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April 26, 2024

#73 Corey Vaughn: Balancing Acts: A Conversation with Professional Water Skier

#73 Corey Vaughn: Balancing Acts: A Conversation with Professional Water Skier

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Corey Vaughn. He’s a professional water skier who I’ve known for more than 15 years, through many of the ups and downs of our respective water ski journeys. It’s the beginning of water ski season here in the States and the end of the water ski season on the other side of the world. Corey just came back from Australia, where he finished 4th at the Moomba Masters, which was his best performance there yet. Given the timing, we debated about when to have this conversation. Should we have it later in the season, after a notable performance? Or early in the season, to talk preparation? Balancing process and performance are part of any professional athlete’s repertoire, and in the end, we both realized that that process is worth talking about, regardless of the results. 

This conversation went deep from the very beginning, when Corey mentioned the need to be honest with ourselves if we are to truly get better at anything. Yet anyone who has taken an honest look at themselves also has to find a way to do that without being too self-critical or giving up. Corey shared some of his performance secrets, such as visualization, which is trickier for water skiers than you might expect. We dove in a bit on how to make it work in such a high speed, non-forgiving sport. 

We also got into his goals for the season, and how he balances family life, his ski school business and his athletic performance. 

The listeners of this podcast are well aware of how much I love to talk about balancing acts, and I think you are going to love this one.

Here’s what Corey has to say about himself:

I began waterskiing at age 3. It was my family's favorite summer pastime. Despite childhood dreams of becoming a professional waterskier, I never could have imagined how this sport and lifestyle would shape my life's path. At age 38, waterskiing remains a primary narrative in the story of my life. In fact, the waterski story may, indeed be reaching its climax. So I find myself, working to balance parenthood, partnership, business and my athletic endeavor at all times. There's never a dull moment.

·      Balancing work and life as a professional water skier.

·      Learning and growth through self-reflection and honesty.

·      Self-criticism and growth in water skiing.

·      How to overcome comfort zone limitations in skiing through trust and small steps.

·      The importance of regular check-ins for progress and accountability in learning new skills.

·      Skiing performance and mental preparation for Moomba.

·      Visualization techniques for skiing, incorporating tactile sensations for better timing.

·      Balancing professional waterskiing and family life while maintaining business growth.

·      Mental preparation for water skiing competitions.

·      Finding balance between perfectionism and flexibility in ski training.

·      Mental preparation for golf, focusing on mindset and confidence.

·      Cultivating internal confidence and harmony in sports performance.

·      Improvisation and staying in sync while waterskiing.

·      Improving productivity and reducing stress through mindfulness and prioritization.

·      Skiing goals and qualifying for the Masters tournament.

·      Quitting alcohol for personal growth and self-awareness.

·      The negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption and the importance of breaking the cycle.

·      Parenting, goals, and staying motivated.

·      Skiing, personal growth, and community support.