In a candid and heartfelt discussion, Harvey Galvin shares his personal journey, which is different from the typical narratives of success we often hear about in sport. His story offers a refreshing look at the other side of the coin—the reality that hard work, purpose, and dreams don’t always lead to professional sporting success. Instead, these elements led him to reevaluate his life and make meaningful changes.
Harvey opens up about his own failures in sport and academics. His story is unlike many others that focus solely on the positive outcomes of hard work and perseverance; it showcases how not making it can also provide valuable lessons. He emphasizes that while having a passion and purpose is important, being able to adapt and pivot when things don’t go as planned is equally crucial.
The conversation touches on how fixating solely on a purpose can sometimes be counterproductive. It might lead one to dwell on what they don’t have, rather than focusing on the opportunities in front of them. Harvey also shares how he was strategic in choosing a university and later in gaining experience at the Lawn Tennis Association. However, a lack of communication led to his contract not being renewed, an experience from which he learned.
As Harvey navigated through his journey, he talked about the necessity of making sacrifices and more importantly, understanding which sacrifices are worth making. He also reveals that he has a heart condition, adding another layer of poignancy to his narrative around stress and health.
Contrary to the often-touted mantra that hard work is the key to achieving anything, Harvey argues that it’s equally important to identify what you’re good at. He talks about how keeping a journal helped him through tough times and recalibrated his thought processes. One of the most uplifting parts of Harvey’s story is how the skills he gained while pursuing sports science were easily transferable to other professions.
Towards the end of the conversation, Harvey underscores the importance of asking questions and being a good listener, skills that are invaluable in any industry. His candid sharing provides comfort and guidance to those who may find themselves in similar situations, serving as a humble reminder that success isn’t always defined by the end goal but can also be measured by the lessons learned and the people we become during the journey.
3:17 Conference early bird tickets – you’ve got 4 weeks to book your place at the discounted rate
3:45 Introduction to this week’s interview – Harvey Galvin
5:40 Failing in sport, you always hear about working hard and the successes
10:00 Not asking for help and support and therefore failing my dissertation – the best thing that ever happened to me
11:30 Channelling and building resources in order to work at a voluntary based support sports groups
14:00 Academic sport science courses require additional experience working with actual athletes rather than theoretical
15:45 Having a purpose and a passion is all well and good however being flexible and agile allows acquired skills to be applied to a range of opportunities
17:45 What is your life purpose?
18:25 Focussing on purpose focusses on what you haven’t got and drives you backwards
19:43 The players and the coaches will begin to see the value of sport scientist eventually
22:20 Being strategic and finding a university with greater opportunities
24:19 Gaining experience full time at the Lawn Tennis Association
26:30 A lack of communication leads to a contract at the LTA not being renewed
28:38 Applying for 100s of jobs and not getting an interview
31:38 Making sacrifices, money, location and time understanding which sacrifices are worth making
34:40 Re-evaluating life, trying to be the person you say you are and using actions to back those up
35:50 You can let things happen to you, or you can say that chapters done and start something new
37:30 Having a heart condition and the addition of stress is not a good combination
40:10 ‘Hard work will get you what you want’ is a narrative that makes you feel good, in reality try to find skills that you are talented at hard work isn’t everything
41:39 Habit making and failing to maintain a habit
44:40 The benefits of journaling and writing, particularly when having a thought time unhelpful thoughts can be recalibrated against your previous experiences written down
45:25 Passion is not how you choose your career, it’s what you’re good at
54:30 Key lesson from sales and influencing people: Learning to get out of your own narrative in order to frame you solution
57:40 The skills and hard work required to be successful in sport science are easily transferable to other professions
58:40 Have confidence that you will be able to do something else if the job disappears or changes and you will be ok
59:33 Everything you do is selling, you’re selling your worth
1:00:10 Ask the question, don’t be a mind reader be a sponge
1:02:30 If you can coach, or bring information and distil it making it useful you can do well in any industry
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