Mark Heese

Olympic Beach Volleyball Medalist

Mark Heese has travelled the world as a full-time beach volleyball professional, representing Canada at over 200 international tournaments, including three Olympic Games. His unique approach to competition and high performance allowed him to cultivate a personal belief system that not only helped him become the most accomplished beach volleyball player in Canada, but also one of the best in the world. Heese’s many Olympic experiences and solid understanding of what it takes to push limits and greatness makes him a unique and memorable storyteller for every audience he addresses.

Together with his long-time teammate, John Child, Heese has accomplished many firsts for Canadian beach volleyball. He brought home Canada’s first ever bronze medal in volleyball at the inaugural beach volleyball Olympic event in the 1996 Atlanta Games; he won Canada’s first FIVB International World Tour gold medal in Berlin 1996; and he also won silver medals at two World Tour events in 2000, and 2002. Heese has amassed over 40 top-five finishes on the FIVB World Tour, with 16 podium finishes, and an amazing 10 National Championships to his credit.

Heese not only broke height barriers in his sport, but also age barriers, competing on the tour until the age of 38. His inspirational play won his peers over, and they voted him the winner of the 2005 Most Inspirational Player Award.

Since retiring from competition in 2008, Heese has taken his commitment to excellence and applied it to his new project, Maximum Reach. This project includes personal coaching, corporate beach events, keynote speaking, and beach volleyball events and clinics.

What's Your Maximum Reach? You Have What You Need To Get There

Excellence isn’t a switch that we can simply turn on the moment we enter the workplace. The best way to practice getting our best performance on the job is by committing to excellence in all parts of our life. The power of cultivating new daily habits away from the work setting has a contagious effect in leading to better performance on the job.

Let Mark share his simple yet unique approach to high performance as he describes how his well-balanced commitment to being at his best in his various roles as husband, father, coach, and business owner, helped him cultivate self belief and carve out his competitive edge in preparing to compete against the world’s best beach volleyball players.

Mark used his commitment to other priorities in his life – things that most would consider as distractions – and turned them into key components of his training and preparation to be one of the best in the world. Mark will inspire your team to see the importance of making personal commitments to everyday greatness in order to reach their maximum potential in the workplace.

Choosing to Believe - Battling and Conquering Confidence Issues

There is no way we can know just what we are capable of achieving – no way of knowing just what is possible in the world of sport and business. Believing that we can achieve the unrealistic is a difficult perspective to have, especially when we are coming off a poor performance or when we are facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Mark’s three Olympic experiences and 200 tournament career on the international beach volleyball circuit has given him plenty of experience tackling pressure situations and overcoming self-doubt. Let Mark share his engaging stories of resilience and perseverance, as he discusses the art of recovery, managing emotions, and choosing belief.

Opportunity is Coming... Are you Ready? How To Be Prepared For Crunch Time

How many times have you looked back on a performance and thought about what you could have changed or done differently at a certain moment to change the outcome? There are key moments in every performance, whether in sport or in the workplace, that challenge you to be at your best. The greatest performers are not only able to bring awareness to these moments or opportunities, but can also bring the best versions of themselves at the right time to secure the victory.

Mark is well known in the international volleyball community for his commitment to mental preparation. He has finished 5th or better at three consecutive Olympic Games, and has recently helped prepare a young 18 yr. old Canadian athlete to capture Canada’s first ever Gold Medal at the Jr. World Beach Volleyball Championships. Mark can share his strategies with you about how to prepare for crunch time, and then execute at your best when it arrives.

Become a Champion, and Stay a Champion. The Ingredients to Sustainable High Performance

The best performers in their field are not necessarily defined by one or two great performances. But rather, the best are more often remembered for their ability to do it again and again, over long periods of time. This is true in sport or in business. What are the key contributors to getting these top performers to rise above the rest?

And more importantly, what are they doing to keep themselves on top?

Mark was a member of the Canadian National Team for 17 years, and was a fixture in the top ten World Ranking for most of that period. He has three Olympic top five finishes, over 100 top ten international finishes, and 10 National Championship titles, more than any other Canadian beach volleyball athlete. He knew it was much more than his commitment to training the technical aspects of beach volleyball, that helped him achieve so much. Practicing technique and having a strong work ethic are obviously key components, but more importantly, Mark developed his competitive edge from digging a little deeper and developing proper attitudes, unique qualities and different perspectives in order to battle with the best in the world. Mark will share the strategies and formulas that helped him not only rise to the top, but also stay at the top.

How to Win - Even When You Shouldn't. Embracing the Underdog Role

There are some people that just find a way to win despite a bunch of good reasons why they probably shouldn’t. These are your true warriors and the kind of never quit people you want on your team. The skills and qualities that these individuals possess are absolutely skills and qualities that can be practiced and embraced by even the average individual.

Mark knows this more than anyone. As an average athlete, with a hockey player’s body shape, he didn’t even make his grade 10 high school volleyball team. So how could he ever expect to make the National Team, or further to that, step onto the Olympic podium as one of the best beach volleyball players in the world? In a sport where young and tall athletes usually have a distinct advantage, Mark found ways to compete against the world’s best until the age of 39 despite being only 6 feet tall.

Mark proves that competing and winning isn’t all about natural skill, ideal physical attributes, or technical know-how. It’s about choosing belief, fueling the winner’s mindset, developing presence, managing emotions, and committing to be the most resilient. Let Mark show you how to outperform all the giants out there.

Dig Deep Beach Volleyball Adventure - Experiential Beach Volleyball Clinic/Mini-Tourney

Looking for something unique and exciting for your team? Find out what is making Beach Volleyball the hottest ticket at the Olympics, and join Mark on the sand as he leads you through a series of fun, yet challenging, skills and drills. Enjoy the casual atmosphere of the beach, while being introduced to Olympic themed concepts and team building challenges, sure to energize and inspire your team. Mark doesn’t just provide you the basics of bumping, setting, and spiking, but also will help your team understand the importance of “being ready”, “having presence”, and “going for it”! The beach adventure can be customized to suit the theme of your event and can accommodate small or large groups.

The event could include the following:

  • Keynote speech by Mark after beach event (either at beach location or nearby restaurant)
  • Mini-Tournament or Challenge Cup
  • Winning Trophy – team prizes
  • Beach Bag for each participant – customized branding, filled with beach accessories
  • Pro Athlete assistants – male and female
  • Olympic Medal Viewing and Photo Opportunities
  • Autograph Card signings
  • Catered snacks and refreshments
  • Indoor Beach Volleyball environments
  • Sunny destination locations

What will start off as another day at the beach, will quickly turn into the corporate event of the year that will leave a lasting impression on your team.