Leadership

Olympic gold medalist: Why mistakes aren't always a bad thing

Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross compete in an AVP match.
Source: AVP
Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross compete in an AVP match.

Even three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings has hit rough patches in her career.

The volleyball champion, regarded by many as one of the sport's best, told CNBC in a recent interview that while she chases perfection, she embraces and learns from her mistakes.

"I think [chasing perfection] is a beautiful thing because I feel like it allows us to have high standards and reach high goals," Jennings said. "That being said, I think it's important to realize that the hard times are absolutely part of the journey and that's where so much growth happens."

"Don't judge yourself too harshly if you make a misstep or make a mistake," -Kerri Walsh Jennings, Professional volleyball player and Olympic gold medalist

Jennings, who will be represent the United States in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said that her recent performance at The Hamburg Major Series seriously discouraged her.

"I had two of my worst matches in a long long time," Jennings said of the series.

"I really pride myself on being consistent, playing at a very high level consistently, and it's been eating me up," she added. "I'm really work to try to turn a corner on this, because I don't want to get stuck at where I was."

Two days after her interview with CNBC, Jennings apparently turned that corner, taking home the gold at the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) New York City Open with partner April Ross on June 19.

Kerri Walsh Jennings, Volleyball Professional
Source: AVP
Kerri Walsh Jennings, Volleyball Professional

Jennings shared some great advice, aimed specifically at young women.

"Don't judge yourself too harshly if you make a misstep or make a mistake," Jennings said. "There's a lot of ways to get to where you want to go, it's not a clean straight line."

"Put your whole heart into something that you love," she added