#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.

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