Learn more about Valorie Kondos Field:
How did Valorie Kondos go from being a professional ballet dancer and choreographer, to one of the most successful gymnastics coaches in NCAA history? In this talk, Kondos details her journey—from her earliest days in dance, to being mentored by legendary men’s basketball coach John Wooden, to becoming a mentor herself, training some of the most elite athletes in the world. Despite not having a background in gymnastics, Kondos found that the discipline, determination, perserverance, and sacrifice needed to become a professional dancer carried over into the world of athletics—and becoming a champion in any walk of life.
Over the course of her 29-year career, Kondos honed an unorthodox approach to coaching that focused on nurturing the athletes as individuals, not just as competitors. Believing that athletics are a masterclass for life skills, Kondos guided her teams accordingly: helping them prepare mentally, emotionally, and physically. The heart of a champion isn’t validated by merely winning a prize, says Kondos, but in striving for excellence and taking responsibility for everything in their control. With genuine warmth and candour, Kondos shows us the power of finding joy in what we do, celebrating our individual differences as strengths, and cultivating a sense of grit, resilience, and determination on the path to success.