You may know Leah Amico as an elite softball player— having bagged three Olympic gold medals— but behind her accolades is a success through failure journey like no other.
Leah Amico is a 3x Olympic gold medalist, a 2x World Champion, and a 3x NCAA Champion softball player.
Known for being one of the most clutch hitters of all time, Leah still holds the record for highest batting average in the Women’s College World Series.
Leah is also a college softball analyst for ESPN and Westwood One Sports, where she imparts her love and knowledge of the game to fans across the world.
Truly, she’s a world-class performer in every sense of the word.
In this episode of the Success Through Failure podcast, Leah walks us through her journey to the top of her sport and through an epic collapse that she, and the US softball team, used as their catalyst for a historic success. Don’t miss it!
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Leah Amico: What are the little things that you can say, but I did this, and you focus on that win Because some, for some people, I'm gonna be honest, when you're down, when you're depressed, when you're hurting and struggling, getting out of bed and making your bed is a win.
[00:17] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Welcome to another episode of Success Through Failure, the Show for successful people and for those who want to become successful.
[00:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: The only podcast that reveals the true nature of success. Conversations with World-class perform. While also sharing my own lessons of success through failure for my athletic career, my business, and my personal life. This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. And today I bring you Leah Amico. I feel extremely blessed to be connected with people like Ruben Gonzalez.
[00:46] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: He's a four-time Olympian in the luge, uh, Ruben and I have become friends over the years, and he connected me with Leah. Leah is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. She's a two-time world champion. And a three time NCAA champion softball player. She actually still holds the record for the highest batting average in the Women's College World Series.
[01:09] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: She is a world-class performer in every sense of the word. Leah walks us through her journey to the top of the world, to the top of the her sport, to the pinnacle of softball, and she walks us through an epic, epic. Collapse and how she and her team recovered from it. It's a phenomenal story, the likes of which you've never heard before.
[01:32] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's really, really incredible and she just talks about the ups and downs, the successes, the failures through her journey, and how she reacts to those as well as how she lives. Those out today. Now you're gonna get a lot from this episode. Not only learning about sports and she talks about her coach, but also how you can use this in your life if you like this kind of thing.
[01:52] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: If you love these episodes, be sure to give this a share. Also, your comments, your likes, your retweets and your shares on social media go a long way, so thank you for those. Without further ado, let's get into my interview with Leah aco. Tell us about your background, kind of how you got into softball, and the short version of kind of how you got from there to, to where you're
[02:13] Leah Amico: at now.
[02:14] Leah Amico: Okay, so I grew up in Southern California, first born and was very active even as a three-year-old riding a tricycle down hills, like just loved adventure. Uh, my dad loved baseball and so he had this tomboy daughter, so they got me into softball and soccer at around six, seven years old. I kind of just took.
[02:34] Leah Amico: I actually started pitching lessons when I was eight. Now this is at a time where nobody did lessons. I mean, we would drive 45 minutes away, which now is like nothing. But back in the day, it was a massive deal that support the excitement my parents had from just from the get-go. Uh, that led to me making all stars.
[02:51] Leah Amico: That led to me getting into travel ball when I was 13 years old. I was recruited by a team because they saw the talent that I had. Winning nationals at Chattanooga, Tennessee. When I was 14, that kind of opened my mind to, oh, I wanna go for a college scholarship. And then I worked towards that. Played high school ball, got the college scholarship to play at the University of Arizona.
[03:13] Leah Amico: And, um, there I thought softball was a means to an end. I loved softball, I loved soccer as well, but softball opened more doors and I thought, okay, it's to get my education paid. Played at the University of Arizona, won the national championship my freshman year. I got the winning hit, the only hit in the championship game against UCLA, the Wildcats.
[03:33] Leah Amico: We won. We were just definitely the underdogs. And then not long after that, they said softball's gonna be in the Olympics for the first time ever. In 1996, and I was this freshman and had this belief of I can be on that team, that's my goal. That's what I want. And so three years later, I was one of 15 to play on the first ever Olympic team, and then continued two more Olympics and have three gold medals now.
[04:00] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Incredible career. And when you paint with broad brushes like that, we go, wow, this was just like a storybook for Leah. It was so easy for her. And, you know, and things all just fell into place for her. But, but there were challenges along the way. I think even, you know, coming outta high school, you were a pitcher and recruited as a pitcher, but you were, you had to change positions right away in college.
[04:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Right. And how hard is that for a softball player and, and how did you deal with that? Yeah,
[04:27] Leah Amico: so I was recruited to Arizona as a pitcher and first basement. I'm a lefty and I pitched my, my freshman year, mainly because we only had two pitchers. , I was the backup pitcher. I didn't pitch at the Women's College World Series.
[04:37] Leah Amico: We relied on our superstar ace and I just wasn't at that level at that time. And so my sophomore year coach said, you know what? I'm gonna move you to outfield. We need you every day starting the outfield. I had never played outfield before and so I immediately just bought in. It was hard. It was new. My arm felt like it was gonna fall off.
[04:56] Leah Amico: I had a strong arm, but I would try to throw like an infielder and I, I'd feel like I can't even throw by the end of the day. And so I had to learn these new skillsets. I had to learn how to read balls after the bat. I was used to short and quick reactions and now, you know, it's, it's timing it and learning.
[05:11] Leah Amico: I had to learn how to dive. I mean, that probably. The most painful, literally physically. And you know, like figuratively, because I would crash and burn so many times my neck would kill. But I was like, I am going to get this. I'll never forget the day it finally clicked. The timing was right. I caught this ball, was able to dive, just slide and glide through the the grass.
[05:32] Leah Amico: And I was like, finally. And then, you know, two years after that moment, here I am on the Olympic team. That's what actually opened the door. But let me tell you. Jim going back my freshman year in the fall in for pitching, facing our own team in inner squad scrimmages. I had a moment after just getting beat up by my own teammates when they, they're hitting and I'm just, and I went back to my dorm room and I called my mom and I was like, I don't know if I have what it takes.
[05:56] Leah Amico: To play at this level. And I think back to how crucial that moment was, it could have changed my destiny, my future completely if I had walked away at that moment, because it got hard if I had turned to the wrong person and they said, you know what? You're right. It's just not worth it. Why don't you just come home?
[06:13] Leah Amico: Or Why don't you just change schools where it's gonna be a little easier on you? But luckily, my mom encouraged. And I realized, okay, I can learn through this failure. I can either get, you know, bitter or I can give up one or get better. Sorry, I get bitter, get better, and I can learn. And so, um, I'm so glad I stuck with it, although I eventually changed positions.
[06:33] Leah Amico: I think that moment to keep going was really crucial in my career.
[06:37] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You are learning a new position and learning how to dive in crash and burn reminds me of my conversations with our mutual friend Ruben Gonzalez, who intro introduced us just for listeners. Uh, Ruben actually introduced Leah and I and for the listeners.
[06:51] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: By the way, Ruben, his most recent interview on the podcast is just a few episodes ago. So go back and check that out. So Ruben, uh, very, very like-minded experiences. So, but Leah, you are a three-time Olympic gold medalist. You're a what, two-time world champion, I think, right. And three time NCAA champion.
[07:10] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And you are telling me that you faced doubt that you thought you didn't have what it takes. I mean, we don't think about people like you at your level who are world class or among the best in the world at what you do and what you did. We don't think of people like you having doubt and second guessing yourself, but you're saying that's a real experience.
[07:31] Leah Amico: Oh, it happened more than I'd, I'd like to admit, , there was a lot of doubt. Of course, a lot of that had to do with results, right? Depending on how my results ended up, I would have those moments when I was struggling on something, trying to figure something out physically in my game. I mean, it wasn't clicking.
[07:48] Leah Amico: I would have those, you know, those mental now blocks, those things that would come in and start to be a mental block. I had doubts, but I, there's, there's a couple keys I think is, what do you do? Because there are some people who literally, that consumes them. I would have that doubt come into my mind, and then I would immediately get to work to say, I'm going to figure out what I need to do.
[08:10] Leah Amico: So this doubt goes away and I'm back in my confident mindset. So
[08:15] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: is it becoming aware of the doubt? Is it having strategies and tactics to deal with the doubt? A lot of folks, I, I think just face that doubt. They have those doubts and they don't even address it. It's just sort of hardwired into them, or it's at this unconscious level where they just change their actions and it affects who they are and how they operate.
[08:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So do you have to first become aware of it and develop strategies for it, or maybe even have coaches and like your mom in this case who helped you through it?
[08:46] Leah Amico: You absolutely have to be aware of it. I think when people think it's just who they. And they don't even recognize it anymore. I've talked to people like that.
[08:53] Leah Amico: I've talked to people just in everyday life and I hear how they talk to me and they're talking about themselves, and I literally will say, do you even understand how you're talking about yourself and how you talk to yourself? Like you just beat yourself up. Where did that come from? And immediately this person is like, it's almost like caught off guard, like, oh, oh, well, you know, because my dad, and you know, somebody in my life every day, this is what they say, and I, I just believe it.
[09:20] Leah Amico: And it's like, no. And I'll tell 'em, you need to walk in victory. So number one, you do have to be aware of it. And then two. You have to think when that happens, what am I going to do with it? It's, it's just refusing to sit and camp out in that space and in that mindset, but instead saying, Hey, I'm in this place mentally.
[09:40] Leah Amico: What can I do about it? How can I get over this?
[09:44] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Quick interruption. Hey, if you like what you're hearing, be sure to get the notes, quotes, and links in the action plan from this episode. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action. That's JimHarshawJr.com/action to get your free copy of the action plan.
[09:59] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Now back to the show. And you guys, when you were on the softball team, team USA, the USA softball team, when you know you were as were very successful, 112 game winning streak, and it's just a storybook ending, right? Everything you know, you live happily ever after. Tell us about that, that 112 game win streak.
[10:21] Leah Amico: Yeah, so it was the 2000 Olympic team. We'd already won a gold medal. We were heading into the Sydney Games in, in Australia, and we had 110 wins heading into the games. So we won our first two games. So now it's 112. This is. All the story on the Today Show, they're interviewing us. That was the big talk.
[10:40] Leah Amico: We're defending gold champions. Like it's just, it's just such a big deal. Like we have not been beat, can they even be beat? And so we end up losing our first game against Japan and that was one of the best teams in the world. And so we lost on an air in. Extra innings and it was almost like this. Whoa.
[10:59] Leah Amico: Like kind of that what just happened? Okay. We lost a game. Okay, regroup and come back the next day. So I would say the first day it was almost like this. Like you went, everyone almost went inward of like, whoa, like that shock. And then the second day we come back and we play China. And we end up again, extra innings.
[11:15] Leah Amico: I think it was 14 innings that game and we end up losing again on another air. So our pitchers had done a great job, we just could not hit. And so we end up losing again, and this is where I'll say in a quick. Amount of time, short amount of time. I saw a lot of division happening and a lot of blaming and a lot of separation taking place.
[11:35] Leah Amico: Almost like cliques within our team. And that is so not healthy . So we come back again to the third day. We play Australia, the other, those are the top three teams in the world besides us. Three games in a row. And we finally in, I think the top of the 13th inning, we push a run across. All we have to do is get three outs.
[11:52] Leah Amico: We end. Losing on a home run. They go ahead and we lost the third game in a row. And so we, I feel like in that moment, that was, that was obviously our make it or break moment. We had two more games and if we didn't win those games, we weren't even competing for a medal. We came in fourth place heading into the medal round.
[12:10] Leah Amico: We came back to win it all. But that was when Unity and communication was brought back to the. Thank goodness our support psychologists, they know the mental side. They know the doubt, the, you know, and how big of a deal, the division that happens, the discouragement that takes place, and how that literally can take you down.
[12:29] Leah Amico: Even if you're the best in the world and you have 112 wins in a row, everything shifted. We just set a record for losses ever for team U s A in that Olympics. But we came. and you
[12:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: came back and won the gold that
[12:40] Leah Amico: year. So we came back. So we lost those three games. We had a team meeting with the girl, the, the athletes only like no coaches.
[12:48] Leah Amico: And we went around that room and we immediately started saying what we brought to the table. What is your strength? Focus on that. We've gotta stop looking at what we're not doing well. And then the other thing was we went around and we said what our teammates brought to the table and we encouraged and we pointed out strengths again.
[13:06] Leah Amico: And we changed our mindset and focused on what do we have to do? And it's going to take these strengths and it's going to take each other and it's going to take having each other's. And so immediately we brought back that unity. We brought back our focus and we won to the next two games. We started celebrating the little things.
[13:24] Leah Amico: That's another thing for mindset, when you're starting to doubt, what are the little things that you can say, but I did this, and you focus on that win. Because some, for some people, I'm gonna be honest, when you're down, when you're depressed, when you're hurting and struggling, getting out of bed and making your bed is a win.
[13:41] Leah Amico: But when you can say, that is a win, oh, well, everybody makes their bed is, you know, instead of taking it that way, that that's what we need to do. So for us, it was like, okay, it might have been ugly, it might not have been our best, you know? But we're slowly making progress, slowly making progress. And then we get in the medal round and we got to play each of those teams that beat us.
[13:59] Leah Amico: We knocked out China, then we played, played against Australia on their turf. We win a close game against them, they get bronze. Then we come up against an undefeated Japan team, who by far was the best in numbers, that Olympics. I mean, they were crushing the ball. They're pitching great and we end up winning against them in extra innings to bring home the gold.
[14:21] Leah Amico: That is nuts. To go from 112 wins in a row to three losses in a row and three losses. You gotta be thinking, at least from the outside looking in the media and the fans are thinking, ah, well this team just doesn't have it this year. Maybe somebody's injured or there's something wrong with the team, whatever it might be.
[14:38] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: But you guys. You believed and you actually did certain things to get you through this mentally. It's not like you guys like, okay, you know, back to batting practice, which I'm sure you did, and you know, I'm sure that's just, that's just part of it. That's like table stakes, right? Every team was doing that, but you guys really dug into the teamwork piece, the leadership piece, the mindset piece, and you came back and won the Olympic gold medal that year.
[15:01] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Bonkers to me.
[15:02] Leah Amico: Yeah, it was kind of surreal, but I saw how even the best in the world could almost get put back on your heels when you're going through adversity and when you are dealing with failure. And I remember trying and wanting to encourage my teammates, who normally I saw so much belief and, and just wanting to say like, remember, our iden identity is not what we're doing out there.
[15:24] Leah Amico: It's in who we are, and we have the skillset. And so when we get back to that mindset as opposed to feeling so much failure, and again, when that becomes the focus. And almost you start adding pressure like on your shoulders, it becomes like a gorilla on your back. And it's like, wait, wait. No, we're not trying to live up to all these other things.
[15:42] Leah Amico: Because we started being interviewed, Jim, by the whole, um, by all the media, immediately they turned quickly because it's a storyline, right? And they're just like, do you even think you can win now? And I remember feeling like, wait, who's tight? Are you on? You're from AM , you're from America. You're an American journalist.
[15:58] Leah Amico: Of course we can win. You know, it was like, well, we're gonna prove it to you too. And it kind of flipped for us that that mindset, like you said, that focus,
[16:06] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: ah, that is such an incredible story. You said you worked with a sports psychologist. You guys had, uh, a mindset coach?
[16:14] Leah Amico: We did, and I'll tell you, I, when I was at University of Arizona, we won three national championships.
[16:19] Leah Amico: We were one of the few collegiate softball teams in the entire country who had a sports psychologist. Jeff Johnson was his name, and I'm gonna tell you right now, Jeff's been on the podcast. Oh, awesome. Yes. No, it was, it was huge to have that, you know, I'll tell you about Coach Kadre, who I played for at Arizona, was very big on giving access to all these people in their different areas and fields that were, um, authority figures and the experts.
[16:46] Leah Amico: And he would like, be like, okay, work with my team. I want everything available. And so the mindset, the unity, the team building that we did so on, team u s. Same thing. And the more freedom our head coach gave to these sports psychologists, I really believe the more it impacted us as athletes and we were able to draw from them what we needed.
[17:07] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: For the listener, if you wanna go back in, listen to the episode with Jeff Janssen. That's episode 137, so it's pretty far back in the archives. But Jeff, I read his books when I was coaching. I was the head wrestling coach at Slippery Rock University and the assistant at University of Virginia, and I was reading Jeff's books and he's still out there doing amazing work today.
[17:26] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So for the listeners, certainly if you. Coaching young athletes. I would. I would highly recommend Jeff listening to that episode, but also reading Jeff's books. Also, Leah, myself, I had a sports psychologist, finally learned about what a sports psychologist was and had an opportunity to work with one. My senior year in college and helped me get over the mental block blocks.
[17:47] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I was, you know, driving with the parking brake on essentially. And, you know, it's just such a valuable experience. And coincidentally, and luckily for, for me, uh, he's a business partner now, so we do leadership development and performance, uh, team performance work, uh, with companies and organizations together.
[18:04] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So he's a, he is been a mentor for me and now we get to work together in a new capacity, but absolute game changer working with somebody like.
[18:12] Leah Amico: Really it is. And you know. It gives you tools and it gives you, you know, ways to recognize, like you and I talked about, recognize kind of what you think and how you think.
[18:24] Leah Amico: With Jeff, we would talk about the red light, yellow light or green light. You know, if you, you gotta know, like if you're in yellow, okay? If you don't, if you don't turn this around, you're gonna go to red and that's gonna be not good. And you're not gonna be able to compete. You're gonna be completely locked up.
[18:37] Leah Amico: And, um, and I actually did a video with Jeff Janssen because at the time I was a, I was coming through, Really clutch moments at the Women's College World Series. I set the record my sophomore year for batting average. It still holds to this day, the next two seasons. I, you know, I led the, the Women's College World Series in batting, average batting over 500 both times.
[18:58] Leah Amico: And so Jeff, you know, I joined with him to just talk about, okay, wait, what is going on in your mind in those moments, those biggest moments, if that's when you're able to come through. And then again, just the ability to, to bring more unity. Cuz when you're a team sport, it might be a little different than you like.
[19:16] Leah Amico: Obviously there's those individual moments, but then there is so much that goes into trusting your teammates, relying on them, and truly coming together for a common goal. Cuz there's plenty of teams out there that are very, very talented that don't win championships,
[19:30] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: yo. Absolutely. So how do you think your coaches that you worked with over the years influenced that?
[19:36] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Because, You see a lot of great players on great teams, but they don't, they don't, I should say, a lot of great players, but they don't necessarily make great teams or great teammates. Did you have coaches who were instrumental in getting you to work together as a team? Because like, like you said, I, I'm a, I was a wrestler and.
[19:54] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: While it's a team sport, especially when you get into the postseason, the team stuff, for the most part goes out the window and it's just you. And you can be the only guy on your team at the national championships, for example. And so it's definitely a, a different mindset, a different approach. What, what do you think were some of the characteristics and tactics and sort of talking points of some of your coaches who were able to bring you together as a team and trust each other and really work as as great.
[20:21] Leah Amico: Well, I think one of the things is just strong leadership that kind of sets the tone and really puts high expectations. And so we're not sitting here fighting amongst ourselves. We're thinking, I gotta reach those expectations. I think being very clear on, uh, what responsibilities and roles are. I think that is absolutely huge because again, if it's left to the athletes on the team, you might all of a sudden be, again, working against each other instead of supporting each other and letting everybody know, like they had strengths, they had values, even if they're a role player.
[20:52] Leah Amico: I'll never forget, um, our coach after us winning a national championship, um, announcing to everyone at the dinner that at the end of the tournament that he was giving the golden a award. So M v P award, um, to. Full pin catcher, she didn't get to start. I don't even know if she played in any games, but he said, I'm gonna tell you right now, we just won a national championship because this catcher came every single day to practice with a smile on her face and did her job, and she didn't complain.
[21:18] Leah Amico: And that is what it takes to win championships. Not just the nine on the field, but the role players, those that buy in, those that are not causing distractions and, and dissension in the dugout. But instead it's like, no, I'm taking this role on and this team means so much and I'm gonna buy into what coach is putting before us.
[21:35] Leah Amico: And so I think it takes a strong coach to set that standard and then basically hold people accountable for it. But then, but, but within that, when you feel valued, even though again, it's not a starting role, I really think it's easier to fall under that a.
[21:49] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And he walked it out and he lived it out. He gave the M V P award to a bullpen catcher.
[21:54] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: That, that gave me chills when you said that.
[21:56] Leah Amico: Yeah, it was, it was something. It's funny, I laugh cuz I, I'm like, I don't even remember who got that award the other year, , but I remember that year because it was so impactful for me. Yeah.
[22:06] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Uh, love that. Leah, you have a, an acronym that you teach G o l D. This is sort of this standard and these principles.
[22:17] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: For success, it can be applied to life in, in sport or business or otherwise. Can you walk us through these, these four steps in the the gold acronym?
[22:26] Leah Amico: Yeah, so the acronym for GOLD G stands for goal setting and Goal Oriented because I, I'll never forget making these teams, the Olympic team, my college team, and the goal was to win the national championship to win the gold medal.
[22:38] Leah Amico: Like it was set, it was clear, and then we had small goals along the way, right? So goal setting, know where you want to end up. Even for me on a daily basis, what are my priorities? What is my end goal for this thing that I'm doing, or for my family or for whatever we're working at, like being clear on what is the end goal.
[22:56] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: For the listener, I want you to hear what Leah just said, like setting the goal and then having the small goals along the way. I mean, this is something that we obviously know that athletes do, but like, are you doing this in your life? Are, do like, do you have goals in your life and you know, health goals and work goals, financial goals, personal relationship goals, like you still have to do this and then you still have to create this, the quote, small goals along the way.
[23:21] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: When Leah was an athlete. When I was an athlete, thi this is just part of life. It just kind of happens when you're an athlete. You don't even have to do anything. Those goals just show up. The goal is to win the conference championship, win the national championship, win the Olympic gold medal. It's all just there by default in sports, and that's why you can get the most out of yourself in that environment.
[23:41] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You have to do this for yourself today. Don't just listen to what Leah said and go, oh yeah, goal setting. Come on, move on. I've heard that before. No. Actually do it.
[23:51] Leah Amico: Yeah. Let me just make a point on that as well. I had some people telling me, you know, you should write a book. You should write a book. They would hear me speak, do you have a book?
[23:58] Leah Amico: And so finally, like I, I ended up, um, my first book was a devotional. I do a lot of faith-based speaking. And so it was, it was my softball stories tied in with some faith stuff because again, that's what I've been doing, was doing a lot of talking for that stuff. Yeah. You do a
[24:12] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: of work with FCA or athletes in.
[24:15] Leah Amico: Yeah, both of them. Both of them. And so I just remember like setting that goal of, okay, I'm really going to do this. And there was a difference between talking about it and just throwing it out there and really sitting down one day and saying, that's my goal and I am going to do this, and guess what? I got to work.
[24:36] Leah Amico: I took the steps. You, you have to really know this really is my goal. And then you can start working.
[24:43] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Yeah, you have to have, really have it clear in your mind, know exactly what it is, set the goal, commit to it, and you know, it takes the hard work, but that's almost the hardest of the work because the rest of it just sort of tends to follow.
[24:55] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You tend to do the work when you have clarity and you make that commitment.
[24:59] Leah Amico: Yeah. So, okay, so O stands for Overcoming Obstacles, and that is the perseverance piece that is resilience that is not giving up. Any goal, anything that we are trying to achieve that is big and scary and hard is going to bring challenges.
[25:23] Leah Amico: But when you know that as athletes in my sport, I played a sport that is. Massive with failure. , you deal with failure a lot, right? Baseball, softball, if you get hits three or four outta 10 times, I mean you are great. That means six times, seven times you're failing. And so how do you deal with that? Failure is everything, and so I learned that through sports now in other parts of my life.
[25:48] Leah Amico: When things get hard, and I wanna give up . I talked to myself in this piece because I dealt with that then, and I really, I really do talk to myself because I want to be resilient. It was, it was resilience, moving to outfield that got me to that Olympic team in a very short amount of time. Because not only was it hard and I was determined to grow and to master this, I didn't.
[26:12] Leah Amico: I didn't wanna take a long time. I committed and I put in the work and I was very focused. So overcoming obstacles, every one of us is going to face challenges, but what you do with those challenges are going to determine how long it takes if you really can reach those goals.
[26:28] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And again, I wanna sort of ad lib here a little bit for the listener.
[26:31] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You're like, okay, overcoming obstacles. I know that one too, Leah, come on, gimme like the, the, the magic fairy dust that I'm supposed to sprinkle. That, that really makes things easy. But for the listener, you're sitting there and, and at some level, I know, I, I know you, you're like, you're on the treadmill right now, or you're driving, or, or whatever it is that you're doing right now.
[26:47] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You have some obstacle that's in front of you or that you're experiencing right now, or you experienced, you know, last year or, or some point in your life and it's holding you back. And don't let it because this is part of your path. This is part of your journey. This is part of Leah's journey. This was part of my journey.
[27:04] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: This was part of Ruben Gonzalez's journey. It's part of the experience, and again, we see this in sports and we see somebody like Leah and we go, it it, there's this sort of unconscious assumption that. Success, like massive success was just preordained for Leah. It wasn't. There were failures, there were setbacks that had she not chosen, like specifically chosen or spoken out loud to herself, like she says, she still even does today.
[27:32] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Had she not done that, we might not be talking on on the podcast today. She probably would've been pretty good. Maybe made an Olympic team or something like that. But she did these things to help her overcome obstacles and achieve war class success. So it's part of her life and it's part of your life.
[27:47] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: How are you dealing with it?
[27:48] Leah Amico: Well, and some of my teammates, to just finish on that point, literally their stories. Was somebody told them at some point in their career when they were young, a little girl, that they couldn't be a championship pitcher and they went on to be the best in the entire world.
[28:03] Leah Amico: They used that obstacle, that challenge, those words, that would've crushed other people and they would've given up. But they used it and said, this is gonna be my motivation, and I'll tell you that mentality that I will prove you wrong mentality. Wow. That is powerful. That carries people very far.
[28:24] Leah Amico: Absolutely. Yep. So L is leadership. Now again, we, we all, like you said, these are. Simple truths. These are simple aspects to the story, but we overcomplicate things. Leadership. This is important Who. Is a, is a leader that you look up to that has impacted you, or you are still following what you've been taught from them?
[28:48] Leah Amico: I had the best leaders in college on the Olympic team and what I learned in those environments, and I had good leaders when I was younger as well, people that really encouraged me, that saw my strengths, that allowed me to be me and didn't put me into a cookie, cookie cutter box and people that, again, lifted me up that challenged.
[29:08] Leah Amico: That didn't just make it easy for me, but instead challenged me and pushed me beyond my comfort zones, those leaders that I had, and their encouragement and belief as I believed. I think adding that belief, you have to bet on yourself. You have to. But there are leaders, and I also think for us, Those that are gonna rise up are gonna be leaders as well.
[29:28] Leah Amico: I think I took it upon myself that as I set a standard, I don't care if I'm a freshman on this team, I, I'm a leader in how I carry myself and how I talk and how I play and how I, you know, I mean, just every day the effort that I put in. So that leadership piece is, is within you, and then who do you learn from as.
[29:49] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And if you're sitting there as a, as a listener and thinking to yourself, yeah, but Jim, I'm not around. I don't have that boss. Right. I don't have that leader around me. Like, get around that per find the person. Right. You listening to this podcast episode is one way to do it. You're around, Leah, you're hearing her voice and hearing her story.
[30:06] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Find other people like this to be around, join groups, join organizations, read the books, like do the things that you can do to bring those leaders into your life, and then also be the leader from the role that you're at. Like Leah just talked about when she was a freshman, like she was a leader in her own way.
[30:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: She wasn't the team captain, but she chose to step into a leadership
[30:24] Leah Amico: role. Yeah, and, and I'm learning that right now myself as I'm working on growing my brand and my speaking and, and you know, working on figuring out this new direction that I'm adding to what I've, what I've already been doing the last 20 years.
[30:38] Leah Amico: I recently hired a coach to be more specific and to like really challenge me, and I'll tell you, it is stretching me, but that's one thing that I know the best. They're always coachable themselves and they're al and it might just be conversations with other leaders. My, my Olympic coach did that. He was always learning.
[30:55] Leah Amico: I watched him, I watched him take and apply what other people had had shared. One,
[30:59] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: one quick point in there, I just wanna make a, a note that we have an Olympic three-time Olympic gold medalist who said, She hired a coach, like she's working with a coach. She's in a new part of her life. She understands the value of coaches and you know, it might be easy to think like, oh three-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time world champion, three-time NCAA champion.
[31:17] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's just business is just easy for people like that. You can just go out and everybody pays you tons of money and your business is just flows effortlessly. Look, no, no it doesn't. It actually takes work and you have somebody here who's excellent at what she does. Has hired a coach, so just, just recognize the need and the value of having that person outside
[31:36] Leah Amico: of you.
[31:37] Leah Amico: Yeah, because they can help you see strengths, weaknesses, maybe help you look at something from a different perspective. When I played for my Olympic coach, you know, at the end, yeah, I knew my swing, but guess what? He could see something a little different and gimme that one little tip, and I'd make that adjustment, and all of a sudden everything was flowing again.
[31:54] Leah Amico: So it, it does help to have an outside perspective. So, d. Stands for dedication and drive and this is that piece that you just talked about. I think this is the action piece cuz guess what? You can set goals. You can have a plan, you can be listening to leaders, but if you do not do the daily work that takes, that is what makes people Olympians.
[32:15] Leah Amico: That is what you made, made you as a great wrestler myself as a softball player every single day showing up the consistency. I mean, being reliable, being somebody they can count on, people know you're consistently, you are going to see success in other people as well. They're going to recommend you
[32:32] Leah Amico: They're going to want you in, you know, in the game. They're gonna want the bat in your hand when everything's on the line because you consistently showed up and you prove yourself and you learn and you grow from it. And that daily dedication, that drive, that motivation, like those two things, dedication and drive.
[32:52] Leah Amico: There are a lot of people that just are not dedicated, and those people fall by the wayside. Now, it might be like, okay, well I'm not really self motivated. I'm, I'm pretty self motivated, but for those of you that are not, You need to figure out, okay, what do I need? Then that motivates me. What, what is it other people?
[33:10] Leah Amico: Is it, you know, a coach that's gonna force me, right? Lifting weights or, or working out, right? Maybe I just need that coach, whatever that is. Maybe it's a vision board and I need to see it every single day, and that's the motivation that I need. But that dedication in that drive to me is where it all comes together.
[33:28] Leah Amico: The work you put in every single. .
[33:32] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Yep. And for the listener, like your ingredients to, to help you be dedicated and have drive are gonna be different maybe from the the next person. But Leah mentioned some ideas there, like having a coach, having a vision board, like whatever it might be for you. You've gotta play around at those things and experiment.
[33:48] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And I always just like to ask the question simply. What has worked and, and I actually recorded a podcast episode, episode 3 87. I believe it was doing this off the top of my head where we talked about that one question, like what has worked? Because there's things that have worked for you in the past in your life.
[34:04] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Don't forget those. Like look back and go, okay, when I was an athlete, this worked or whatnot. I was in this certain job, this was working for me. Or when I was super fit, you know this. These were the things that were in place. Like recreate that. There's a template for that in
[34:15] Leah Amico: your. Yeah, I completely agree with that.
[34:17] Leah Amico: I think back to times outside of softball, you're right where I had a goal, I was motivated, and then I'm like, why is it so much harder now ? But then I remind myself mm-hmm. What were those steps that I did and what was like, the main reason I was doing it? I, I, that is true in anything in life, is thinking back to those past successes and those past things that.
[34:37] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: For the listener who is bought into your message and loves what they're hearing, and can you recommend an action item, something that they can do in the next 24 to 48 hours to really start moving towards their goal? And maybe it's one thing, or maybe it's, maybe it's even two or three things, but what's an action item that the listener can take in the next 24 to 48
[34:56] Leah Amico: hours?
[34:57] Leah Amico: I would say, number one, write it down what you're trying, wanting to do, because we have so many thoughts that go through our head, right? But write it down, number one. Number two, I would say tell somebody and like be accountable. I don't know if that helps other people, but for me, I'm gonna tell you right now, I literally told my son, said, okay, I wanna get on my, my elliptical, but I know sometimes I get sidetracked.
[35:18] Leah Amico: I said, tell me tonight, get on it. Because I was like, I'll probably feel like not doing it. So accountability, and then three, just take the first step. I will tell you when I struggle, because I talk outta stuff and I know in certain areas I'm really good at it, but there's other things that get hard and some of it is riding for me.
[35:37] Leah Amico: And sometimes I think about it so much in my head that until I go and just sit down at the computer and once I start, oh my gosh, I unlock so much. But I'll tell you, getting to that seat in front of my computer is the hardest thing. I, all of a sudden, I like cleaning. I don't even like to clean, but . Cause the harder thing is sitting down and taking that action.
[35:57] Leah Amico: I'm cleaning everything. So it's just we're real and this is natural. Our mind wants to protect us. That's really hard. Don't do it. Go do something else. You know? So that's what I would say. Write it down, tell somebody, and then just take one step, whatever that step is, but take one small step.
[36:14] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: For the listener, do these things.
[36:16] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Don't just say, oh, those sound like good ideas, actually do them. And just one point to make on, on your last point, number three there, just taking action. And you talked about writing for those who have heard of or, or like Stephen Presfield. I interviewed him back in episode 372 on his most recent book, which is called Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants.
[36:35] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And it's about just showing up. Just show up to practice. Show up to the gym, show up at work, sit down at the desk to write whatever it is. Just, just take action. It doesn't really yell me. Almost even matter what action it is. Just start moving forward. Leah, for the listeners who want to find you, follow you, buy your book, engage with You, how can they do that?
[36:59] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: How can they? Well,
[37:00] Leah Amico: first of all, go to leah amco.com, l e a h a m i c o.com. Um, sign up for my new newsletter, put your email in and sign up for my newsletter. I won't bombard you. I like to do some just really simple steps, um, towards success and share some stories that helped me reach success. And also, um, my podcast, the Gold Standard Podcast with Leah aco.
[37:22] Leah Amico: It's on all platforms for podcast. And then Instagram, Leah 20 s a is another place that I share some different tips. So I think those are the main things. My website, my podcast, the Gold Standard Podcast with Leah Miko and Leah 20 USA on Instagram.
[37:38] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Excellent For the listener. We'll have all those links right in the action plan.
[37:41] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action to grab those. Leah, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on the.
[37:47] Leah Amico: It's awesome. I love that you talk about success through failure because really everybody has potential, but it's those that are able to push past failure that actually reach that success that everyone is capable of.
[38:00] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Thank you, Leah. Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your life, let's talk. You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar JimHarshaJr.com/apply, where you can sign up for a free one-time coaching call. With me and don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action.
[38:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more often. You would totally make my day if you give me a rating and review Those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience. Just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through.
[38:42] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Select it, and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast a rating and a review. Now, I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck and thanks for listening.
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