It’s a wonder how they’re not brothers, John Mayer and Billy Allen. Similar demeanors – calm, collected, neither too high nor too low. Similar styles of play –- crafty, ball-control-oriented, hyper-efficient. Similar hobbies — reading, coaching, dadding.

Mayer thinks Allen has always been the better of the two. Allen thinks the same about Mayer. Any pandering to the crowd is done mostly in jest, Allen flexing after a float serve ace or a poke kill, though that’s more than Mayer will generally do. He might offer the slightest of smiles.

One of their chief similarities one might notice — and will inevitably notice if you listen to their podcast, Coach Your Brains Out –- is the importance they place on mindset, emphasizing the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

“One thing I’ve learned is that we all have fixed mindsets and we don’t even realize we have fixed mindsets,” Mayer says on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. “It’s really hard and the shift is never ending.”

And neither, it’s become evident, is their improvement.

Mayer, after making just three career AVP finals in his first 11 years on Tour –- it should be noted that he also made a pair of Corona Wide Open finals in 2011 –- made four in 2015 alone, winning in New Orleans with Ryan Doherty. It culminated in him being named AVP MVP.

Allen has seen a similar ascent. From 2004-2015, he failed to make a single AVP final, which set up a breakout pair of seasons in 2016 and ’17, winning his first career AVP in Seattle in 2016 with Theo Brunner and following it up the next year with Stafford Slick. His win with Slick was sandwiched between a pair of finals appearances, the first in New York, where he fell to Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, and then San Francisco, where an injury limited Slick.

Allen and Mayer discuss their ascents, their shifts in mindsets and what their future looks like on SANDCAST.

Popular on SANDCAST:

SANDCAST 10: The Coach Your Brains Out Guys, Part 1
SANDCAST 8: Phil Dalhausser has another mountain to climb
SANDCAST 6: A glimpse into greatness with April Ross, Part 2
SANDCAST 5: A glimpse into greatness with April Ross, Part 1
SANDCAST 2: Ryan Doherty, the Most Interesting Man in Beach Volleyball
SANDCAST 1: The new Tri Bourne: Buddha Tri Bourne

This podcast would not be possible without our generous sponsors from Marriott Vacation Club Rentals, which offer the best vacation accommodations in the world’s best vacation destinations. Wherever you travel… Florida to Hawaii, Europe to California, choose to rest in our luxurious guest rooms, suites or villas for your next getaway. Villas offer all of the comforts of home including a full kitchen, living and dining area and separate bedrooms. Stay with the Marriott name you know and trust.   

Book Big Spaces in Great Places today. Visit

Related Posts


  1. nonchalant
    definition: feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm
    ie – walkaway dig during rally in the finals center court against Loomis


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here