GREENFIELD — Joshua Medcalf hasn’t always lived the good life. Before owning a towering home that overlooks the ocean in California, Medcalf struggled — like most do — to find his true purpose in life.
Now, however, the author and professional mental trainer is living “the life he was created to live.”
And Greenfield-Central athletes and administrators received a special treat from Medcalf, who resides in San Francisco, on Monday as he visited the school as part of his speaking tour. The tour, which recently began in Indiana, will journey to eight states across the Midwest. He also spoke at Taylor University on Monday evening.
Medcalf, who said he owns two of his dream cars, a Mercedes and Range Rover, waived his average fee of $7,500 and spoke at Greenfield-Central free of charge.
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At times, he has even been paid up to $15,000 to speak for an hour’s time. But he said he doesn’t do it for the money.
Greenfield-Central head basketball coach Michael Lewis saw Medcalf in Milwaukee approximately four years ago while coaching at Delphi High School in Indiana. After hearing Medcalf, 33, would be in Indianapolis this fall, Lewis coordinated with athletics director Jared Manning to get the highly sought-after speaker to town.
Lewis, who is in his third season at Greenfield-Central and seventh year overall as a head coach, said seeing Medcalf was a “watershed” moment in his life.
“He really caused me to think about my philosophy, not only with how I lead my team but also how I lead my life,” Lewis said. “I’ve followed him ever since.
“One thing we are constantly asking our players to do is improve. Anytime I get to improve, not only from an X’s and O’s standpoint, but also improve from a leadership standpoint, I have to act on it. There has been nothing that has served me better than hearing him speak.”
Medcalf, who is the author of the books “Burn Your Goals”, “Chop Wood, Carry Water” and “Hustle,” is also the president of Train 2B Clutch, a company for “mentorship and consulting for people and business committed to maximizing their potential,” according to his website tB2c.com.
In addition to speaking around the country, Medcalf serves as the Director of Mental Training for the UCLA women’s basketball team and the Oregon women’s golf team.
At Greenfield-Central on Monday, though, Medcalf spoke about the process of becoming great with stories from his past. Athletes from various teams, including Lewis’ basketball players, were in attendance. Their eyes were fixated solely on Medcalf as he spoke of overcoming odds, building legacies and “beating on your craft.”
There also were several head coaches of other athletics programs present for the Cougars.
The last story he told was of a 12-year-old kid who took it upon himself to sell individual matchsticks door to door in hopes of making a profit. In theory, the individual matchsticks would total a price larger than he paid in bulk for the entire box.
“You have greatness inside of you,” Medcalf said. “Which can be unleashed by beating on your craft.”
By 17-years-old, that kid started the business known today as IKEA, a multinational group of companies that designs and sells furniture, appliances and other home accessories.
“Please stop getting by with average,” Medcalf said, who lived with his parents for sixth months at the age of 26.
In fact, as a kid, Medcalf’s dad lived in a trailer held together by duct tape before coming an eye surgeon. Medcalf said he dreamed of eating Happy Meals from McDonald’s as a kid, too.
Zach Kennedy, a junior offensive lineman on the Greenfield-Central football team, said he can relate parts of Medcalf’s speech to his own craft on the gridiron.
“If you pursue your dream and work at it every single day, no matter what, prepare for the long term goal and some day it will come,” Kennedy said. “We just go out as a team every day from the beginning and try to work as hard as possible.
“We just go out every day and do it, bust our tails.”
Before his time as a motivational speaker, Medcalf, who currently has more than 28,000 followers on Twitter, had a passion for athletics in high school. He attended Vanderbilt University (Division I) for soccer and later went to Duke University, where he first learned about the art of becoming mentally prepared.
“Life punches every one of us in the face,” Medcalf said. “It doesn’t matter how good of a person you think you are. No one has a rewind button. Once something happens (to you), it doesn’t help but to think that it was in your best interest.
“Everything is an opportunity to learn learn and grow from.”