Lessons in Leadership

By Nick Pollice

A Look At The Fine Art Of Leadership Through The Eyes Of A Softball Coach


I once remember my dad saying to me that, the most important things you learn in life are those things you learn once you thought you knew it all. I never really acknowledged the importance or the natural impact of that statement, until I coached ladies softball.

Although my coaching career spans a mire seven years, my experiences and professional relationships are the equivalent of twenty plus years. I have had the opportunity to work with several excellent softball coaches but, what is better they were and still are tremendous human beings.

These men will probably never coach a provincial softball team nor, will they ever be added to the coaching staff of a national softball team, because they're not connected nor are they interested in being in the political arena that is derived from that position. They just want to coach and win at the game of softball; and win they do. Dean, Ray, David and Roger, all have one thing in common, they have forgotten more about the game and learned more about the players who play the game than most coaches can dream of learning.

Dean Garriock is a person who understands all aspects of the game of softball, especially defense and pitching. He expects the absolute best from his players and in return, he shares with the ladies his knowledge, wisdom and enthusiasm for the game.

Ray Turner, the best softball hitting coach in Canada is a person who looks for attitude. The more intense the player, the better for Ray. A true believer in offensive power he breaks the hitting game down into small, digestible elements.

David Haick is probably the finest and most generous person in the sport of softball. A great evaluator of talent, David tells it like it is. He puts his heart and time into the sport and expects his players to do the same. He is patient, relentless and compassionate.

Roger Davis is a student of the player. He studies the mental side of the game and communicates his commitment much the same way. A true believer in the Yogi Berra theory that the game is 80% mental and 50% physical, he instils in his players the need to think on the field - all the time.

Over the past four years I have coached with these four gentlemen and here are the lessons that they have taught me. It is belief that these lessons are not only applicable in softball, they also provide a value base to business.

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