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Interview with Kelly Parker Palace

Interview with Kelly Parker Palace - Host of award winning podcast "Champions Mojo"

Kelly Parker Palace

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About Kelly Parker Palace

Kelly Parker Palace is an expert on leadership and peak performance. She has lived it and learned it, first as an NCAA D1 champion athlete and coach, then as a writer for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals’ magazine and the host of their audio show to motivate its 12,000-member salesforce. As the current host of the award-winning podcast, Champion’s Mojo, she gets access to the secrets of champions through interviews with Olympians, Olympic coaches, journalists, celebrities, physicians, and other inspiring leaders. She’s also an executive coach who has worked with top-level executives, medical experts, entrepreneurs, elite athletes and coaches. Kelly excels at leading others to success, but her own life is a testament to her strategies for leading oneself. She broke glass ceilings in Division One coaching, received seven promotions in ten years at Pfizer, and built and owns a multimillion-dollar real estate business. She also co-founded, an international charity that is changing the way the medical condition of eczema is being treated, helping millions of people around the world. While Kelly has experienced outstanding achievements, her life has been filled with many hardships too. Having learned from these lessons, she now sees the bright side of her adventures as a survivor of breast cancer, 9/11, divorce, topical steroid withdrawal syndrome, caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s, and posing for Playboy. She lives with her husband of almost 20. 

With the advent of technology in sports and self-learning programs, how do you see a coach’s role evolving?  

Kelly : Coaches will need to embrace technology for their sport as the young athletes come to their programs, they will be expecting technology. Technology also allow coaches access to data that can make them better coaches.

What percentage of time should a coach spend on proper technique and mental aspects to prepare for the competition? 

Kelly : I think this question can be sport dependent, for example a sport like golf may require more technique and less endurance training. In general I believe proper technique and mental strength/confidence is just as important and any other aspect of being the best.

As someone who has seen the best of both worlds (sports and business). What are some of the common traits you have observed in a champion in both these fields? 

Kelly : 1) They learn from and bounce back from failure. 2) They have a clear, compelling vision of what they want and how to get there. 3) They work hard consistently and are a “student” of whatever they are pursuing, being willing to learn from others and try new things. 4) They are passionate about what they are pursuing.

How important is emotional control for players participating in sports? 

Kelly : For me this falls under the heading of mental training. Prepare your mind for complete victory and success and how that looks and feels.  But also add a “so what!” to your “What if (I/we fail). Accept that you cannot always win and make that ok and live out your defeats with good sportsmanship and respecting a fellow competitor’s performance. 

Have you found ways to accentuate the positive and ways to eliminate negative emotions before, during, and after the competition? 

Kelly : Practice visualizing what I just referred to, expect the best but be prepared for the worst as well and make it ok. If you enjoy the journey, the destination is less important. 

How important are the ride home from a competitive event and parental conversation? 

Kelly : This is definitely an important time. Parents really should only be supportive. 

How important is nutrition, disciplined diet in a champion’s success? 

Kelly : Nutrition is tremendously important. Food is fuel. Competition day food should be tried in practice first to make sure it works for the athlete. 

Did you find yourself eating the same foods on competition days? 

Kelly Yes, this is helpful. 

When you had a successful outing did you repeat the same foods the day before and day of the competition? 

Kelly Yes, also a good routine to practice.

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