ANDREA VALDEZ Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

This site is my personal collection of notes and opinions on athletics, work, and life.

Perseverance and passion matter more than IQ and talent

Closing statements from a study on grit:

In a qualitative study of the development of world-class pianists,
neurologists, swimmers, chess players, mathematicians, and sculptors,
Bloom (1985) noted that “only a few of [the 120 talented
individuals in the sample] were regarded as prodigies by teachers,
parents, or experts” (p. 533). Rather, accomplished individuals
worked day after day, for at least 10 or 15 years, to reach the top
of their fields. Bloom observed that in every studied field, the
general qualities possessed by high achievers included a strong
interest in the particular field, a desire to reach “a high level of
attainment” in that field, and a “willingness to put in great amounts
of time and effort” (p. 544). Similarly, in her study of prodigies
who later made significant contributions to their field, Winner
(1996) concluded, “Creators must be able to persist in the face of
difficulty and overcome the many obstacles in the way of creative
discovery…. Drive and energy in childhood are more predictive
of success, if not creativity, than is IQ or some other more
domain-specific ability” (p. 293).

The qualitative insights of Winner (1996), Bloom (1985), and
Galton (1892), coupled with evidence gathered by the current
investigation and its forerunners, suggest that, in every field, grit
may be as essential as talent to high accomplishment. If substantiated,
this conclusion has several practical implications: First,
children who demonstrate exceptional commitment to a particular
goal should be supported with as many resources as those identified
as “gifted and talented.” Second, as educators and parents, we
should encourage children to work not only with intensity but also
with stamina. In particular, we should prepare youth to anticipate
failures and misfortunes and point out that excellence in any
discipline requires years and years of time on task. Finally, liberal
arts universities that encourage undergraduates to sample broadly
should recognize the ineluctable trade-off between breadth and
depth. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, the goal of an education
is not just to learn a little about a lot but also a lot about a little.

Read the full article here. Angela Duckworth also has a phenomenal book on the topic of grit that I highly recommend.

Andrea & Friends 008 – Lawrence Judd

To listen and subscribe on iTunes right away, CLICK HERE.

Lawrence is the director of operations at Shredded by Science, which is probably the most kick-ass place for the education and betterment of personal trainers and coaches on the internet.

Aside from that, he is just one of my damn good friends and has an incredible sense of humor and a pretty neat outlook on the world which I love hearing about.

This convo is just a catch-up sesh between friends, but it covers quite a large array of topics.

We chat about how he structures his entire work day, his job responsibilities within Shredded By science and how that company runs, our personal business struggles, his trip to Vietnam, the new products and plans for De Novo Nutrition (which is a supplement company that Shredded By Science is now partnering up with), and a whole lot about his current transition from powerlifting to weightlifting.

Towards the end of our talk, we over a TON of resources and websites that helped me when I was first learning the snatch and the clean and jerk. I hope you guys can find a lot of that useful as well.— Read More…

More work, less entitlement

Small reminder not to float. Nobody will give you shit. You will not be rewarded for wanting or expecting things.

All this talk about blogs, and start-ups, and self-publishing and global micro-brands. It’s a mask for a enormous sense of entitlement. In a weird way, it has created a culture of people I know who almost disdain work, or at least, anything that might be perceived as traditional kinds of work. […]

As a human being, your job is to work. To show up. To learn. To contribute. Not to come up with excuses, surround them with buzz words and demand thanks for coming up with a new way of life. Because you didn’t. You just found what weak minds have always gravitated to: a false sense of superiority at the expense of a real opportunity.

From this article by Ryan Holiday on Medium.

The Books That Always Set Me Straight

I totally forgot I said this, but apparently in my podcast episode with Eric Helms I referred to a list of books that help me figure myself out when I lose my shit.

Here is the reminder from one of my awesome Instagram followers brought this to my attention:

So here’s my reply — the books that set me straight (turns out it was more than 5), separated by the sort of predicament I tend to use them for.

WHEN I’M NOT MAKING SHIT HAPPEN AS FAST AS I SHOULD BE

These are the books that slap me in the face, kick me in the ass, make me feel like I’m being a pansy and give me a jet-boost of “get shit done” energy. They help me both as an athlete and as a human who wants to do cool stuff in my lifetime.— Read More…

Andrea & Friends 007 – LS McClain

To listen and subscribe on iTunes right away, CLICK HERE.

In this conversation, I’m talking to my good friend and World Champion Powerlifter, LS McClain.

LS was actually one of my coaches at cheerleading camp in college!

We didn’t meet again until the end of 2015 at the Olympia expo and have become closer and closer ever since. Especially because he is one of my boyfriend’s best friends and a part of the close-knit family we hang around with quite often.

In this particular chat, we talk about his upcoming meet at USAPL Raw Nationals, his career as a cheerleading coach at Texas State University, his YouTube channel, his clothing line (McClain & Crcl), his life as an online powerlifting coach, and a whole bunch more.— Read More…