APB is a Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Speaking to the World

Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta

Austin  Hatch

Austin Hatch

Helping Teams & Individuals Overcome Adversity


Austin Hatch's story is one of tragedy, incomprehensible loss and triumph. On Labor Day of 2003, Hatch and his family were flying from northern Michigan to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. As they were preparing to land, the aircraft crashed and burst into flames. His father threw him out of the plane to save his life. However, when his father went back into the flames to get the rest of the family, they did not survive. Read More >

Hatch and his father grieved the loss of their family members but found ways to keep living in the midst of the incomprehensible pain. They pushed each other to overcome, and eventually, his dad met a lovely woman named Kimberley, who had three kids of her own. They got married and together, formed a wonderful blended family. Meanwhile, Hatch worked hard on his basketball skills and began to have success on the court.

His dream was to play for The University of Michigan. On June 15, 2011, Coach Beilein offered him a full scholarship to play basketball for The University of Michigan, which he accepted. It was a dream come true. Nine days later, on June 24th, 2011, his father and “second mother” were flying to Northern Michigan to have a weekend of celebration. As they were preparing to land, the aircraft crashed, and his dad and second mom were killed on impact. Hatch suffered severe injuries and was nearly killed.

After being in a coma for over two months, Hatch had to relearn how to walk and talk. With the help of many incredible doctors, therapists, his family and friends, he made a great comeback to take the place at The University of Michigan that Coach Beilein held open for him. Ten years later, he graduated from The University of Michigan and is a full time motivational speaker with a message about Grit & Thriving in the midst of adversity.

It has been said that Grit is working hard for a long period of time. Grit is about consistency over the long term, not just intensity in the short term. That’s true, but how can we apply Grit to our daily lives? How can we use Grit to help us achieve any goal we set for ourselves and for our organizations? Hatch believes the following definition applies to, not only overcoming adversity, but to accomplishing any goal, as well.

There are four key components to Grit, but he believes Grit is driven by having a Greater Purpose for why we do what we do. If we are working just for ourselves, it is very likely that we will eventually face some form of adversity that will cause us to give up because we don’t have a driving force for why we do what we do. If we are working for something bigger than ourselves, Hatch believes we will always do what it takes to get the job done, no matter the task and no matter the circumstances. Our Purpose drives Grit.

Hatch believes that part of the reason he survived two plane crashes, endured tragic losses and made a great recovery, is to help others. He has been sharing his story and message about Grit & Thriving in the midst of adversity to inspire others to overcome the adversity they are facing. We all face challenges every day, and he believes that it is his purpose to help others find ways to thrive in the midst of them. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Miraculous: The Austin Hatch Story

Take Pride in Your Role

Plane Crash Survivor Talks About His Recovery

Enjoy the Journey

Speech Topics

Grit & Thriving

Growth Mindset is the first component of Grit. The Growth Mindset believes every setback, every failure every adversity, is an opportunity. Adversity is opportunity in disguise. Even when we inevitably fall short of a goal, the Growth Mindset does not believe that is a permanent condition. We can use it as an opportunity to get better. Adversity does not define us. Adversity can refine us if we approach it with the Growth Mindset. The event will probably not be a source of growth, but I believe we can grow from how we choose to respond. Read More >

Resilience, the second component of Grit. If we make the decision to be Resilient, we take Massive Action in the face of adversity. It took Massive Action to go from a coma to playing for Michigan. Hatch believes achieving our goals in the midst of challenges is the result of making the decision to be resilient, the result of taking Massive Action.

Integrity, the third component of Grit. In the context of overcoming adversity, or working to achieve any goal, Hatch believes Integrity is about following through on our commitments, especially when our circumstances change. We owe it to ourselves, to the person we made the commitment to and collectively, we owe it to the team to always do what we said we would do, especially when there is a change in circumstance. Integrity is doing the common things in an uncommon way, consistently. The result of doing the common things in an uncommon way is we’ll leave people and places better than we found them.

The Team First Mentality is the final component of Grit. We won’t achieve anything significant without a great team. Hatch believes we should always think about our teammates first. We should train ourselves to think We before Me. Every person on every team has a role and that role is very important. If we do our very best to fill our role to the best of our ability, the only impact we will have on our team is a positive impact. Read Less ^