Photo of CSUEB alumnus Steve Victorson by a pool.

Steve Victorson '86 (photo:

Former CSUEB water polo player authors book on champions

  • January 23, 2013 5:00am

Cal State East Bay alumnus Steve Victorson '86, physical education, a former Pioneer water polo player, has written an in-depth book on how to become a champion-level performer in sports and business.

The Champion’s Way is built around 11 distinguishing characteristics of the champion, each of which comprises a chapter. Co-authored with Robert Yehling, "Champions Way" uses anecdotes and insights spanning 50 years of sports and business to provide descriptions of each characteristic and explicit steps everyone can incorporate into their lives. 

The book defines a champion as someone who wins at their undertaking repeatedly, and continually adapts and adjusts to remain on top for a period of time. “There are very few true champions of sport and of business, and the reasons are clear. It is very, very hard to become the best in your sport, field or profession,” Victorson said. 

Victorson says there are 11 common characteristics of all great champions, including:

  1. 1. Growing up in an environment favorable to the sport.
  2. 2. Commitment to the sport
  3. 3. Naturally competitive
  4. 4. Winning equals first place
  5. 5. Losing is a learning experience
  6. 6. Success equals winning
  7. 7. No heroes and idols
  8. 8. Support: friends, family, coaches, trainers, etc
  9. 9. Making your own luck
  10. 10. Knowing self
  11. 11. Right equipment

On his Web site, Victorson gives credit to his CSUEB experience for leading him into coaching, "Fortunately, at Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay), we had two very successful coaches who let me observe their programs. We also had a very strong physical education program that fed my interest in the human potential. The idea of coaching was secondary to the concept of teaching, but part of the picture. Helping others reach their potential has always been my interest."

Victorson served as a conditioning coach for the U.S. Ski Team during a period that included the 1988 Olympics. In 1999, Dr. Victorson earned his doctoral degree in Human Movement from Boston University. His doctoral dissertation, “The Factors of Winning Among Elite Alpine Ski Racers,” provided the inspiration and impetus for The Champion’s Way.


California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

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