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Publisher's 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful and insightful

If you've ever had a conversation with Miss Val, then you know the feeling of talking with her and feeling like at that moment, you are the most important person in the world. Listening to her read her audiobook is the exact same feeling--you feel like she is talking directly to you. I've always said I wanted her to be my life-coach and this book is as close as I'll get to that. While the book has quite a bit of gymnastics anecdotes to keep a gym-nerd like myself happy, it is also filled with practical, insightful, and inspirational advice that is helpful for just about anyone. I can't wait to gift this book to friends and colleagues during the holiday season.

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This book can change the way you see your life!

Some parts of this book touched me so deeply and made me realize how blessed my life is even though I’ve rarely acknowledged it. Thank you for this book Miss Val!

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Fabulous and encouraging book with great Narration

This was such a fantastic listen to such a well written book full of knowledge and encouragement.

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  • Pandit
  • 10-22-18

beautiful and inspiring! 😊

The narrator was great and made me feel very emotional in the last chapter !

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  • Mary-Anne Monckton
  • 10-12-18

Inspiring and insightful

Having Miss Val read her book is just perfect. This book is inspiring and encouraging, and gives great insight into the life of Miss Val and UCLA Gymnastics. I would recommend this book for anyone because there are so many helpful tips about life in general. Thank you Miss Val and Steve Cooper for making this happen!