Leah Amico
Leah Amico is not only a one-time or two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. She is a 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist with USA Softball. She is also a 2x World Champion, a National Softball Hall of Fame Inductee in 2009, and a 3x National Champion at The University of Arizona. Aside from those, Leah was awarded 3x First Team All-American and 3x First-Team Academic All-American for her excellence both on the field and in the classroom in Arizona.

Leah now shares her experience and passion as a professional speaker with over 20 years of national speaking engagements. She holds the record for the highest batting average in the Women’s College World Series. Leah also serves as a college softball analyst with ESPN and Westwood One Sports. She is also the host of THE GOLD STANDARD Podcast which features Pro Athletes and Olympians and highlights their success stories, strategies, and tips for anyone looking for inspiration in their business or life.

In this episode, the spotlight is on how Leah’s success came to be. The conversation also highlights

– What brought Leah on her journey to success?

– What leads Leah to play softball at a young age?

– Having to play in the Olympics, what are the most important lessons Leah can share?

–  The hurdles and struggles she has to face in sports and family?

– Leah’s plans for the next coming months?

Listen to how Leah Amico unfolds her remarkable story. Listen to the full episode here:

– Apple iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/underdog/id1534385651

– Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6FbSDu0aNtuxAEiderUAfB

– Website: https://theunderdogshow.com/

If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review.

Catch up with Leah on his social links here:

– Website: https://www.leahamico.com/

– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leah20usa/

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leah20usa/

– Twitter: https://twitter.com/leah20usa

– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leah-amico-oly-7734531a6/

– Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gold-standard-with-leah-amico/id1623845411

The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about this amazing woman, check out the following:

– Website: https://pamelabardhi.com

– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pamela_bardhi

– TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@pamela_bardhi

Click To Read The Transcript

Leah Amico Shares her Gold Standard Formula to Success & Shattering Records

Kevin Harrington
Hi, I’m Kevin Harrington, an original Shark from the hit television show Shark Tank and you’re listening to the underdog podcast

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog. Today I have the three-time gold medalist Rockstar amazing Lea with me. How are you, my friend?

Leah Amico
I am doing so great. It’s so good to be with you on this podcast

Pamela Bardhi
You’re amazing Leah, you’re like literally a champion, everywhere and like all arenas of your life, I adore you so much. And I just love who you are, what you preach about, and literally like your spiritual side, too. I do have a deep faith-based side. So like your story I know is gonna blow me out of the water song wicked pumped to have you here today. And I’m gonna start you off with my favorite question, which is what inspired you on your journey to where you are today?

Leah Amico
What inspired me, I think inside of me, I was just born with this competitive nature. I know, we’re all wired differently. I think that’s a beautiful thing. Like I loved being a part of the team because I saw how different my teammates and I were, although again. We were very highly driven playing for the Olympic softball team. But for me, like so much was this internal motivation of like can being competitive with myself and wanting to be the very best. And so in school, like I got really good grades. But I’m gonna tell you, it was hard, it did not come easy. It’s not as easy for me to memorize stuff.

But like, I just like found that when I was willing to put the work in like I saw these results. And so I think like, that’s what I kind of fell in love with was this process of hard work, not always outcome. Obviously, I wanted these great outcomes, I wanted to be successful, I wanted to have victory, and I wanted to be the best. But at the same time, more than that, I think that journey of like growth that happens along the way. And just I don’t know, just challenging yourself. Like, for me, I feel like it’s that like mentality of like, ooh, like, this is a challenge. Okay, you know, what am I going to do to overcome it? So I think that inspiration just really kind of came from within.

Pamela Bardhi 
I love that. Leah, I love that you’re a three-time gold medalist. I’m sure that you get this question. How did you even get into the software?

Leah Amico
So my parents signed me up when I was young. And you know, my dad loved baseball, I was the firstborn, I was a total tomboy. Like, I was like, on my tricycle when I’m three years old, just flying down hills and just loved being outside and playing. And like, I mean, I just couldn’t get enough of it was just very active. So I think I was like, seven years old, and my dad signed me up for both softball and soccer. I was very aggressive in soccer. I loved like, I might not have been as big as some of the girls, but I was like, I love the physical part. But then softball, again, like kind of that focus in that hand-eye coordination, I kind of took to it.

When I was eight a year later, people were like, Nah, and your daughter, she’s, I was a lefty. So they’re like, you know, she’s pretty good. Like, you should get her in pitching lessons. So that really ultimately began my journey. My dad’s love for baseball, me being kind of outgoing and a tomboy. And then them just being like, Okay, well, let’s put her in this sport, and let’s see what happens. And we had no idea where that sport would take me.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing, Leah. So what did you want to be when you grew up as a kid?

Leah Amico
You know, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But I loved sports. Like for me, like I just again, just being with friends being outside. So what happened for me is when I kind of started to see like that next level. When I was like 14 years old, our team went to national tournament and Chattanooga, Tennessee, and here we were from Southern California. We’re meeting 52 teams from all over the United States. We won the national championship. I was the winning pitcher. And I remember at that point, I didn’t know what I want to do yet in life. But I knew I wanted to get a college scholarship.

I knew I want to I was going to be the first one to go to a four-year college and my family. And so that kind of became I didn’t know but it was like one step led to the next step. So at that point, like that kind of became my goal was to go to college I didn’t know what that entailed. I didn’t know what would come with that. But that was kind of this stepping stone and then in college started taking some classes. Didn’t know what I really wanted to do I loved math. Thought, if I be an accountant, you know, they make money and love numbers. Oh, yeah, no, I took one accounting class and it’s bored out of my mind.

And I’m like, Okay, let’s be real am I going to be happy sitting behind a desk. So I’m so big on like, finding your passion and what drives you? And so then like, kind of for me, eventually I thought I was going to go into teaching that I was going to be a PE teacher. Like I loved teaching sports. I loved working with youth doing some softball camps when I was at college. Like really kind of opened up my love for that. I never did that. But a lot of those tools that I learned during college I’ve kind of used

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. I mean, it’s just so interesting how things correlate from like your early life into your now life like it’s all connected. Like sports is a personal from day one. That’s what you want it to be. And then that’s exactly what you became, oh my goodness. So who or what I guess, or maybe it could be multiple people served as a big inspiration for you like growing up.

Leah Amico
You know, I would say, my mom, first and foremost, I saw just how hard she worked. And she did it to provide for me and my younger brother and sister. So I think for me, just that inspiration like I just knew, and I feel like that’s how I was able to become my best was because of the support system that I had. And parents like driving me to different practices and lessons and sacrificing some things so that I could have these opportunities. Because I just remember, even at that age thinking, when I’m a mom, like, that’s what I want, like when I have kids like I just want to.

I want to be able to feed into what they love. And I have three boys now, they’re all so different. My oldest is 20. He’s kind of creative and to film and you know, right now just working a job. But that was always how he was driven. My next one is 16. He’s all about football. So we’ve been just trying to get into camps and get into lessons and get into training, just to see what that could lead to. And then my youngest, I’m telling you, he’s a little entrepreneur, Pam, you and I met at a mastermind. I’ve been pumped up just even hearing your story.

So like I’m trying to take even what you know, tips you had said and give it to my youngest son, and he’s 14. But I’m like, there, he just turned 15. But I guess this kid’s going places. So my mom, and then I would say my college coach, as I got a little bit older. He just has inspired me like almost like a dad to just go on and just continue to be a leader and try to do great things.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that your mom literally poured into you and that affected you in the future with your children, which is amazing. Which is so amazing. And I just love, I love all the inspiration in your life. And I know that you have a huge, faith-based side. So like the reason why I love this so much and I love this so much about you. This is because I always find that the most successful and genuinely happy people in this world are the most deeply spiritual. Like, we have this alignment of mind, body, and spirit. That is just like, we believe in something much higher, and that we’re guided towards that. Did that start for you at an early age? because like I can tell you for me, it was like, since probably middle school.

Because when I grew up, my parents came from Communism, and they weren’t allowed to practice religion at all. So like when they came to the US, they never did, like they never were able to go to church or like, you know, really practice. And it was really fascinating for me, because the first time I really came across it and in a formal way, was really middle school. Because I went to a Catholic school and then you know, evolved from there. So for you is that something that was just embedded in your family very young. Or something that you developed kind of along the way

Leah Amico
When I was born, my parents actually kind of had a life-transforming situation happen. I think it was like probably in their late teens early 20s. And I was born not long after that we’re just through a friend like had told them like, it’s all about Jesus. Jesus loves you, you died for you as you can live for Him. So for them, that was the choice they made of like, okay, I want to follow Jesus, I want to I want that. Actually, they started as this young married couple. They were actually working at this home here in Southern California for abused and just kids with really a lot of bad situations and mentally sexually. So many different things going on.

And so they were kind of like house parents, but there was an older woman who kind of ran the house. But then they were like these young parents. Well, I was born into that. So in a sense, like when I was little like, but then my parents when I was a couple of years old like we ended up moving and my sister was born and we went to church as a little girl, I heard that. And I would say like I always kind of had this general belief like you’re saying. I remember Junior High being like praying sometimes like I do believe in you God like I didn’t know much what that meant.

So when I got into college, it was really a teammate who just was super on fire for God. And knew kind of for her like the Bible and what the Bible taught and she knew it. I was like, You know what, I’ve always said, I believe this, but I don’t even really know what I believe. I think a lot of us go through that. And we’re kind of like on this journey of what does that mean to you? So for me, actually she invited me to Bible study. That night I just was like, You know what, God, I do want to follow you, I do want to know you. I’ve always had this like you said, this belief. But it truly was the beginning of this just life-changing journey.

I agree with you for me, it gives you such a foundation like I was out like winning gold medals and traveling the world. And like you said, being successful in my own realm. But ultimately, like I knew there was a bigger purpose and this was not just about Leah. It was really to make a difference to the light wherever I was going. Just be in the lives of my teammates for a specific reason. And so it’s just so much bigger. So I love that you tie that part in.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that Leah. Oh my goodness. Because it’s such a beautiful foundation, you’re such a radiating light and I remember meeting you and she is just pure light. Like it’s just, you feel it around you when you speak, you feel it like it’s just so so beautiful and it’s just amazing. And your journey is absolutely amazing too. So walk me through your career. So you mentioned that you played in college. You played really young used to your parents started you off really young in softball, and then I guess it kind of evolved up until college level.

Leah Amico
I got my college scholarship and I thought, okay, like softball is a means to an end. My parents didn’t have money to send me to college at that time. And so it was awesome, you know, to get my education paid for and I thought, okay. And like I said, I thought, Okay, I’ll go be a teacher afterward. So just kind of as on that journey, that path, but after my first year of college. We won the national championship, I was 18 years old, I got the only hit in the championship game to help our team and I just thought, oh, my gosh, this is it. Like is the best thing ever as a softball player.
I really, we had played some women’s teams when I was in high school.

I remember we were playing some women who were like, maybe like, the mid-20s 26 out, oh, that’s so old. And why are they playing after college? Like, I just thought it was so. But later on, I would find it’s because they loved it so much. They literally were like, I still get to do this at a highly competitive level. But I laugh because again, I’m like, Oh, I would have, you know, forfeited two Olympic gold medals if I was done after college. So I ended up softball was added for the first time ever my senior year of college to the Olympic family. So that freshman year, I remember thinking they just named softball is gonna be in the Olympics. And I was like, I’m going to be on that team.

And fortunately, I went into college as a pitcher and first baseman my coach moved outfield my sophomore year. That’s what opened the door for the Olympic team. So I went to the 96 Olympics in Atlanta, and then I came back to my senior year of college and finished up there. Then I kept competing for team USA. I got married in the meantime, went to my second Olympics in Sydney, Australia 200. We went gold, and both of those, and I was 25. I’d been married a couple of years, and I thought, Man, I want to be a mom, but I still want to play. Okay, I’m gonna try to do both.
And so I ended up taking a summer off having my son, Jake. And then when he was three years old, I won my third Olympic gold medal with Team USA in the Athens Greece game. So it honestly was a career that I could not have written. I would have never dreamt I would be able to do what I did.

Pamela Bardhi
That is amazing. And I remember you telling me so I think you were the first gold medalist that went back after having a child is that correct?

Leah Amic
Yes. For USA softball, I was the first USA softball. I have no softball players had done it. I thought, Well, I think I can and I and so actually, there was a women’s basketball player, maybe multiple. And then there were a couple of women’s soccer players for USA. So again, you kind of see like, Okay, well, they did this, and I can do this.

And what’s really neat is the next Olympics. After I retired, going to Beijing, three of my Olympic teammates, had babies and then went on to compete. So that was really neat to see them being like, I can do this too. So it’s just awesome to be especially for female athletes, you know, to be able to be like, Okay, I can be a mom. And I can still go be one of the best in the world on the field.

Pamela Bardhi
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And like, what was that balance? Like? That sounds very complicated.

Leah Amico
It was hard. It took a little bit. You know, I think the biggest thing I was really fortunate someone from woman from my church, she actually homeschooled her four kids. She pretty much just kind of took Jake under her wing like he was one of her own. And he kind of became part of their family. She was amazing. Because I’d wake up and I’d go in, I’d run 30 minutes away, the go-to trainer works out there for a couple of hours. Then I go to the field for a couple of hours and then I would head back and pick him up. We’d spend the rest of the day together. And that was just on a daily basis.

When I traveled, that got a little trickier. Sometimes you came other times, we just had to find our village. It really does take a village, my mom, my husband, just so many people supporting that journey. And so it was really hard. I will tell you, the Olympic year when we first renamed the team, of course, I was so happy and thankful. Because every year you have to try out and so it’s about whatever, 10 months prior to the Olympic Games. And they give us our schedule, and I just look at it. I just was like in tears because I’m like, it was busy, but nothing like this for leading up to the Olympics.

So I remember just thinking, how am I going to do this. A wise friend of mine said you know what, you’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it one day at a time. You can do anything one day at a time. I just it really gave me this peace. And I sat back and I was like, Okay, I don’t have to have the year figured out right now. I just gotta have today figured out so that it did it worked out. It was hard. And I left him a lot more than I would have wanted to. But I knew like for the season and when that season was over. Like I was gonna be able to be with him the majority of the time.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. And I mean, I’m sure you get this question a lot too, which is, you know, what was it like? First of what is training look like? So logistically, what is the life of an Olympic athlete who’s competing, like? All I can imagine is like being in a gym all day long, you probably get a stereotypical like, thing all the time. How does that look? What does that look like? Is it are your meals like control like what was that all look like?

Leah Amico
Yeah, so I think every sport is a little bit different for softball for me what that looks like we did a lot of individual training. And so that’s where you talk about like that self-motivation. There were many days when I was out at a field and running for time. I’m thinking nobody’s gonna know if I don’t make it but I’ll know. So it was like pushing yourself to the fullest right like to where you just like want to be sick after you’ve run these Sprints. But it’s because there’s a purpose that you’re working towards. So for me regular week would look like going to a trainer, he would have our workout that kind of led.

And we kind of had that throughout the entire year to where it helped us to peak. And so we had that inside go to the gym, go to the trainer workout probably took a couple hours of workouts. I would say at the gym training that way, and then I would go to the field and that individually different people are different for me. I was an outfielder and our first baseman so I would go in would do defensive work. I’d have one other person sometimes just hitting the balls and then tossing to me, I go to a field sometimes by myself. Get a bucket of balls, get a tee, just anything to get reps in.

And so I mean, there were times when my husband would go to the batting cage with me and he would be tossing these and he was terrible. He was terrible. But I’m like terrible is better than nothing. So I’ll work on this and I’ll just make adjustments and so it was very interesting. I would say usually about four hours a day or so would be committed to training. Then I once I got my workout in I felt like okay, now I can rest I can go be mom, I can do the other things.

Pamela Bardhi
Amazing. That’s amazingly I don’t know if I ever told you so I somehow made it to varsity softball. And that like junior and senior year, and like I don’t honestly don’t know how I did it.

Leah Amico
That is a hard sport to pick up in high school. It’s a very hard sport.

Pamela Bardhi
I don’t like I always had the most ridiculous hits. And like the most ridiculous things like the ball would go upside down and then it like it go like behind me. Then bounce off and like hit some car that was like driving by. Like I was like, not the first thing to be at that. Something always happens in my old teammates would be like when Pam’s on just hide. Because you don’t know what’s about to happen. And like, honestly, I told my coach, I was like, why am I honest?

I was like, I believe I deserve to be like, not even JV I’m like, I cause disasters everywhere I go. Like they put me in outfield because I was so new. I didn’t know like so many things, I just figure you’ll laugh at this because like, yeah, outfield. And the thing is I can’t see very well like from afar, so like the walls are becoming them. And I’d be staring and I wouldn’t even see it and it’d be land-like right behind me to my side. My team is like no.

Leah Amico
Yeah, no, it is not an easy sport. I mean, I’m telling you, even people who start off in junior high that don’t have those reps when they’re little and kind of that rhythm. And like you said, like, in the outfield, even now, like I was a good outfielder. Even now it takes me a little bit depending on like reading and judging over time like I would get it back. But then when I did it, I was really good at it. But if there’s somebody who’s never done it before. And there’s some people who just struggle with depth perception anyways. Because you’re it’s like the balls off, but where is it landing? It makes sure you get your glove there. Oh, yeah. No, there’s plenty of stories that I’m impressed. I’m impressed.

Pamela Bardhi
So what are some of your favorite stories on the field? I’d love to hear though.

Leah Amico
Oh, gosh, well, I have a story. I was in college and I was a freshman pitcher. And you’re playing against Arizona State. I went to University of Arizona. They used to just beat us up so bad. So my coach always wanted to like make sure we won by law. So we’re winning pretty well. I’m a freshman pitcher. And all of a sudden I start struggling I can’t find a striker. I give up a couple of hits, I walk in another hitter and my coach is just not happy. He walks out to the mound, sticks his hand out, and puts his hand out right in front of him.

I this little freshman, he doesn’t say anything. So I just give him a high five like instead of giving them the ball, I just give him a high five I smack his hand. And he does not even say anything. He just holds his hands still does not move. Does not budge does not change his face. All of a sudden, it’s like, Oh, he wants the ball. You’re giving me Hold on as I run off and I’m just like, oh my gosh, like I’m so embarrassed. And then my catcher, later on, had to say it in front of the whole team. Did anybody see when Leah got pulled from the game?

And you know, of course, I’m horrified to get you know embarrassed anyways. And it was very funny later but I don’t know. I mean, we have funny stories of people like hitting the ball off the fence, and then I didn’t do it. But like running around first and just face planting. I mean just so many things that happen that it’s funny. There’s so many stories when you’re on a softball field.

Pamela Bardhi
So you know, for my experience, it was just funny and I would just every game that I was in everyone’s like, oh god Pam. And like what’s gonna happen one thing that I really loved though. Being on TV because I had never played before high school. I was a triathlete. In high school. It was just really like the team building and just like the different personnel. It isn’t like you learned so much from each other. I think it’s really remarkable. So what were some of the best memories that you had. Whether it be like when you were in the Olympics or in college or like your teammates. And some of the most important things you learned through those journeys,

Leah Amico
I agree with you, I think teamwork is just so crucial no matter what we’re doing. And kind of having just a team of people around us in general. But for my teams, one of the beautiful things that I loved how different we were physically. We all had different strengths sizes. Like I love that about softball because seriously, there is not a like specific softball player size or type it is so random can be so different. I love that because it’s like, we all have different strengths. For me, it’s funny when you say this like we trained all the time on the field than going through a million drills. And plays and practising everything and individual teamwork, all that kind of stuff.

But it’s funny how when you bring that up, I immediately go to some of the times where we would do team bonding and team building. Doing some of these like silly little drills and things that we would do together. Or even these little competitions at the end of a practice. And it’s almost like, that’s where this like extra fun, special sauce came in. It was like in the moment and competition, it was the things behind the scenes. Like the way you really did respect each other and loved each other and cared about each other on that Olympic team. I would say that continued for me, like, I just truly, truly care about each of my teammates.

And had different relationships with all of them. But I can think and one of the other things, I think a beautiful thing. I think in today’s day and age, we’ve kind of lost this. We could have these full-on I don’t know if he was his arguments, but discussions, and two sides completely. There’s a lot of things happening in the world. We’re all you know, in our 20s, we’re older, we all have our views. And they might be very different from each other. But one of the best things that I personally love was everybody could say what they viewed what they thought what they believed.
And then we loved each other. Like, it was like we have each other’s backs, I’m on your side, I’m for you. I don’t care that I have maybe a different view on this political thing. Or this religious view or whatever it was. And so for me personally, like I so respected everyone on my teammates for who they were and where they came from. Regardless, like irregardless of what other things our differences. So my point with that saying, when you talk about teamwork and its importance. I always go to what were those things that we are united on. That what is going to get stronger, that’s what’s going to help us all accomplish our goals individually and as a team.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. And I mean, I’m sure there’s just been so many experiences throughout like the different teams that you are on, especially even the Olympic team, as well. Did they have special training programs to like blend everyone together? Because I feel like that’s such a diverse group. What did they have a structure for team building? When it came to the a little bit?

Leah Amico
Yeah, we did. We had four psychologists that worked with us at every level. And that’s the thing you’re like, Okay, well, physically, you guys are very good. We still need a little bit of coaching. And then yeah, you’re right. Like you have the idea of how we now get along, there was one situation that happened. I really think to like, when everybody and things are going well, a lot of people can get along. They can just, you know, kind of go through the motions. But when things get hard, that’s when I think, you know. Really, you start to see, like, what comes out of people’s rights and struggles.

Our 2000 Olympic team, lost three games in three days. We had a kind of a round robin, you play seven games, and the top four teams advanced to compete for metal. But we went in with 100 and get 10 game win streak, we won the first two games. Then we lost three in a row, which has never happened. The first couple of days, people kind of stepped back, people got quiet, people started pointing fingers. Then the third day, we all got together as a team. And this kind of was, driven by some sports psychologists back at home in the States while we’re over in Sydney, Australia. And was like, You got to get the team together. You guys got to talk this out. So a couple of things.

Everybody talked about what they brought to the table. So there’s the accountability piece. And then everybody went around, and they talked about what they knew about their teammates and one player was like a pitcher. And she said, You know, I just know that if that ball gets thrown, I was an outfielder at the time she said it is not going to drop outfield. You will do anything to get that ball and keep it from dropping. I remember just being like, infused with this like energy. Let’s go like we’re going to do this. We have this we went on to win the gold medal.

We came back and won each game after that. I will never forget thinking I’ve played with my teammates for a long time. And I think sometimes we take for granted we think these good things about each other. But we don’t always say that we were very diverse. We were very diverse. But the second you start saying words of encouragement and affirmation. Oh my goodness. I think it really can just take people to another level.

Pamela Bardhi
I absolutely love that. And I always wondered because I’m like they have all these teams and it’s like rock stars. How do you blend all the personalities together and like all the things in the different backgrounds. How do you unify. That’s amazing. And was there a major underdog moment that you experienced? Throughout your career,

Leah Amico
Well, I think in general, I was kind of an underdog anyway. Because I played with these women who were just so much stronger and faster than I was. I was literally when we did grip strength, I was the weakest one out of everybody. But I’m like, but we’re not. We’re not competing and grip strength. Competing on who can come up in big moments and get a big day, you know. And so for me, in general, I feel like my story like being in three Olympics. And be one of four women who have three gold medals. I just was not your typical, again, I was talented, those not somebody who had all these.

I played with these athletes who threw faster than anybody else could throw who ran faster than people could who hit the ball farther than then most people could. I didn’t do any of those things. So that in general, and then also, that moment that I talked about. Getting that hit my freshman year, I was a freshman, we were playing a superstar senior. Went on to win three gold medals with that pitcher who pitch for UCLA, and we were the underdogs. Our team was the underdog. But not just our team, I was the underdog, I was this little freshman with no name. Really, nobody was going to fear me.

We had a couple hitters behind me that it was like, Ooh, they’re the ones you gotta be afraid of, you know. And so just coming up, it almost is better, like being that person in that situation to be the underdog, because you surprise people. And then it’s like, oh, wait a second, okay. It’s not all about what we think on paper in sports, right. So having that moment, that underdog moment, for me, was literally what infused me with belief and hope, and new goals.
That really, I believe, was a truly transforming part of my story that helped me to believe I could be an Olympian and make that Olympic team.

Biggest Lessons Leah Learned Through Her Journey

Pamela Bardhi
That’s so amazing. I just your energy, so beautiful. I’m like, I can listen to LEAH Oh. So say there’s somebody listening? Or maybe it’s an athlete or an entrepreneur, or anybody like that. What would be some of your biggest lessons that you’ve learned through being a three-time Olympic gold medalist? Like, whether it be life personal business sports. What were some of the biggest lessons that you learned?

Leah Amico
Well, I think, you know, a couple things. One thing is that you have to have belief. You have to have belief that starts within you. Now what’s great is when others believe in you. And you kind of get that team and you get on that same journey of people that are going to help you go towards those goals. Like it’s awesome. But it has to start with you. Because again, you can have all the ability in the world. There’s plenty of people with tonnes of ability, who never go on and, and reach their potential. But you can have somebody with less ability with a lot of belief. They’re gonna surpass people.

So belief is crucial. Knowing where you want to be, and where you want to end up. I think that’s so important. Like, for me, it was each step that college scholarship, going and getting on that Olympic team. Winning the gold medal, you know, and different things. As I’ve continued in my career as a speaker, I kind of got this desire to go and share and speak. And so it was like, okay how am I going to do that, and knowing where you want to end up, I think is important. Because then you can start that journey on how to get there, I told you, like, school was not easy for me.

But I knew I had these tests. And I knew at the end of the year, there was a grade. So then for me, it was like, Alright, here we go, let’s put the work in. Because I want to get the best grade at the end of the year, and so I think that’s important. Team, we all need it, not only in athletics, we need a support system. I saw that I could be a mom on the Olympic team because I had a support system behind me. And no matter what we’re doing, and no matter what area of life, we’re in, what career field we’re in, we all need that. Because life is all about relationships.

At the end of the day, you could make all the money in the world, and you’re gonna be unhappy if you have nobody to live life with. And it’s really about people. So treating people the right way. I cannot stress that enough. Because I’ve seen being at a high level, even some of the most elite athletes, maybe in other sports as well when treating people horribly. Just think, well, doesn’t matter. Because I’m successful what I do, you just see the damage that’s done around them. And so but when you see people who are not only successful, but they invite people in and build people up around them. I just feel like it’s just this blessing upon blessing.

So get that team around you make sure you just believe and kind of just know your own strengths. I think that part of that belief is stick to what makes you good. Because I learned on my Olympic journey, that when I tried to be like some of my teammates, I started to fail. But when I stuck with what made me good, I really stayed in my lane and was like Leah, focus on what makes you, and didn’t try to be like the others. That’s when I saw success.

And I think too many times we see other people go out and have success and we think okay, I got to do it their way. We can learn from others who have gone before us, but we have to make it our own. Because that’s where you start to reach what you’re capable of in your own special way.

Pamela Bardhi
I absolutely love it. And question for you. This is one of my faves. What would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know? Now,

Leah Amico
I’ve been asked this question quite a bit, and I tell myself, don’t sweat the small stuff. These things that seem so massive and so big, like, I mean, I think I’m pretty mentally strong. And so I have been able to use adversity in my favor and like, find ways to overcome things and it makes you stronger. But I would just say some of the stress that I would carry. Which I think is common, but I don’t like to be stressed. I like to go out and have fun and work hard and you know, have intense moments. That’s normal, right.

But I think there have been times when you don’t have to have it all figured out. That is something that I learned over time like, a lot of times. It’s gonna look different than you thought it was gonna look. But just keep going in the direction you’re going. So that’s what I would say stay on the path. Just commit to that journey. Like, keep going.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that Leah. Oh, my goodness. I just love your journey. And now the things that you’re up to, I know what you’re up to in the next six to 12 months because I think it’s absolutely fascinating. But what’s going on in Leo’s world in the next six to 12 months? What’s coming up? What’s launching what’s going on? Give us the lowdown?

Leah Amico
Yes, I’m so excited. I love that we got to do some masterminding together, Pam. Because you know, we got to talk about some of these fun things. So I have just continued been build my brand, the gold standard, my website is leahamico.com. So I have speaking engagements that are coming up. I’m writing a book, I am in the process of writing a book about the gold standard and its principles. Gold is an acronym G stands for goal setting, overcoming obstacles L the leadership piece, and D is dedication and driving cars. Kind of those action points. I’m writing my book on that, I am launching a podcast called the gold standard.

And it is going to feature it’s going to start out featuring pro athletes, Olympic athletes. We’re going to start a little bit in the softball world first and foremost with some mild Olympic teammates. But ultimately, our goal is over time to bring in people in all different career fields who have gone on to be successful. Even the athletes that I’m interviewing, I love bringing in the process of like, okay, you were successful in the field. But how did that translate after the field and these principles that you and I are even talking about? So podcasts is coming out soon.
And then yeah, I’m just continuing to book up for the Fall different speaking engagements. I do have commentate at the Women’s College World Series with Westwood one radio for national radio, that is in June. So a lot of fun things a lot of travel actually also coach the under 22 Team Israel for softball. So I’ll be going to the Czech Republic at the end of June to coach them and the European Championships. A lot of fun stuff coming up all different directions. I laugh because as an Olympic softball player. I played right field and I played first base and I moved around. And I laugh at you know, my career field. It’s kind of all over the place as well. But a lot of fun stuff.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that so much. I mean, I just love that now you’re more in like the coach’s space where you’re helping other people get there. Whether it be like a company or a person or athletes. You know, it’s like you said it’s kind of all over the place. And it’s so interesting to see how what you’ve learned in the field really correlates to this life. And I just find it so fascinating. What would be one of the most important things that a coach would need to hear right now? Whether it’s a coach, a business leader, anything when it comes to helping build a team-up

Leah Amico
When I think of that you’re right, because I do talk to companies and the keys of teamwork and leadership and, vision and kind of setting that clear path. But to me, I would say that one of the most important things is how you lead others is more important than what you are asking of them. I’m gonna tell you right now if we lead with love and with letting people know that we care about them. Everything you do and say after that you’re going to be able to get the most out of them. Because people are going to want to work for you. People are going to want to do their best I think of as an Olympic athlete. That was one of the things my coach coached me in college and coached me on my mat last Olympics.

He literally took us to after we lost three games in the prior Olympics with our other coach, he came onto the scene. We crushed it, we went nine, and oh, we scored 51 runs, we only gave up one run. He took us to another level. And it was not just physically what he taught us. We knew how to play the game physically. It was this teamwork in this loving environment in this caring and through that when the demand was high. And the excellence you know was when there was an expectation of excellence at all times. All wanted to be a better version of ourselves. So how you lead others can determine how high those around you are going to be able to go.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. Leah, thank you so much for that because that can be applicable in so many different realms like businesses, corporations, and entrepreneurs. And all these things lead with love. Oh, man, you’re amazing, Leah. You’re amazing. Now, where can everybody find you and your awesomeness so that they can connect with you?

Leah Amico
Yes. So my website is leahamico.com like I said, and they can go there and they can sign up to get my monthly newsletter. I kind of share tips and Olympic stories and just some fun things that again, can translate into every aspect of life. Also on Twitter and on Instagram, I am at leah20 USA. I kind of post some different things where I’m speaking and where I’m going to be. And share kind of those different tips as well on some of my social media posts. So that is where people can find me.

Pamela Bardhi
You are amazing. Leah, thank you so much for your story for just being so amazing and being such a light to this world. Thank you. So that’s it for today’s episode of underdog. Catch us next week, always dropping on Thursdays. And remember, if you’re interested in real estate, or want to learn how to create more money and magic in your life. Check out meetwithpamela.com and let’s chat. Sending you so so much love

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Leah Amico.