Brodan Thiel ‘13
What was your Question?
That’s still my question today. I’m an athletic director, teacher and coach, and if I didn’t continue to think about that question, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing. It’s what I think about all day long: how can I positively influence as many lives as possible?
In coaching, creating a nurturing, affirming environment will improve performance. If a coach is a drill sergeant it just increases anxiety. A kid’s identity can get beaten down. I want to hear about what’s going on in kids’ heads, so we can deal with it.
What advice would you give a current Quest student?
Don’t chase other people’s dreams. And get outside your comfort zone. Don’t get stuck thinking of yourself in one way. Diversify. Talk to new people every day.
How did Quest help you prepare for your life and career?
The place changed my life. When I started at Quest I didn’t think of myself as an achiever at all. It felt like I was going to battle every day with some of the top academic students from all over the world. When I left, I felt like I could do anything.
What did you talk about in your Quest TEDx talk on March 3?
“How Being Purposefully Minded Can Lead to a Better Life.” You know, I absolutely hated giving presentations at Quest. They were so intimidating. And now here I am giving a TEDx talk!
You were known as a monster on the boards, Brodan. What do you love about rebounding?
I’m fascinated by the grittier side of life. In music, clothing style. Rebounding is gritty. Plus, a great rebounder [like his fave, Dennis Rodman] is someone everyone wants on their team, and no one wants to play against.
What’s your advice on how to overcome a setback?
1. Ask yourself: What attitude am I taking?
2. Focus on knowing yourself, your purpose—how other people may be identifying you doesn’t matter
3. Lean on the people around you: your coach, your tutor, people in the community
4. Build your morals on a solid foundation, but gain knowledge from many sources
5. Remember there are no losses—everything is a win if you treat it like an opportunity
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” — Friedrich Nietzsche