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HiLevel Performance Performer

Lou Howard was my high school football coach in Amityville, Long Island, New York. Coach Howard made several important contributions to my life. He actually traveled to Hawaii to check up on me. During his visit he mentioned the importance of acknowledging the people that had made important contributions to my life. Fortunately, I listened and began to make it a practice to acknowledge others.

The real value I learned from this practice comes from the good feelings that come from completing the relationship and recognizing the contribution that has been made to your life.

HiLevel achievers share a profile that is characterized by an abundance of gratitude, excitement and devotion.


They maintain an awareness that provides clarity of purpose. They know what they want and they go get it!

Reflection: They are able to breathe, settle down and be present. They build confidence, they are patient and have compassion for the process, themselves and the competition.


They perform with an acceptance that allows them to work extremely hard and make it fun!

Reflection: They are able to focus and express an abundance of fire and passion in practice and competition. They learn to trust that they can perform under pressure and get into the flow of the action.


They achieve a balance between the expectations and the results of their efforts. They establish a process that provides a capacity for growth! 

Reflection: They install a lens to see and seize the opportunities to learn, to debrief and reframe negative experiences and express the truth of who they are.

HiLevel Performance Profile: 

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Dr. Cass Nakasone, 52

Chief Orthopedic Surgeon at Straub Hospital.

Cass was recently selected in the Honolulu Magazines Top Doctors edition for 2022. An honor that is well deserved. Indeed Cass is HiLevel. I first met him as a student in my health class at Punahou School in 1984. I was attracted at once to his outgoing personality and his discipline as a student athlete. Later as a graduate student at University of Hawaii,  Cass came back to train in the Punahou weight room. We shared many a set of wide grip chins.

Next scene, Cass completed a Masters Degree in Engineering and his Doctorate in Orthopedic Surgery. Working at Straub he soon became the main man for knee and hip joint replacement.

In short, Cass has the clarity of purpose for his profession and life. He received a masters degree in engineering to help with the problem solving needed to install new joints. His medical training continues as he strives for excellence as a surgeon, teacher, mentor and consultant to a wide group of hospitals, and universities.

Cass gladly accepts the challenges that his intense work load presents. He has compassion for himself and his patients. He handles the success and fame that he has achieved with humility and grace. He remains patient, pleasant, and present throughout the process of getting the job done in every area of his life. The quality for his work remains excellent.

Back in 2006, I was running hills, windsurfing and free to do whatever I wanted without restriction. One day after windsurfing, I was walking up the beach carrying my rig when my left knee gave out. Two weeks later, my right knee followed suite. Sitting with Cass he explained the situation. “I’ll replace both of your knees if time allows. Your left knee is really damaged. I’ll do my best.”

Facing the operation, I was really nervous. Cass sensed my concern. I don’t remember his choice of words, but his presence gave me confidence. When I woke up in the hospital with two new knees I was overcome with gratitude and joy. A few years later he did my left hip and then two years later the right hip.

The level of health I now enjoy is directly related to Cass and his expertise, friendship and humanistic approach to caring for his patients. In short, Cass has given me the ability to walk, swim and lift weights without pain. I can now experience and maintain the level of fitness that is important to me. 

Cass, thanks for being such a great friend and surgeon.

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Mahalo plenty.

Brad Yates