Interview with Amber Pierce

I just listened to the first part of this. First, Amber, I just want to give you a hug. You are awesome. There is more to be said here but I want to keep this short. Second, Trainerroad, you guys are taking your product to the next level by exploring and exposing what life sometimes throws at us and helping us manage through it. I wish I could give each of you a hug. Keep it up!


I agree 100%. Amber, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Your contributions have already been so substantial and this takes things several levels beyond. Thank you


100% agreed. This was an incredible interview. As both a coach at the elite level of sport and someone who has personally struggled with depression, anxiety, and disordered eating, I can attest to how impactful conversations like these can be.

Amber, thank you for your transparency and vulnerability. You undoubtedly touched a lot of lives by sharing!


loved it too - thanks amber! :slight_smile:


I’ve been struggling with low self-esteem, depression and disordered eating for a long time and this interview hit so hard for me … it was really, really awesome. Thank you!


Agreed, this was a really, really great interview. I listened to it in one go. Towards the last third (no spoilers), I just couldn‘t push pause. Chapeau to @ambermalika, of course, for opening up. I don‘t think that could have been easy. And @Jonathan, you are a really gifted interviewer, gently guiding the conversation.

It was really depressing to hear how badly a coach at the highest level of the sport can react and how little regard he had for the well-being of his athletes. As someone who mentors younger people, this made me really angry. And even the very best athletes might be in need of mental health care, look no further than e. g. Naomi Osaka.

I can‘t wait for part 2.


Totally agree with all the above comments, a really superb interview.


Same. It sucks that’s the way a lot of high level athletics have gotten. The htfu mindset can be so toxic and counter productive.

The coach saying they’ll pull a scholarship for missing 2 practices just enraged me so much. Really breaks my heart the dynamic switch from her high school career to collegiate career.

After the Naomi Osaka’s French Open withdrawal I heard a lot of reporters and people saying they’d understand why she didn’t want to talk to the press if she was open about what her struggles are. One (of many) thing that amber does a really good job conveying is why it’s so hard to reach out for help and be open about what’s wrong on the current environment. Hopefully this dynamic is changing with more high profile athletes speaking out and making really really hard decisions to step away from big events.


I usually skip the athlete interviews and was going to until I saw this thread. I’m glad I listened to part 1 of 2(?), definitely will look for the next part(s) of it.

Thanks for sharing what you have so far Amber. Sure you get tagged enough so I won’t here.

Edit: just saw part 2 dropped so listening now.


This interview blew me away. Not sure what I was expecting but, it wasn’t that! I had to listen to it again the next day.

Thank you @ambermalika, @Jonathan and the TR Team for making this happen :+1:


I’ve not even finished this yet, but it was EXACTLY what I needed.

I’ve been (gently) getting my 6 and 10 year olds into racing and always worry about how to push them without it being too much. Hearing Amber talk through her experiences as a 10 year old gave me so much to think about, especially since they both do like a ‘loaf’.

Thank you @ambermalika


I hope Amber and Trainerroad know that they will help so many people with these episodes. I find it particularly interesting bc I’m a coach of teenage athletes. It gave me lots of food for thought and reminded me of the important role/responsibility that coaches and mentors. Thank you for this brave and honest conversation!


oof that got heavy real fast. But it was entirely relatable for someone who grew up swimming competitively (~22hrs/wk in high school). Luckily my coaches weren’t as unforgiving (I wasn’t on a scholarship though) but there was a pretty similar vibe of “if you miss practice then you are weak and giving up” which was perpetuated by the fellow swimmers as much as the coaches (if we have to do it then why aren’t you? sort of thing). But it was equally, if not more so, driven by myself and my own desire to get better and better and the false belief that more work = better performance.

That lead to some pretty gnarly overtraining that I think was a pretty big contributing factor in me ending up having 2-3 seizures my senior year. Once we got that condition under control and I stopped swimming after States it was amazing how much more energy I had and how much clearer my brain and body felt. I had dug that hole so deep that I would get a terrible flu almost every year the week after our big meet and when I stopped swimming it took me probably 6 weeks of very light exercise to finally recover from it.


I would like to tell you many beatiful things but my English is not good enough. Thanks for share your expereiences your transparency and vulnerability touch me deeply. I wish could give you a big hug. Thanks @ambermalika , @Jonathan and all TR Team.
BTW your AT is amazing,

wating for the part 2 : )


Absolutely - what a thoughtful and thought provoking interview. I am part way through part 1, (Reaching College and the changes of approach) I had to stop and reflect on it).

Thank you Amber. @ambermalika ( @Jonathan)

… edit… now having reached the end of part 1, I found I was welling up towards the end of part 1. Crickey!



I briefly projected my 10 year old daughter onto Amber and nearly blacked out with rage (to be clear, it was plenty depressing and rage inducing up until this point, my subconscious just had to go that extra mile).

Thanks for sharing @ambermalika and great job with the interview @Jonathan.


Thank you Amber! Your honesty and openness made this interview incredibly valuable. It is really motivational to see what you accomplished after such a dark chapter.


Wonderful podcast. Can’t say enough. Growth mindset to the max.

Can anyone ( @Jonathan @ambermalika ) help me with the ph.d research Amber cites at 12:05 about triangulation of support? Even the name of the researcher would put me on the right track.
I would like to do a bit more reading to support my own academic interests.



I also have to echo the sentiments of the others, this was really great. And like others the bit about the college coach enraged me, because I think that really speaks a lot of the toxic culture of sports and this win at all costs mentality many people have. And it trickles down to parents wanting kids to excel in sports to have scholarship opportunities and what not. I think college athletics has a lot wrong with it.

As a parent with a 10 y/o who is not really interested in sports or general athletics, I’m trying to walk the line of wanting to encourage quality physical activity without being a sports parent. It’s a challenge with a kid who doesn’t have their own motivation because you need them to develop healthy habits but don’t want them to end up hating stuff because you make them do it. This is kind of tangential to the podcast content, but definitely resonates with me as a parent simply wanting to encourage wellness as opposed to getting good at sports.


These interviews usually aren’t my cup of tea, but I gave a listen because it’s Amber. This was such an eloquent and honest interview. Really well done. Thank you for sharing.