Olympic Champion and Network TV Sports Commentator
In 1976, John Naber became the most highly decorated member of the US Olympic Team, winning four gold medals and one silver, and setting four world records in the sport of swimming. In the process, he became the first swimmer in Olympic history to win two individual medals on the same day. In 1977 he led his school (the University of Southern California) to his and their fourth consecutive undefeated season and national title, and won the James E. Sullivan award as the nation’s outstanding amateur athlete.
Quickly moving to broadcasting, John Naber worked for all the major networks and almost every cable channel covering his sport at local, national, and international meets. In 1984 he was inducted into the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame, just two days before he carried the Olympic torch, and later the Olympic flag into the Los Angeles Olympic Opening Ceremony. In 1986, John Naber began working as a play by play announcer, covering sports as varied as motorcross, skiing, gymnastics, football, bowling and equestrian events. He has hosted coverage for over 34 different sports, and for seven Olympic Games.
As a keen observer of excellence, John Naber has discovered the method by which champions in all walks of life use to reach their goals, and he shares this process along with his personal insights to audiences all over the globe.
In a nationwide USA TODAY poll, John was elected as the male captain of the “100 Golden Olympians,” an all star collection of America’s greatest Olympic Champions. He is also the President of the US Olympians, the alumni association of America’s athletes. Naber has written articles for various publications, and even produced his own competitive swimming instructional video program. His book is entitled Awaken the Olympian Within: Stories from America’s Greatest Olympic Motivators.
As a volunteer, John Naber has assisted the International Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs, national and local YMCA’s and the Women Sports Foundation, and as president of the AAF Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, he raised over six million dollars to build one of the greatest outdoor competition pools in the country.
Pursuing Victory with Honor
(Ethics and Character Speech, 60 Minutes) John Naber’s “Pursuing Victory with Honor” keynote gently guides audiences through the dangerous pitfalls of ethical rationalizations and peer pressure. In our competitive climate, learning how to make wise choices and having the courage to stand by them, is an overlooked skill set. Naber uses the unthreatening background of athletic fair play to teach “Character Driven Accomplishment” and the means to a life worthy of admiration. He shows how to compete in today's cutthroat business environment, without sacrificing good character.
The Heroic Effort
(Being at your best, even in difficult times, 60 Minutes) The greatest Olympic stories rarely consist of easy victories. The best tales of Olympic heroism usually involve a triumph over some remarkable adversity. What do Olympians know that the rest of us overlook? Olympic champion and Hall of Fame inductee, John Naber, has studied the Olympian mindset for over three decades, and he is ready to teach you how to think and act like an Olympic champion in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Naber shares five different strategies implemented by various Olympic champions to ignite passion, optimism and effective action in any field. Naber explains how to 1) view difficulties as puzzles instead of obstacles, 2) be proactive not reactive, 3) create a sense of urgency, 4) discern important information from the clutter, 5) distinguish productivity from activity, 6) discover the strength to keep trying one moment longer, and 7) take small but significant action even when feeling over-whelmed.
Eureka: Innovation Changes Everything!
(Innovation & Creativity, 60 Minutes) John Naber’s discoveries about the source of innovation, and his talk filled with examples from Olympic sport, teaches audiences how to maximize their creative thinking, and how to draw on “Olympic level desire” to find effective solutions to everyday problems. Audiences learn how to trust their instincts, be quick to embrace new technologies, look at problems from different perspectives, and how to leapfrog ahead of the competition by adding innovation on top of innovation.
The Gold Medal Process
(Inspirational Keynote Address, 60 Minutes) Using Olympic anecdotes to make his points, John Naber’s eight-step “Gold Medal Process” keynote has taught audiences the Olympian secrets of visualization, goal setting, strategic thinking, hard work, problem-solving and performing under pressure. His talks are customized for each audience, and his humorous and thought-provoking “gold medal” delivery leaves a lasting impact. When he brings his Olympic video footage and an actual Olympic torch, even the most jaded of members in the audience get caught up in the “Five Ring Fever.”
Awaken the Olympian Within
(Interactive Workshop, from 2-4 hours) John Naber offers an interactive workshop (with non-athletic contests of skill and creativity) designed for team building and teaching valuable business skills using activities with a purpose. This seminar is a refreshing change of pace from a standard auditorium lecture and can involve locally based Olympic athletes demonstrating the “Olympic mind-set” of competitive enthusiasm, effective leadership and creative problem solving.
All John Naber Books
Eureka: How Innovation Changes the Olympics, and Everything ElsePurchase Book
Awaken the Olympian Within: Stories from America’s Greatest Olympic MotivatorsPurchase Book
“I congratulate you on the extraordinary speech you gave at our recent meeting. As you undoubtedly have heard, the audience was overwhelmed by not only the substance but the style of your presentation. I agree. In my considerable experience, I have never heard a motivational speaker who incorporated the meeting’s objectives and major emphasis points into the message as effectively as you do. Your ‘Gold Medal Performance’ truly set the gold standard for motivational presentations.”
- Jim Westbury, Producer, | DISNEY BUSINESS PRODUCTIONS
“Your discussion on ‘Eight Steps to Gold Medal Performance’ was right on target… the Win/Win attitude you talked about along with your humorous Olympic stories will surely help all of us become champions in our personal and professional lives.”
- Joe Grimoldi, Category Space Manager | ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC.
"I am frequently asked by speakers we invite to address our managers and members of our sales force elite to write referral letters... as a rule, I do not... well, not this time. It is now months later (from your speech) and I want you to know I continue to hear your message on `No Deposit-No Return.'... I frequently see sales people with their sales goal for the year on a 3x5 card. Your message is a good one. It is energizing and memorable."
- Ian B. Patrick, Manager, Sales Team Development | BOISE CASCADE OFFICE PRODUCTS
"You are the best motivational and practical speaker we have seen in six years of this forum. You spoke in a manner that made the audience want to listen to your message. You took the time to learn about PARAMINS, what makes us "tick", and then incorporated this into your presentation."
- Stan G. Tebbe, Vice President | EXXON CHEMICAL CO./PARAMINS