system in baseball. She is currently studying here in Amsterdam for her Research Masters in human movement science and in her free time working with the baseball and softball national teams in their talent development and olympic pursuit. She has a lot of knowledge on human performance and a wealth of experience in the field and quite a unique career path so far with huge ambitions to fulfill.

We touch on many topics and learn a lot about her and her approach to performance. We talk about her seemingly strange career switch to go study abroad, being a female in a competitive male environment, her work as a strength coach and ambitions for the future, about learning from different cultures, taking a leap of faith and following your deepest callings.

Rachel is just an awesome person with an awesome mindset which makes her a big role model not just for aspiring coaches or other female driven persons but basically just for everyone who wants to improve in his or hers own life. We had a great time and we really enjoyed having her on and having a nice chat together. In one sentence this podcast is an encouragement for you to ‘jump off the cliff’ and dive into the unknown a little bit more often..

The audio quality of the intro is not superb, but wait it out as the audio during the episode itself is much better. So check out this episode with Rachel Balkovec.

Highlights of our conversation:

  • 7:15 Where does Rachel’s ambition come from
  • 8:15 Rachel’s goal to run a world class team
  • 9:00 Rachels’ idea of success
  • 9:45 Why you sometimes need to jump off the cliff
  • 10:50 “If you want to do something extraordinary you have to be willing to take massive risks”
  • 11:30 How Rachel grew into her current career path and future goals
  • 14:20 How she was drawn to the weight room as a high school athlete
  • 16:00 How to thrive as a female in a male dominant environment such as S&C
  • 19:45 Interesting experiences during her time on the road with minor league baseball
  • 22:15 The subtle differences between various roles in sports such as S&C, Athletic trainers and nutritionists.
  • 25:20 Rachels’ take on feminism and shared experiences
  • 30:00 Rachel’s recent experiences of working with female athletes
  • 32:00 Perceived biggest cultural differences between the Netherlands and United States
  • 35:00 Her biggest learnings being in the Netherlands right now
  • 36:30 Why people mistaken safety with certainty
  • 37:45 Her experiences traveling in Laos and life lessons learnt
  • 44:30 Rachels’ ‘Tie your shoes principle’
  • 46:15 The difference between ‘making’ it and having a successful long term career
  • 48:00 The importance of being purpose driven and curious
'Whatever you're afraid of, do it and jump off the cliff!' -- Rachel Balkovec, Sustainable Athlete Podcast #7 Share on X

This is our first English spoken episode so to all our international listeners, a big welcome! We are going to publish more podcasts in English soon so if you like this one, please subscribe to stay updated and be patient for the next ones to come. Also to learn more about the Sustainable Athlete Foundation, check out sustainableathlete.org or follow us on instagram.