Crystal Robinson, a Professional and International Athlete, talks about her purpose and challenges in life, accountability, and her rules for success.
I am delighted to be talking to Crystal Robinson, a former WNBA player and coach, author of Finding Myself. As many of you may have already known, Crystal is a retired professional basketball player and coach from southeastern Oklahoma. Also, she was named the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament MVP, both in 1995 and 1996, and has been inducted in the Oklahoma Sports, as well as the NAIA Hall of Fame.
As a coach and educator, Crystal is an outspoken thought leader in mental health, LGBTQ, and leadership.
Finding Myself is a new memoir by Crystal Robinson where she shares her life story with readers in order to inspire them. Furthermore, it was written with the hope that those who are struggling will find inspiration through Crystal’s determination, humility, selflessness, and refusal to let anyone bring her down.
She has an amazing story of how she transitioned from being a professional basketball player and coach and what she does every day to help others make changes in their life. In this blog post, we will dive into her purpose, challenges, and lessons in life, and her rules for success.
Crystal Robinson is out there influencing people around the world with who she is.
Crystal will be launching Finding Myself on April 26th. She wrote the book 15 years ago during the time when she had so many emotions and feelings going on. She just started journaling about her childhood and all these different things that helped her deal with lots of emotions. So she decided to share it in a way that would help others too. She feels that the book bridges gaps for lots of people.
“I’m here today because people do look up to me because of basketball. But that’s not. I feel like I’m underachieving if that’s the only thing people look at me and see.”
“I want to impact lives, I think we were put here for a purpose. And once you start trying to figure out what your purpose is, you kind of become purpose-driven.”
The book is not written about a basketball player. You’re going to read about real-life problems and things that she went through how she figured them out and came to a lot of the things that she is today.
“I think my biggest purpose in life is just to encourage people to own their own stories and be the best self they can be. When you’re really able to look upon yourself, and you look at it through the glasses of emotional intelligence, you understand those things.”
“We go through these ups and downs but that doesn’t make you a bad person. That’s what makes us common – we’re all gonna go through something and they make us better and make us stronger, because better or worse. I know that there are some obstacles I’m going to have to overcome. I’m going to fail some, but if I really want it, I’m going to accept that failure and learn from it. And I’m going to seek out people who can guide me along the way.”
Challenges and Learning from It:
Crystal grew up in a poor and alcoholic family and experienced a lot of different struggles. Then at the age of 47, she had two knee replacements on one leg. She had three major surgeries within four years and walked with a limp for 18 weeks or so. Indeed, athletes go through some major horrendous challenges of their body and their capabilities.
The challenges she faced at a young age just taught her resiliency, and how to keep going.
“We have to make a decision. Most people stop but the successful people keep going. I think people who go on to be successful, find a reason to knock the wall down or to go around it and keep going.”
Crystal talks about Teamwork and Accountability…
“You have to be accountable for your actions at all times. When you blame someone else, you give them power over your life. You have to be accountable for your actions, so you can change them. So if you don’t think that you’re doing it, you can’t fix it.”
“In teamwork, everyone has to be accountable, but people have to be able to be accountable in a safe environment.”
“I have learned in sports, and I think that what carries over into the business world is that teamwork and accountability, and all those things go so much hand in hand.”
Huddle, Sports, and Playing a Better Game:
I love the game of sports! We use the language of sports a lot in my community – Success Circles. We’re all athletes playing in the field of life – it’s about getting into the game. When we see each day as being a game, in this game of life and the game being life’s work in play, there’s more opportunity to make today’s game better than yesterday’s game and tomorrow’s game better than today’s game.
We have a huddle each day, one on one huddle each day. And it’s this idea that every sports game starts with a huddle. When you get in those huddles and you start talking like it gives you energy it gets you ready – gets your mind ready.
From being a WNBA player and coach to inspiring others:
“I think it’s really important to keep personal connections alive and to be resilient with your company’s ups and downs, ins and outs. I would spend a lot of time culture building. Take this time to really understand what the culture is, and work for that goal. It is important that the culture is ingrained in the people. So in sports, I don’t have to yell and get on the younger players as much because the vets know the culture. They’re gonna take care of those problems themselves. So I have my time to put out the big fires. And when it is a problem that nobody can manage, then that comes to me.”
That’s what culture is. It’s the values and the core principles, and everybody adheres to that. When you build cultures where people take care of each other, then then it just takes care of itself. “
Practices Crystal takes on each day to keep her engaged and manage her internal state:
“When I wake up every morning, I show gratitude for the fact that I woke up. I have a little book that gives you some thoughts for the day and their Christian-driven thoughts. And then anytime that I have too much going on, I talk to Susan Hum. She helps me stay on track. She gives me a lot of great insight into things and I bounce a lot of things up for her.”
“Most of us want to feel good and we surround ourselves with people who stroke our egos and constantly tell us how great we are. And we forget how important it is to have someone tell us the truth.”
My Final Thoughts:
I wouldn’t be where I am in my life if there weren’t people holding me accountable, reminding me of all those things, and being right to the point and how they feel about me.
So if you want to connect with Crystal Robinson you could find her at [clickable links available below]:
Facebook: Crystal Robinson
Grab a copy of Crystal Robinson’s New Memoir by clicking the link: Finding Myself
If you missed our last episode, click here to watch: Rules for Success with Dr. Richard Kaye.