"Enjoy the process, that day to day, the days in and the days out."
Enjoy the process, that day to day, the days in and the days out. — Rowan McDonnell
Rowan McDonnell (IG: @rowan757 YT: Rowan McDonnell) is a content creator, owner of the American Ultimate Academy, and captain of the DC Breeze, a professional ultimate frisbee team that plays in the American Ultimate Disc League (a.k.a. AUDL, the ultimate frisbee version of the NBA). He was recently named captain of the 2019 AUDL All-Star Team and was also the 2018 MVP of the league.
Aside from his stellar career as one of the best athletes to play ultimate frisbee, Rowan is also known for his frisbee trick shots (my personal favourite: waffle fries) and as the guy who can throw a frisbee 80 different ways. He also documents his life as a semi-pro athlete on his YouTube channel.
Rowan has incredible dedication to furthering the sport of ultimate. His focus on the craft of ultimate and business, coupled with his vision for the sport and his company is inspiring.
I coach middle school kids and the best thing about Rowan is that you can watch this highlight reel and when kids inevitably ask, 'How do these guys get that good?' you can send them to Rowan's how-to channel." — Random guy on Reddit
- Listen to it on Apple Podcasts
- Stream by clicking here
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “Save As”
In This Episode We Talk About
People spend a lot of time [trying] to do everything the right away... But really, there's not rules… Instead of following somebody else's structure, do what you want to do. Be yourself. - Rowan McDonnell
- Why I call him the “Steph Curry of ultimate” (because I totally just made that up)
- Rowan’s thoughts on the the original frisbee trick shot pro, Brodie Smith, and why Brodie went viral
- The ups and downs of being a semi-pro athlete and how that parallels with being an entrepreneur and content creator
- Rowan’s advice for other athletes or artists who want to build an audience and make a living doing what they love
- How Rowan got started with trick throws by accident (and what that has to do with pizza pies and waffle fries)
- How many of his 40+ throws does he actually use in an ultimate game?
- What he would teach the old Rowan before he put out his first trick shot video (and how he runs a YouTube business even without a “big personality”)
- How getting cut from his D3 college basketball team led him to ultimate frisbee
- His biggest failure that almost made him quit ultimate frisbee (and what he learned from it)
- How he talks himself into doing stuff he doesn’t want to do, the struggles and growing pains of scaling a business, and when he felt that his work would actually take off
- How he told his family he wanted to play ultimate professionally and how he describes what he does
- How he stays organized amidst everything he has to do and what he eats for breakfast every day
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Rowan
- Can the MVP of D.C.’s pro ultimate Frisbee team raise the sport’s profile? by The Washington Post’s Harrison Smith
- All the Ways to Throw a Frisbee
- Jay Williams on Kobe’s insane work ethic
- Ultimate frisbee
- American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL)
- The Pizza Pie
- Positions in ultimate (handler, cutter, hybrid)
- Premiere Pro
- 1000 True Fans
- How to Start an Interview Podcast: All the Software You Need (My podcasting setup)
- Anders Ericsson’s “10,000 hours” paper
- Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Enjoy it while you’re doing it. If I didn’t enjoy what I was doing — playing ultimate frisbee three days a week and every now and then making a YouTube video — then there’s no way I would have made it through 2018.” — Rowan McDonnell
- Brodie Smith
- Joshua “Cricket” Marquette
- Lien Hoffmann
- The Cardenas sisters (and this video, too) — the level of athleticism is just out of this world
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