by Dana Cavalea May 15, 2017


Best known as the former New York Yankees Captain and short-stop, but most importantly an inspirational leader to many- known and unknown.

An elegance and grace with everything he does. The ability to captivate a crowd with simple words of gratitude. Levels of fame comparable to that of Joe DiMaggio, James Dean and many other frontmen to the World's greatest rock bands met with tremendous humility and an "ice-like" spirit.

Much like the above- he had the ability to rock the house and dominate that stage no matter how big the moment. The louder the crowd, the more quiet the noise. An uncanny swag that was responsible for calming the nerves of rookies before their first game, management in times of panic and a shoulder to lean on for anybody within those clubhouse walls that needed an ear.

Never done for the fanfare or media attention- but always done out of "care" and because it was the "right thing to do."

Definitely a shy, introverted soul from the Midwest coupled with being one of the best extroverted performers of our era. The definition of a winner.

I was fortunate enough to spend over 12 years working next to this guy, watching him dominate people with a convicted spirit.

This is a man who can make confident CEO's gasp in awe of him over a simple conversation or give an up and coming ten year old player the confidence in himself to believe that through practice, he can make it to the big leagues.  


As a 19 year old strength Coach at the beginning of my career, he taught me about professionalism and accountability.  He is the best teacher one could ever have on the topic.

He would never board a team plane without a pressed suit and shined shoes.  He would always take the time to let you know when you were out of line.  The Yankee Cowboy that would silently corral his herd, keeping everybody focused on the goal of “team” which would later lead to winning.  He held you to a standard.  The same standard he held to himself as well.

When you first meet Derek Jeter, you would not understand him.  Just a very simple person, almost vanilla.  He offers tidbits of chatter, but not much until he warms up to you and you to him.  You ask the question, “What is all the hype about?”

But as you go through the journey with him, you see why he is a winner. The key words that dominate the conversation about Derek should be and often are, "accountability and consistency"... along with "self-control"..

Accountability to the process. Trusting his teammates and support staff. Being consistent day to day with his actions, preparation and behaviors. Never letting an outside event dominate his internal psychology and game plan.

I am enamored by people that talk about success without mentioning the importance of accountability, consistency and self-control since these are the foundational principles of long term success.

Focusing on those key words over 5, 10, 15 years to a lifetime will allow your results to reach higher levels of predictability. A person that is not committed to the process, not accountable to process and not consistent has no chance.

They will be constantly re-inventing and looking for whats next.. often times quitting pre-maturely based on a negative result that was the "result" of a lack of accountability, preparation, consistency and self control.

We can all take lessons from Derek Jeter if we slow down enough to see the elegance and what made him great.

Being a Professional takes work to hold yourself to that standard. But, it can be done.

How you dress, how you speak, how you act and how you perform can all reach Pro level. You must train to get yourself there. Being a Professional in everything you do is admirable because most people quit before they get there.

I will leave you with this. Start your Professional Transformation today. Coach yourself. Hire a Coach. The fruits and benefits of being a Professional take place over the long haul.

Consistency and adhering to the process will pay dividends as each day passes.  As you touch people with your presence, they will leave those interactions with you feeling your “PRO” energy and vibe.  Commit to this.  Others will move past you early but in the end you will WIN.  One day at at time.  One interaction at a time.  Be a Pro.  #derekjeter

Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

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