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Life Is Short, Don't Wait to Dance: Advice and Inspiration from the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame Coach of 7 NCAA Championship Teams

Valorie Kondos Field, Steve Cooper

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Sports management & facilities

How did a professional ballerina become one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history? Valorie Kondos Field has never even turned a cartwheel, but she has won six NCAA gymnastics championships as coach of the UCLA women's gymnastics team. In LIFE IS SHORT, DON'T WAIT TO DANCE, "Miss Val" shares her secrets to success, such as Drop the Act, Do You; Triumph Over Adversity; Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal; Coach Wooden's Missing Brick; Guts Are Louder Than Whistles; and Confident Enough to Collaborate, which began when she realized she'd never win by mimicking other top coaches. She had to embrace and hone her own uniqueness. The results have been stunning for her and for the student athletes, including Olympians Simone Biles and Kyla Ross, who have thrived under her tutelage.

Curiosity, creativity, attention to detail, and unwavering care for the overall well-being of her athletes are the hallmarks of Miss Val's success, and they can be applied to business and life as well as to sports. As a breast cancer survivor, Miss Val, who says the year she was diagnosed was actually one of the best of her life, has learned that success is about choreographing your life and owning the choices you make.

Many of Miss Val's timeless philosophies were shaped by her mentor, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and she weaves stories of her time with him into this remarkable narrative of a 35-year career, that in 2016 was immortalized by being named the 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 Miss Val is known for, and will help readers live a more fulfilling and intentional life.

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