Tigers Win is a place for conversations about excellence. Each episode, we'll pick the brains of LSU coaches, student athletes, staff members, or alumni about the routines, habits, tools, mindsets, and attributes they've utilized to excel in their crafts. Hundreds of champions walk the stately oaks and broad magnolias of the Ole War Skule every year. This is your chance to get inside the mind of world class performers, learn what makes them elite, and how you can apply their lessons to your life and develop your own winning mentality.
Gavin Dugas, Devin Fontenot, and Ma'Khail Hilliard could all be pros right now. But the hiring of Jay Johnson and the potential to leave a larger legacy at LSU proved too much for them to pass up. The trio are back at the spearhead of The ReBoot of LSU Baseball, as the best program in the sport looks to make its way back to Omaha as quickly as possible and stay there as long as possible. On today's episode, recorded this summer on Twitter Spaces, we catch up with three players with three very different journeys to LSU and at LSU, but three players whose visions of championship contention are singular and unified ahead of a 2022 baseball season with plenty of potential for history-making.
26 min 22 sec
Our first guest on season 2 of Tigers Win is LSU Soccer head coach Sian Hudson. In just her second season, Coach Hudson has led the Tigers to a 7-0 start, a No. 6 national ranking, and a school record 10 consecutive victories dating back to the spring. The key to success? Belief. Belief brought her to LSU. Belief carried the team through a eight-game winless streak to start her time in Baton Rouge. Belief kept them bought into a new system of fluid possession when things didn't click at first. And belief has them playing better soccer than just about anybody in the country. We spoke on Tuesday, September 14 ahead of a Friday, September 17 matchup with Mississippi State to start SEC play. After that conversation, you'll hear the outro music, followed by our conversation from September of 2020, when the Tigers were set to start a COVID-delayed SEC-only fall schedule. I added it as a bonus segment because we referenced it so often in this episode, and because it gives great perspective on how Coach Hudson's vision has turned into reality. After that conversation, you'll hear the outro music, followed by our conversation from September of 2020, when the Tigers were set to start a COVID-delayed SEC-only fall schedule. I added it as a bonus s egment because we referenced it so often in this episode, and because it gives great perspective on how Coach Hudson's vision has turned into reality. Show Notes: (0:00) - Intro (3:32) - Welcome (5:04) - Selling the Vision (6:27) - Building a Website (11:27) - Goal Setting (13:12) - Belief and Chemistry (16:13) - Turning Point (19:34) - Springboard (22:39) - Training Sessions (24:42) - Goal Scoring (26:24) - Identity (28:29) - Preparation (31:21) - Tactics (33:25) - Standards (35:10) - Aesthetics (37:31) - Revenge About Tigers Win: Tigers Win is a podcast about excellence. Each episode, we'll pick the brains of LSU coaches, student athletes, staff members, or alumni about the routines, habits, tools, mindsets, and attributes they've utilized to excel in their crafts. Hundreds of champions walk the stately oaks and broad magnolias of the Ole War Skule every year. This is your chance to get inside the mind of world class performers, learn what makes them elite, and how you can apply their lessons to your life and develop your own winning mentality.
1 hr 5 min
Note: JuVaughn's Olympics begin Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. CST (high jump qualifying) and continue Saturday morning at 5:10 a.m. CST (long jump qualifying). The men’s high jump final will take place at 5:10 a.m. CT on Sunday morning (July 31) and the long jump finals are 15 hours later at 8:20 p.m. CT Sunday evening. JuVaughn Harrison isn't just one of the greatest athletes in LSU history. He's among the very best in the world. No one in America jumps higher or farther than Mr. Jumps, and we will find out this weekend if anyone in the world can out-jump Harrison, who will become the first man since Jim Thorpe in 1912 to represent the U.S. in the high and long jump at the Olympics. Harrison is set to take flight on the world stage in the high jump on Friday, July 30 and in the long jump Saturday, July 31. It's a rare combination – jumpers tend to specialize in one or the other, because the skillsets required are vastly different – but Harrison is a rare athlete. Before taking off for Tokyo, he joined us, via Zoom, from Bernie Moore Track Stadium to talk about preparing for the Olympics, making his mom proud, and how fast food fuels his flights.
30 min 14 sec
There is no shortage of former LSU athletes who have become media stars. From Shaq and Booger to Ryan Clark and Marcus Spears, LSU practically owns TV. Those tentacles touch every part of sports media, as today's guests can testify. Former Tiger football standouts Jacob Hester and T-Bob Hebert parlayed their successes in purple and gold to post-football media careers. After different journeys, they've come together as the hosts of Off The Bench on 104.5/104.9 ESPN in Baton Rouge. Today, we talk about those journeys -- their shared season during the 2007 national championship, their varied careers after football, and the vulnerability of creating content for a vast audience. Warning: some slight profanity on this episode. Nothing major, but a heads up.
58 min 44 sec
Every path to the Olympics is unique. Part of that is sheer math. It's highly unlikely that all 10,000+ athlete who represent their countries every fourth summer are going to share tons of biographical overlap. But Brooks Curry's story is especially interesting. He's the under-recruited, highly-doubted, mullet-haired, jorts-creating-and-sporting surprise of the USA Swimming setup this summer, a Georgia kid who found his way to LSU and then to an SEC Championship and finally to the Olympics. What a delight this conversation was, from the story of how he dreamed of making the Olympics -- although maybe not quite this soon -- to why he bought thrift store jorts and covered them in purple and gold paint, a perfect fit for national television after shocking the world.
37 min 39 sec
Jay Johnson is a great interview. But he's ready to stop talking and get to work. That's the vibe I got when he wrapped up his home run of a press conference on Monday, impressing the thousands of Tiger fans watching from home as he sold his vision of the program. But Johnson loves to win, and to him that means What's Important Now. And what's important now is getting his roster and staff finalized and preparing for a run at Omaha. Not in two years or three years. Next year. Because he's ready to win. And he's ready to work. Thankfully, we caught him for 25 minutes Monday and asked him about his background in coaching, recruiting and developing Kris Bryant, teaching the mental skills of baseball, and his vision for the Tigers moving forward. Enjoy this conversation, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we will be dropping clips from the interview all week.
26 min 9 sec
I don't envy Jay Clark. It's difficult enough to replace a legend. Add a global pandemic to the mix, and you couldn't ask for a more difficult stage to debut as LSU's head gymnastics coach. But Clark took everything in stride in his first year, leading the Tigers back to the national championships and to the brink of Four on the Floor. Only a few minor stumbles prevented LSU from national championship contention on the final day. That's at the forefront of Clark's thinking as he heads into his first normal-ish off-season at the helm. He'll bring back tons of experience in 2021-22, add a loaded recruiting class, and welcome an incredible home schedule. All that, and more, on today's episode.
29 min 45 sec
Kim Mulkey is hungry. Not just for po-boys and Ponchatoula strawberries -- though she's missed them dearly during her time away from Louisiana. She's hungry to win, and that appetite has never been satiated. Not after three championships as a head coach, two as a player, and one as an assistant. Not after an Olympic gold medal in 1984 or more than 600 career wins since 2000. Mulkey also senses a hunger in Louisiana, as she comes back home to take over the reins at LSU after 21 years away from her home state. Why return now? For the same reason she left then: God's timing. Outline: 1:09 - Intro 6:00 - Campus security secures a new coach 8:40 - From Player to Coach 10:40 - Title IX Icon? 12:26 - Earning her trust 14:22 - Coming home 16:17 - Leaving Baylor 19:50 - First step vs. final step 20:39 - Kramer's Mom 22:47 - Early LSU memories 23:51 - Getting started 25:00 - Michael Jordan?!? 28:39 - 1 on 1 with Emily Dixon
40 min 19 sec
Here are some facts about Kristen Nuss: She's arguably the best athlete on LSU's campus, if not the entire country. She's the winningest collegiate beach volleyball player ever. She's as competitive and focused as Joe Burrow and as athletically gifted as Ja'Marr Chase. She never planned any of this. Nuss' path to historic heights at LSU was unplanned and followed a unique path. But hard work, natural ability, and perfect timing has taken her to places she never imagined. Now, there's one thing left to do: win the whole damn thing. Watch the full interview on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38mx8XZPbEY
32 min 42 sec
Russell Brock has spent the last several years building a program from the ground up. There's only one thing left to do. On today's installment of Tigers Win, we talk with LSU's Beach Volleyball head coach about building a championship contender and taking the last step from contender to champion. We also discuss the mental game as championship season approaches, controlling chaos, prioritizing in crunch time, and the greatness of Kristen Nuss.
41 min 41 sec
A special bonus episode of Tigers Win today, as Chris Blair sits down with Director of Athletics Scott Woodward after a big week in LSU Athletics. Up for discussion is the hiring of Kim Mulkey, the expansion of outdoor sports to 100% capacity, and more. Enjoy, and please don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review. More episodes of Tigers Win coming very soon!
24 min 34 sec
Who knows perfection better than Ashleigh Gnat? Nine times in her decorated career as an LSU gymnast, Gnat scored a perfect 10, tied for the most in school history. That's not to mention her 17 All-American honors, her 2017 national championship in the floor exercise, and the multitude of honors, awards, and trophies to her name. But Gnat's perspective on perfection is unexpectedly refreshing: "Perfect isn't even perfect." As in, perfection is subjective, a moving target, a line in the sand that keeps getting washed over by the waves. I wanted to talk to Gnat about perfection, but the conversation ended up in a bigger and better place. We discussed transitions, the intersection of journeys, learning from the people around you, perception vs. reality, how gymnastics is as much art as it is sport, the 2021 LSU Gymnastics squad's postseason hopes, and so much more.
44 min 6 sec
Beth Torina is a coach's coach. I grew up around coaches and work around them daily. I would put Coach Torina at the top of the list, when it comes to building team culture and generating buy in among her LSU Softball players. This conversation is exactly what I envisioned when I started this podcast: learning expertise -- in this case, team building and tone setting -- from an absolute expert. If you're a coach, or an athlete, or simply a leader looking to generate more engagement from those you lead, this is the conversation for you. Show outline 6:29 - Leaning into Louisiana culture 9:50 - Balancing work and play 11:25 - Mentality as a player vs. as a coach 16:08 - The importance of shared language in a team 18:51 - Favorite team themes over the years 21:03 - #MakeItCount 22:57 - Team buy-in 25:39 - T.I.G.E.R.S. Traits 28:08 - Very Superstitious 32:07 - Coping with COVID 35:01 - Routines
36 min 50 sec
Ryan Clark just signed a new contract with ESPN, reaffirming his status as one of sports television's premier figures. The same things that make Ryan a compelling and insightful analyst are the same things that make him an excellent guest on today's show. He's honest. He's blunt. He's strong in his opinions. These are also qualities that rub some people the wrong way. I know -- I was one of them, at first. But what I've learned from working with Ryan and developing a relationship with him is this: you'll never meet someone so transparent. What he feels, he reveals. He will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. If you don't have a friend like that, find one. Until then, enjoy this episode, and see what you can learn from Ryan. He talks about the power of being honest, with yourselves and with others, and how important it is to be open to new ideas, even when they contradict your opinions. He also discusses how he thought his career was done after his senior season, leveraging his platform for positive growth, and how LSU has taken over sports television. You may not agree with everything Ryan says. That's okay. If I've learned anything from Ryan, it's that agreement isn't necessary. Listening -- with empathy, with respect, and with an open mind -- is the only requirement if you want to improve yourself and the people around you.
47 min 28 sec
No one in the game has more wins than Paul Mainieri. LSU's head baseball coach is nearing 1,600 for his career, so I couldn't think of a better first guest for a podcast about winning than Coach Mainieri. Even better is that he has as many stories as he does victories. On today's show, we talk about milestones, mentors, leaving LSU to find out how good he was as a player, and coming back to find out how good he was as a coach. For a full transcript of the episode, click here. Show outline: Milestones [1:11] The value of taking the long route [5:21] Why he went into coaching [7:40] The Humble Wall [9:44] Mentors [12:45] Why he left LSU after his freshman season [14:06] Learning from failure [18:33] Tough love [23:45] Striving for perfection [25:40] Success vs. Confidence [31:10] Why he came back to LSU as a coach [36:05] The Magic of LSU [39:00] What success looks like in the future [42:25] Paul Mainieri Bio Mainieri has guided the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series national championship and five CWS appearances. During Mainieri’s tenure, LSU has captured a remarkable 30 team championships, including the 2009 NCAA title, eight NCAA Regional championships, five NCAA Super Regional championships, four Southeastern Conference championships, six SEC Tournament titles and six SEC Western Division crowns. Mainieri has a 1,467-752-8 (.661) record in 38 seasons of collegiate coaching at St. Thomas University (1984-88), Air Force (1989-94), Notre Dame (1995-2006) and LSU (2007-present). He is No. 1 on the career wins list for active NCAA coaches and No. 9 in all-time NCAA wins, and he is one of only six coaches in NCAA history to have won over 1,400 games and a national championship. Mainieri is 603-260-3 (.698) at LSU, and he has the third-highest winning percentage in SEC history, trailing only former LSU coach Skip Bertman, who was 870-330-3 (.724) from 1984-2001, and former South Carolina coach Ray Tanner, who posted a 738-316 (.700) mark from 1997-2012. Mainieri earned his 600th LSU win on March 6, 2020, when the Tigers defeated UMass Lowell in Alex Box Stadium. Mainieri became just the 12th coach in SEC history – and the second at LSU – to compile 600 wins at a league school. Under Mainieri, the Tigers earned an NCAA Tournament National Seed in six consecutive seasons from 2012-17, making LSU and Stanford (1999-2004) the only schools in NCAA history to capture six straight National Seeds. Since 2008, LSU has earned nine NCAA Tournament National Seeds, the second-best mark in the country over the past 13 seasons.
46 min 45 sec
Tigers Win: The latest podcast from LSU Athletics
1 min 34 sec