Episode 61: Carma and Tony Poppens on Farming, Family, and Fatigue

Along with all the negative, you need some positive reinforcement.
— Carma Poppens
Nothing is ever easy, for me, it’s the same as farming… you keep doing the job until it’s done. Role modeling, doing by example is worth more than words.
— Tony Poppens

In this episode Kathy is joined by Carma and Tony Poppens, the proud parents of retired professional basketball player Chelsea Poppens. Chelsea began her career playing AAU basketball beginning the summer of her seventh-grade year. During that time the family spent summers on the road together, driving one hour and ten minutes to practice twice a week! They were gone many weekends, slowing down during her Junior year of high school after fatigue and burnout took their toll. She went on to attend Iowa State for four years and played professional basketball after her ISU season was done. She finished her career at age 27 in December of 2018. Carma and Tony live on a farm in Aplington, Iowa. After many dedicated years in the stands, it was difficult for them not to be able to attend all of her professional games overseas, but they enjoyed reading about and watching her games online! Chelsea holds an impressive record at Iowa State, being one of only two players to achieve more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in the history of the Iowa State women’s basketball program. She was drafted in the second round of the WNBA and played for the San Antonio Stars. Carma and Tony discuss Chelsea’s experiences growing up on a farm and her determination and dedication to play. They credit her competitive nature, ability to return to sports after long seasons, and “never give up” attitude with her sports performance. Unlike many professional athletes, Chelsea did not spend her early years specializing in basketball, but played soccer and ran on the state level in track and field at the high school level. In addition, her upbringing living on a working farm and being coached by both Tony and Carma contributed to their close family dynamic. In her four years at Iowa State, Tony only missed attending two (home and away) games! Their family is such an incredible example for other sports parents, and they advise parents in the thick of trying to find a good balance to listen to their children, especially allowing independence in their drive and dedication to reach their individual goals. If you enjoy the show, please like, share, and rate us in your favorite place to listen. Kathy would also love to hear from you! Connect with her on social media @sportpsychworks and through https://www.kafcounselingandsportperformance.com/contact.