Why Winning Doesn’t Equal Success: Pac-12 Coach of the Century Valorie Kondos Field Speaks at TED
“We have a crisis in the win-at-all-cost cultures that we have created,” says Valorie Kondos Field, the recently retired head coach of the UCLA women’s gymnastics team. In her eye-opening new TED Talk, the UCLA Hall-of-Famer explains why she’s calling for radical change in how we define success.
Valorie Kondos Field is the first to admit that winning feels great. “Winning is really, really, like, really, really fun,” she says, in the first few moments of her TED talk. And it’s true that as a coach, she’s had no shortage of victories, having led the UCLA gymnastics team to seven national championships throughout her 29-year tenure. Unfortunately, as a culture, we’ve taken winning to the extreme, adopting an all-or-nothing approach that leaves people walking away more damaged than when they came. “We have become so hyper focused on that end result, and when the end result is a win, the human component of how we got there often gets swept under the proverbial rug, and so does the damage.”
In a bold, thoughtful, and imaginative talk, Kondos Field makes a compelling argument for shifting our narratives around success. She walks us through her most memorable victories, coaching and empowering Olympic athletes, and her equally-as-important failures. Ultimately, Kondos Field shows us that taking a vested, human interest in our teams can lead to high performance outcomes—without compromising the human spirit.
Watch her full talk here.
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