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Summary

Highly acclaimed UCLA women's gymnastics Coach Valorie Kondos Field shares insights on how to use uniqueness and authenticity to achieve success.

How did a professional ballerina become one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history? Valorie Kondos Field - or Miss Val, as she's affectionately known - has never even tumbled, flipped, or ever played any type of organized sports, and yet she has been able to craft a legendary coaching career through curiosity, creativity, attention to detail, and unwavering care for the overall well-being of her athletes. For Miss Val, it's not about the X's and O's, it's about choreographing your life and owning the choices you make.

Miss Val has shaped her UCLA gymnastics program as a life-skills class, and now she's sharing those lessons with you, whether you're an athlete, business leader, or simply someone who wants to own his or her destiny. Miss Val's philosophies are timeless. Her coaching style is unorthodox. Life Is Short, Don't Wait to Dance is a thought-provoking, fun journey through the personal stories and anecdotes of the 35-year career of a dancer/choreographer turned athletic coach. Included are Miss Val's favorite memories she experienced with her mentor, legendary Coach John Wooden; as well as some of her most unforgettable stories of the Olympians and student-athletes she's coached. In 2014, Miss Val was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she explains how she made it one of the best years of her life - really!

Miss Val reveals how her head-coaching journey started off disastrously, spending years mimicking other top coaches while her team suffered because of her lack of authenticity. In time, she realized being a gymnastics immigrant wasn't a detriment, it was a gift. When she embraced and honed her own uniqueness, Miss Val led her Bruins to six NCAA championships and became one of only two active coaches to ever be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2016, Miss Val was named Pac-12 "Gymnastics Coach of the Century".

Life Is Short, Don't Wait to Dance is packed with brutally honest advice delivered in an inspirational tone for which Miss Val is known. Did we mention she's a ballerina who's never played sports?

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Valorie Kondos Field (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"It's really easy to give up when things are not going your way, or when things are challenging, or when you have adversity or struggle, but she always stays positive." (Nastia Liukin, Olympic gold medalist)

"Miss Val's coaching technique really appealed to me because it was very different than elite gymnastics. She always reminds me before meets, never take life for granted and to cherish every moment." (Simone Biles, four-time Olympic gold medalist)

"Miss Val is a force of nature. Her journey to the top is a riveting story. Her demand for personal excellence and her ability to create belief in her student athletes provides for a great read and success model for all." (Sue Enquist, founder of ONE Softball, former UCLA head softball coach, 11-time national champion)

What listeners say about Life Is Short, Don't Wait to Dance

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Amazing

I loved this book. Inspiration packed and full of positivity and emotion. Just fantastic and uplifting. Highly recommend.

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  • MG
  • 06-03-19

Inspiring doesn't begin to describe this book

From across the globe where I live, your truths and values still ring true! I have read various inspirational books decade after decade, but it is YOUR authenticity that has me moved. Thank you, Miss Val. :)

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  • Lorraine Kramer
  • 09-10-18

Universal inspiration from an iconic coach

This audio book is brilliantly entertaining. I especially love that Miss Val narrates the book, expressing emotion while sharing meaningful moments in her life and in her coaching career. This book, although written by a gymnastics coach, imparts many inspirational life lessons with universal application.

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  • Laurie
  • 07-06-21

Breath of Fresh Air

Wow….the perspective and passion Ms Val brings to both sport and life is just amazing. Wonderful read that shares so many lessons and techniques that any person or team can incorporate to their daily lives. A must read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-20

not a gymnast

I'm not a gymnast but needed to hear everything that she said. Its not rocket science but hearing it through her unique perspective was cool.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-10-20

Truly inspiring!

So much wisdom toward life and positivity in this book has indeed inspired me in every aspect of life. Thank you for such an amazing book!❤❤❤

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-10-20

Great book

This is a good book for everyone looking for a positive way to look at life. Thanks Val!

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  • T
  • 26-06-20

Thank you!

An amaizing book!!! Thank you Miss Val!!! It was truly a blessing! Money wirth spending!!

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  • Had's Dad
  • 22-02-20

Wonderful and inspiring

Loved this book and the author. It’s super educational in how to lead a life with gratitude and positive mentoring!

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  • Patricia Call
  • 10-02-20

I. Love. This. Book!!!!

I’ve listened to this book twice and the life skills and emotional mastery resilience lessons in it make it a must read for anyone wanting to OWN their own life!

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  • Food Fan
  • 26-01-20

Loved listening to Val narrate her stories and les

It's like having a long time mentor hang out with you and share about her life lessons, what worked, and what didn't. It's not so much about dance per se, but about her career journey & leadership philosophy as former UCLA gymnastics championship coach. 🤸‍♀️

She narrates her personal stories to illustrate lots of great nuggets about being a leader (relevant in sports & business), instilling camraderie among team members, while encourage each individual to find their own self to shine & the value of creativity. Also personal development lessons like taking ownership of your choices and happiness in life. 🤝

I especially like how she encourage each team member to find joy in what they do & to truly care for other team members. It's really refreshing perspective (in contrast to toxic leaders that are slave drivers &/or those who deliberately pit team members against each other)

This was a fun, inspiring, and informative book that I highly recommend -- especially the Audible audiobook narrated by her. It feels like you're just hanging out with her at coffee as she tells you about her life and lessons learned along the way.