Valorie Kondos Field, aka Miss Val, as she’s affectionately known by the scores of champion gymnasts she’s coached over her career—has no background in gymnastics. She never tumbled, flipped, or played any type of organized sport. And yet she became a legendary, hall of fame coach, through curiosity, creativity, attention to detail, and unwavering care for the overall well-being of her athletes.
Head coach of the seven-time NCAA Champion, 22-time Regional and 18-time Pac-12 Champion UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team, Miss Val was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. The four-time “National Coach of the Year” was recently named “West Region Coach” of the Year, Pac-12 Coach of the Year, and “Coach of the Century” for her solid track record as a preeminent coach.
Crediting her mentor, legendary basketball coach John Wooden, and the Olympians and athletes with whom she’s worked, Miss Val’s success is due to her extraordinary leadership and mentorship of young student-athletes, and the way in which she uses gymnastics as an avenue through which to teach valuable life lessons.
In her book, LIFE IS SHORT, DON’T WAIT TO DANCE, Miss Val shares personal stories, anecdotes and lessons learned throughout the 37-year career of a dancer/choreographer turned athletic coach. She shares stories about the Olympians and athletes with whom she’s worked, explains how her diagnosis with breast cancer actually turned into one of the best years of her life, and expounds on how she shaped her UCLA Gymnastics program as a life skills class. For Miss Val, it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about choreographing your life< and owning the choices you make.
Miss Val is a dynamic speaker and choreographer. She lights up a crowd with her enthusiasm and zest for life, and mesmerizes audiences with her spectacular ability to entertain. And, as a newly retired head coach, she’s ready to spread her joy even further.