In a Nutshell: Achieving peak performance requires hard work. The great coaches learn to inspire their teams to want to work hard rather than making them work hard.

Guest: Valorie Kondos Field, who coached the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team to 7 NCAA Championships, 22 Regional Championships, and 18 Pac-12 Championships. A four-time National Coach of the Year, “Miss Val” was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.


My Key Takeaways:

  1. Inspire change. Great leaders and coaches help people achieve things they can’t achieve on their own.
  2. Embrace gratitude. Being grateful for every opportunity helped Valorie overcome some major professional and personal challenges.
  3. “Success is simply peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your best.” This quote from basketball legend John Wooden led Valorie to stop obsessing about winning and start appreciating the journey of improvement.

Also Learn:

  1. Why Valorie’s gymnasts took personality self-assessment tests every year.
  2. How Valorie helped gymnast Katelyn Ohashi rediscover the joy of competing and performing at the highest level.
  3. What kinds of cues Valorie and her teams developed to snap all their preparation into place at the crucial moment.

Complementary podcast: Michael Gervais developed Compete to Create with his business partner, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. We talked about the importance of training the mind as well as the body for high performance. Listen/read here.

Resources Featured In This Episode

Valorie Kondos Field

Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance: Advice and Inspiration from the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame Coach of 7 NCAA Championship Teams by Valorie Kondos Field