Caroline Burckle, RISE Athletes & Being MORE Than Just an Athlete

Young athletes perform better when they are given the freedom, encouragement, and support to explore themselves holistically. That’s a key takeaway from this week’s guest, former Olympic swimmer Caroline Burckle, who now works to partner young athletes with Olympians. That message is also at the core of her and her partner’s business model.

Giving former Olympians the chance to mentor young people helps them with their transition out of athletics (or out of full-time athletics) and allows young people to have access to a high-level athlete and all of their experience.

People are complex, with many different areas of need that have to be fulfilled in order to live their best lives. For young athletes, it can be tough when the message is that they need laser-focus on a single sport in order to perform. Burckle says yes, they do need that, but they also need to have a life outside sports where they can work on developing the human being inside, as well.

Diversifying their experiences also helps set them on the path to success in the future, as they can choose from many skillsets at different times in life.

What You’ll Learn

  • Embrace a variety of skillsets in young people
  • Encourage young athletes to have a life outside sports
  • Support young people having access to mentorship opportunities
  • Understand that young people — and their passions — will change as they grow
  • As a transitioning athlete, turn to service and giving back to ease the change


“That transition from being an athlete and that identity if I clung to that identity as an athlete, then I wasn’t able to do what I was able to do to start a business. If I would have clung to to only starting a business and not used the tools I had as an athlete, then that also was detrimental. So, it was about embracing both of those identities and knowing that the more you cling to one and one only is when the downfall occurs because you’re not honoring the space for all the things that you are capable of.” -Caroline Burckle

“They can do both. They can have both. And where their focus goes is based upon that time in their life where they know what they need to focus on. But it’s that innate understanding that you can be more than one thing in life. You can have more than one passion and still succeed in one thing, too.” -Caroline Burckle

“I haven’t known an athlete yet that has not had a healthy life outside of their sport and performed well.” -Caroline Burckle

“There’s something that has to feel understood and whole and complete and it always comes back to I am enough, I have gifts in order to deliver to this world athletically, personally, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and those things, if they’re believed, are the key to performance success.” -Caroline Burckle

“You’ll perform better at a higher level if you can dive into yourself and understand who you are at the core and why you are meant to be here doing the thing you’re doing. That set of beliefs and that core confidence does create the peak performance you’re looking for.” -Caroline Burckle

“You want these kids to be successful in whatever they do in life and understanding who they are is a big piece of that.” -Jake Thompson


You can follow Rise online at and on social media @riseathletes. You can follow Caroline Burckle on social @caroburckle.

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Episode 11