Jillion Potter

USA Women's Rugby Player

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON February 25, 2016

Discussion

Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
I'm Jillion Potter, co-captain for the USA Women's Rugby 7's team. World Cup Bronze Medalist in 2013. Recently beat stage 3 cancer & currently training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.When I'm not training, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our puppy. I'm grateful to be here-- ask me anything!
Vikki King@vik · Rugby Fan, Artist and Mother
Before Rugby , what were you aspirations? Rugby has expanded your world. Could you tell us about experiencing other cultures, making friends worldwide, the beauty of nature throughout the world, historical places you have visited?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
Before rugby I wanted to play basketball in college and study biology. At the end of the day, I played rugby and finished my degree with a B.S in Exercise Science. Wouldn't change a thing! Rugby has given me the opportunity to travel the world, experience other cultures, and meet new people. I'm so grateful that this was the hand I was dealt.
Kristy Lear Blue@klear_blue
As someone who has also fallen into and in love with rugby the moment I learned about its existence, I believe rugby has a very unique culture and attracts and connects such an amazing community of people. You are a natural leader and therefore the perfect person to introduce the sport of rugby to newcomers. For those that may not be familiar, can you describe and share your thoughts on the unique rugby culture and what makes it different than most sports?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@klear_blue Rugby is unique from other sports because of the community. People with different backgrounds, different shapes, and different goals play the game side by side. Because rugby is such a physical sport, the sacrifices that individuals make on the field as players and as a team create strong bonds. The love of the game transcends cultural differences throughout the world and unites the global rugby community.
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Jillion, CONGRATS ON BEATING CANCER!!! In my opinion, being an athlete requires a very focused discipline to play, and even more discipline to be a co-captain (one that most entrepreneurs don't even have). If you could give yourself advice when you were beginning training years ago, that you realize now could have helped, what would it be? Thank you & Fuck Cancer!
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@mrsharma Nik, thank you! One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can always control how you react to any situation or challenge. Remembering to control what you can will allow you to stay present and focus your energy on things that really make a difference in your life.
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
@jillppotts Absolutely agree! Thank you for the answer!
Marea Blue@mareablue
Is there a rugby player/athlete who really inspired you when you first started playing? What are the things you think you and the team need to improve upon between now and the Olympics to win gold?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@mareablue Most of my inspiration has come from my teammates, and they have all taught me something and inspired me in different ways. The team is continually making progress, and we need to continue to focus on our fitness, fundamentals, and executing our game plan.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Welcome, Jillion! How has tech changed Rugby (if at all)? Are you seeing new products significantly improve how you train and perform as a team?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@rrhoover Hey Ryan, we use an application for coding the games to evaluate performance. Tackling, passes completed, forced errors, and time of possession are examples of the stats we track. GPS and heart rate data are also collected to determine practice/game workload and future strength and conditioning programming.
Laura Gill@laura_gill
Hey Jill! Remember when we were roommates? Those were the good ol' days—just being muddy after practice, eating a giant pot of Matt's mixed ingredient food meal and killing bats. :) My question for you is about getting back into rugby after treatment. I assume it was really hard to meet yourself where you were while still pushing yourself. How did you handle that and find a good balance?
QueenLear@queenleariv · ConnectionAgent-Co-Founder @ButtonPoetry
@laura_gill #RugbyPartiesIncludeAlotOfRunning #RugbyRoommates
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@laura_gill I constantly reminded myself to stay patient. I knew that it would take time for me to regain the strength, fitness, and skill needed to compete on the international level. I was able to find balance by discovering other things I loved outside of rugby like cooking, gymnastics, and yoga.
Vikki King@vik · Rugby Fan, Artist and Mother
What is your secret formula for recovering after a grueling match?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@vik Post game nutrition is essential for recovery, especially during 7's tournaments. My post game routine is: drink a protein shake, stretch, and nap (or horizontal time aka laying down).
QueenLear@queenleariv · ConnectionAgent-Co-Founder @ButtonPoetry
How does it feel being a part of history with this being the first year Rugby has been included in the Olympics since 1924 and the first year for Women's Rugby ever?! 🏉🏉🏉🏉🏆🏅!!
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
It's always awesome to represent team USA but particularly at such a unique venue during a historic time. Of course getting the women's game this kind of visibility at the international, Olympic level will be impactful for all women's sports, but particularly rugby.
Who would you say was your funniest teammate...?!
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@swissbeatz Jane Paar always cracks me up and makes me smile.
@jillppotts Dang, I thought you were going to say me. I guess I set myself up for that... #lesigh.
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@swissbeatz Well - I couldn't say YOU. But yes - you are definitely one of the funniest people I know. haha
Cheryl Vranich Robinson@cheryl_vranich_robinson · Supervisor, Health and Human Services
Jillion, number one you are an inspiration to all with your courage and determination to defeat cancer and go for the Gold! What is your favorite song and why?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@cheryl_vranich_robinson Tough one. I would say right now my favorite song is "Alive" from Sia. Definitely on repeat at the moment.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What personality traits do you think make a great athlete?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@ems_hodge confidence, composure, humility, and strong work ethic.
Katie Wurst@ktrugby4
Hi there friend! Quick question...you've overcome so many challenges....were there times when you felt afraid and how did you manage your fears to keep pursuing your dreams? See you in ATL!!
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@ktrugby4 Acknowledging my fears and maintaining a realistic outlook on those fears helped me manage them. As an example, I still dreamed about making it to the Olympics – but I didn’t let the fear of not realizing that dream stop me from enjoying every day that I got to wake up and be with the people I love.
QueenLear@queenleariv · ConnectionAgent-Co-Founder @ButtonPoetry
Thanks for taking the time to answer questions Jillion! First, congratulations on your recovery from your neck injury and kicking cancer's butt! I am constantly in awe of the fact you trained and kept your eye on the Olympic goal while going through chemo! You are a rockstar and such an inspiration to overcoming... basically anything! Second, you shared an article last year that was celebrating National Women's Day titled "More Women are Playing Rugby than Ever Before" what kind of challenges have you had to overcome being a woman in rugby (or sports in general) and what are your hopes for future rugby generations?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
Having to constantly fight for the same recognition and funding as our male counterparts is always a struggle for women in sports. It's always a challenge to get the same quality in facilities for tournaments and, really, the same amount of respect.
Vikki King@vik · Rugby Fan, Artist and Mother
Tell us about the souvenirs you collect in your travels?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@vik I always try to buy coffee beans from the countries I visit. I LOVE coffee.
Vikki King@vik · Rugby Fan, Artist and Mother
What do you like to do in your leisure time?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@vik When I'm not training or playing rugby I enjoy spending time with my wife and our puppy, Cody. Yoga, hiking, and hanging out at coffee shops are also on the list!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Jillion! Thanks so much for being here today! 🙌Who are some people in your life - professionally and personally that inspire you?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@ems_hodge My wife, Carol is my biggest inspiration and hero.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Given all that's surrounding CTE and football, what is the future of rugby? Specifically, in America.
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@andrewmettinger I don't know much about the head injury statistics in rugby, but concussions are apart of the game. There are protocols in place that help coaches and trainers make decisions about players returning to play safely. Continued research about CTE and concussions will help improve protocol development.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Which league do you think has the best talent for women and men's rugby?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@bentossell I believe that the U.S. is a melting pot full of talented athletes, and as rugby becomes embedded in our culture Team USA will be the team to beat!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Who are your rugby heroes?
Jillion Potter@jillppotts · USA Rugby 7's athlete & Olympic Hopeful
@bentossell I don't have a single rugby hero. I draw inspiration from my former and current teammates.