Rachel Balkovec

Strength Coach, Houston Astros


Favorite Quote:

“The phoenix hope can wing her way through the desert skies and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from the ashes and rise.”

– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

What are your core values?


How do you define “value”?

“Easy, how much can I learn? That determines the value of the person, place or thing. Houses, cars, clothes and the like have very little value to me.”

What separates you from others in your field?

“My relentless pursuit of education. I don’t mean reading books and taking tests. In the past year, I visited 9 different facilities to learn from other professionals (some in the field, some not), cut caffeine from my diet, took up the sport of competitive beach volleyball and became a vegetarian. Why? All for the sake of learning and personal growth. I am constantly trying to get better in more ways than one. My learning never stops. That is what separates me from other human beings in general.”

When was the last time you were down and out and how did you overcome it?

“That is a tough question for me to answer. As I mentioned earlier, I try to take a perspective that allows me to eliminate large periods of time when I am ‘down and out.’ It’s not that I don’t have bad days, I just see things for what they are: opportunities to learn. Almost a year ago, I did not get a contract extension from my previous job. That same day, I spent $2,000 on a brand new computer and bought a one way ticket to Phoenix that kicked off a three month traveling spree. I overcome the ‘down and out’ situations by never letting them change my perspective. It’s easy to have a good mentality when things are going well, but how about when they aren’t?”

What advice would you give someone trying to provide value in their job, profession, or field?

“Never. Stop. Learning. So often when we get to the top of our fields, we become ‘too busy’ to read, network, listen and speak to continue to improve. Having a thirst for knowledge is a rare trait and something that the right company will (or should) value.”

What motivates you?

“Fear. But not in the way that it traditionally motivates people. If I am afraid of something, I am inevitably drawn to it. I become curious about the fear that I can sense within myself and feel the need to relinquish it. If I am fearful of something, that generally means that I should go after it and explore it. Things are never as bad as they seem. I love a quote from Tim Ferriss: “A person’s success can usually be measured in the number of uncomfortable conversations that they are willing to have.” When I say ‘fear,’ I’m not referring to the traditional fears of spiders and sharks. I mean, going after what makes you uncomfortable and seeking out the reason behind it. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

The Office

Book Review

Quarterly Newsletter

A Person We Value

AM Podcast

Our Mission