James Leath, Unleash the Athlete

James Leath, Unleash the Athlete

You have to put the work in ahead of time, so you’ll be ready when opportunity arises. That’s some key advice from this week’s guest, performance coach and leadership development expert James Leath. Those words of wisdom come from his own experience.

Early on in his career, he printed out a description of his dream job and kept it by his desk for motivation. Then, he spent days, weeks, and months ticking off the necessary qualifications from the list. He put in the work to become the person who could have that job and eventually, his hard work paid off.

To get where you want to go in life, it’s important to make things happen for you — and not just let things happen to you, he says. Taking an active role in becoming the person you want to be in the future is key to bringing that future into being.

Sometimes, it means delaying gratification to make sure you’re aiming for what you really want. It takes perseverance, grit, and struggle, but by seeking out challenges, finding mentors to learn from, and getting ahead of the game, you’ll be ready when the time comes to take the next step.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Seek out leadership roles and challenges
  • Embrace adversity to learn adaptation strategies
  • Envision a clear picture of who you want to be
  • Take control of your tools and use them to your advantage
  • Delay gratification and put in the work


“Sometimes you’ve got to do things that you don’t really care about in order for you to be able to better relate to the people you want to serve.” -James Leath

“If you’re focusing on your inner self, if you know who you are, if you’ve reflected upon the things that you’ve gone through, you’re going to use that to be a better athlete or a better business person or a better husband or a better wife, or a better brother or sister.” -James Leath

“What people forget is, when you want to be something, you’ve got to start the work years ago because the opportunity can come right away.” -James Leath

“It’s all about identifying who we want to become and being very intentional every single day with what we do, what we say, how we act. That gets us there.” -Jake Thompson

“It’s building what you want for the future right now.” -James Leath


You can find out more about James Leath on his website, jamesleath.com, and about his online courses & Team Building Activities through Unleash the Athlete here.

He also runs the Coach Book Club at coachbookclub.com. You can follow him on Twitter @utathlete and on Instagram @unleashtheathlete.

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Episode 100