From the Court to the Classroom: Danielle Wiegandt

On a bi-weekly basis, Louisville Women’s Sports posts the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, Realtors ® Business Profile and features a local successful businesswoman with former student-athlete experience.  To learn more about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, visit: www.bhhsparksweisberg.com.

If there is a specific local businesswoman that you’d like to be featured, email future suggestions to conor.revell@gmail.com. This week’s feature is on former Holy Cross star volleyball player Danielle Wiegandt who is now the President at Holy Cross.

1) What is your athletic background (school and/or club) and education (High school-Collegiate)? In high school I played basketball, volleyball and softball at Holy Cross.  Was All-State in basketball in 1994 and All-State in softball in 1995.  Played club volleyball for KJVA (now KIVA).

I went onto play volleyball at Ole Miss and graduated with a B.A.  in English and a minor in Religion. I also got an M.A.T. in Secondary Education with a concentration in English and a M.A.Ed. in Instructional Leadership and School Administration from Bellarmine and I’m currently working on getting a Ph.D. in Education and Social Change, concentration in School Leadership.

2) How did athletics teach you to overcome adversity in the workplace? Athletics has taught me many lessons about life.  Here are just a few:

· It has taught me about discipline.  The older I get the more I realize that success in life is about discipline.  Many people have goals and dreams but do not have the discipline to make them happen.  To be successful in anything it takes a long time—it requires sustained discipline to reach a goal.

· Another thing athletics has taught me is how to work as a team and how to utilize the strengths and talents around me.  Each person can bring something to the team—a leader has to figure out how to best utilize those talents and abilities for the team to function at its highest potential.

· And finally athletics has taught me about the importance of motivation. If you play athletics for long enough you begin to ask yourself “what really is my motivation?”  Is it for the money?  Is it for the fame or notoriety? Is it for other people?  This is something we all have to ask ourselves in what we do in our careers.  Athletics taught me to be motivated by God and to remember that whatever I do is an offering to Him.  The gifts and talents He has given me are a blessing and my “thanks” is utilizing them to the best of my ability.  I give 100 percent at whatever I do not because others are watching, not for a paycheck, but because I want to utilize what I have been given.

3) What was the most challenging point of your athletic career?   The most challenging point in athletics came at the college level.  I went from being a big fish in a little pond to a small fish in an ocean (Southeastern Conference).  The most challenging part of this was to work my tail off in the gym, in the weight room and in the training complex and be passed over for athletes that were just taller and more naturally athletic.  It was a very humbling experience but I learned so much about myself and about life in this.

4) What has been the most challenging point in your professional career?  The most challenging part of my professional career has been balance. One of my greatest strengths is that I love to learn and am naturally curious about life.  I have a hard time saying “no” when opportunities are presented to me.  Finding a way to balance all of this is a challenge. I love working in education and I love sports.  I loved the time that I was able to coach and truly immerse myself into a season.  I also love my family and this is difficult.  As a family we have a busy schedule and as my kids have gotten older I needed to step away from some professional opportunities to be a mom.

5) What is your advice to young student athletes today?     My message to young athletes today is simple:  Love what you do.  When you love playing the game it’s the purest reason for sports.