You Can’t Eat an Elephant in One Bite with Dana Duckworth – Season 2 Episode 10

The Recap

Sam welcomes head coach of the women’s gymnastics team at the University of Alabama, Dana Duckworth. Dana’s relationship with Alabama has spanned over two decades. She was a former student athlete and worked under Sarah Patterson as an assistant coach for the women’s gymnastics team for fifteen years. As an athlete, Dana earned five All-American accolades and won the individual SEC and NCAA national titles in balance beam in 1992 and 1993. She also aided the university in winning a National Championship in 1991.

In this episode, Dana breaks down Alabama’s latest meet and her team’s individual performances against their bitter rivals, Auburn. She discusses the ways in which she experiments with different routines and lineups in order to get the best out of her athletes. Dana also brings awareness to the Collegiate Gymnastics Growth Initiative, an organization that raises funds to promote and support women’s collegiate gymnastics programs so that more women may have the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Dana is a no-nonsense coach who believes her team can compete for a national title this year and in years to come.

Episode Highlights

  • 00:48 – Sam thanks her sponsors, Tumbl Trak and Destira
  • 01:41 – Introducing today’s guest, Dana Duckworth
  • 02:27 – Sam and Dana recall early memories of each other
  • 04:35 – What Dana loves most about college gymnastics
  • 09:33 – Dana breaks down Alabama’s latest meet against Auburn
  • 10:26 – Shea Mahoney’s performance
  • 12:59 – Shallon Olsen’s performance
  • 13:24 – How Dana feels about Shallon’s vault scores this season
  • 15:36 – Lexi Graber and Ariana Guerra’s performances
  • 19:30 – How Dana builds her lineups
  • 21:30 – The strategy behind experimenting with different lineups
  • 23:36 – How Dana prepares her athletes to be the best versions of themselves
  • 26:46 – The parity within collegiate gymnastics
  • 28:34 – The Collegiate Gymnastics Growth Initiative (CGGI)
  • 32:12 – How people can get involved with the CGGI
  • 35:42 – Dana answers some fan questions
  • 37:27 – Dana talks about the freshmen on her team
  • 40:58 – Angelina Giancroce’s performance
  • 42:35 – How Dana gets her team back on track after a rough performance
  • 46:03 – Striving for perfection but not letting it define you
  • 48:05 – Dana’s undisputed love of coaching
  • 49:36 – The mindset that Dana preaches to her team
  • 50:39 – Sam takes a moment to thank her sponsors once again
  • 51:42 – Dana discusses her goals for the postseason
  • 54:36 – How Alabama can become a national champion this season
  • 57:05 – Strengthening the mental states of Elite gymnasts
  • 1:02:37 – The importance of having good chemistry on a team
  • 1:05:01 – Dana talks about the gymnast who most reminds her of herself
  • 1:08:11 – The emotions Dan felt after being named Sarah Patterson’s successor as head coach
  • 1:11:16 – Dana and Sam talk about the recruiting process
  • 1:12:27 – Dana discusses the allure of the University of Alabama
  • 1:15:01 – Alabama’s label as a ‘football school’
  • 1:16:48 – Dana’s relationship with Alabama head football coach, Nick Saban
  • 1:19:36 – Dana reveals one thing people can do to get 1% better each day

Tweetable Quotes

Links Mentioned

Dana’s Instagram – @uacoachdana

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Dana’s Twitter – @UACoachDana

Destira: Gymnastics Leotards & Accessories

Tumbl Trak: Gymnastic, Cheer, Dance, Martial Arts and Special Needs Equipment

WCGA Twitter – @wcgagym

WCGA Instagram – @wcgagym

The University of Alabama’s Website

Connect with Sam

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