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Alana Nichols: Excellence Means Doing The Best You Can With What You Have

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Listen in as Positive Coaching Alliance goes 1-on-1 in interviews with top pro and college players, coaches, executives, and other major sports figures and academics who provide tips, tools, information and inspiration for youth and high school sports coaches, parents and student-athletes.

This 1-on-1 interview features Alana Nichols (@alananichols21), the first American female to win gold medals at both Summer (Wheelchair Basketball) and Winter (Alpine Ski Racing) Olympic/Paralympic Games. From a young age, her passion for sports and adventure has driven her and no matter what obstacle life throws her way, she takes a challenge head on. After suffering a spinal cord injury at age 17 while attempting a back flip on her snowboard, Alana quickly transitioned to adaptive sports. In the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Paralympic Games, Alana took on a new athletic challenge in Sprint Kayaking and will continue to inspire and attract fans around the world.

In this podcast interview with Former PCA President Tina Syer (@tinasyer4), Nichols discusses her journey growing up as a young athlete falling in love with sports, her life changing snowboarding accident, how she reacted to being told she would never walk again as a passionate athlete, her first experience with wheelchair basketball, and how parents and athletes can find adaptive sports opportunities post-injury.

Here are some key insights from the podcast:

  • Her constant desire to improve in every sport she played growing up

  • Nichols' definition of a great athlete and excellence as doing the best you can with what you have

  • How she learns so many different sports so quickly

  • How and why she avoids comparison to other athletes.

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