“There’s things we take for granted, as athletes, as coaches, and sometimes when you have those things taken away from you, you really just realize how much they mean to you and I think every opportunity we get to show up to work, every opportunity we get to showcase our talents, it should be done with gratitude, it should be done through gratitude. Gratitude should be the entry point to all that we do and all that we accomplish in life and I think as long as we keep that as our center focus, your perspective in sport and in life—you know, sport right now but definitely life in the future—it just changes.”
Diljeet Taylor is the Associate Director of Cross Country and Track and Field at BYU, where she’s coached since 2016. In 2019, her women’s cross-country team finished second at the NCAA championships—only six points behind Arkansas—and it was the first time the Cougars had been on the podium since 2003. Prior to BYU, Diljeet coached both the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs at her alma mater, Division 2 Cal State Stanislaus, for nine years.
I absolutely loved this conversation and I think you will too. We talked about how Diljeet and her team have navigated the pandemic on both an individual and collective level. She told me about her emphasis on gratitude and why it’s such a big part of the culture she’s created at BYU, her mission of empowering women, and the importance of investing in people and not performances. Diljeet and I discussed how she got into coaching, the influence coach Frank Gagliano had on her decision to pursue it as a career, and how she makes it work as mom of two kids and full-time Division 1 coach. We also talked about the self-check she does every day, the effect of social media on athletes this day and age, balancing confidence and humility, and a lot more.