Summary of Why Winning Doesn’t Always Equal Success

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Why Winning Doesn’t Always Equal Success summary
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During her illustrious career, Valorie Kondos Field, a former head coach with the University of California, Los Angeles women’s gymnastics team, led her protégés to many wins. Yet the most critical lesson she learned is that a bullying, dictatorial coaching style, while it may lead to victory, produces damaged people. Field, once a disciple of that flawed approach, found that nurturing gymnasts in the noncompetitive areas of their lives helped them become well-rounded “champions in life.” Parents, coaches and managers ought to heed Field’s advice to teach their wards the true meaning of success.

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Valorie Kondos Field coached the UCLA women’s gymnastics team for 29 years.



“Winning” isn’t a synonym for “success.”

Valorie Kondos Field coached the women’s gymnastics team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for 29 years, despite having never been a gymnast herself. When she first assumed the role, her sole focus was winning. She knew nothing about developing talent, so she adopted the style of other coaches who had produced results; that is, she talked tough, she was insensitive and she was often cruel.

Several years into her career, Field’s gymnasts informed her that her arrogance, bullying and win-at-all-costs attitude were destructive. She was producing compliant athletes, but she wasn’t helping her protégés develop into well-rounded people. They needed Field to “coach them up” rather than tear them down and to motivate them...

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