I think that one quality I bring to leadership is confidence. As a leader I think it is important to be confident in what you are doing because it would otherwise be difficult to follow someone who is lacking confidence. As a leader in the softball world I also think that I bring experience, which is something that makes me confident as a coach. I’ve been playing softball for 18 years or so and I there is a lot I can offer as a coach because I’ve been in a lot of the same situations the girls are in now. Another quality I think I bring to leadership is my ability to communicate with those I am working with. I try my best to be a good listener and I’m always asking the girls how they are doing or what their thoughts and opinions are on a situation. I like to be open as a leader and tell the girls exactly what is happening and why rather than telling them something they want to hear. My drive to openly communicate with the girls I work with has served me quite well in developing coach/player relations. I think it has built respect and trust between the kids and myself. Honesty and integrity are another set of qualities I think I bring to leadership. I have been put in difficult situations before where I could have taken a short cut and lied or done something that would be considered unethical but every time I’ve been put in those situations I simply cannot take the easy way out. I’m a true believer in karma and I’m always telling people, “That’s bad juju, don’t do it. Otherwise It will come back 3-fold and bite you in the rear!” As a leader I think I have many qualities that I bring to the table. Therefore I’ll talk about one more, influence. I would like to think that I am an influential leader and that I have the ability to motivate others to work hard, stay positive and be respectful. As a coach I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.
I find that I am regularly encouraged to exercise my leadership qualities that I previously listed. Most of my encouragement does not come directly. Rather it comes in the form of positive results. Although on occassion I do get positive feedback from other coaches or even teachers that I work with on the softball field and in the classroom. It’s always nice to hear back from my peers rather than my subordinates on how I’m doing as a leader because it makes me feel that I’m going in the right direction. Ever since I’ve been enrolled in my leadership courses I’ve tried to do a lot of self-reflection so that I can become a better coach. The other coach I work with on the JV team has pointed out to me a couple times this year the improvements he has seen in me as a coach over the past year and that he thinks I’ve been doing a great job. The encouragement I have received has been great but I have also experienced my fair share of discouragement. The softball program I’m currently working with hasn’t changed since I was involved in the program as a player in high school. In my opinion the program has become stagnant and is in need of some serious changes. The problem is that everytime I bring up a suggestion or an idea I’m shot down and told, “well this is how things have always been done and that is how it is going to continue to work.” It’s extremely discouraging and leaves me feeling like I can’t collaborate with the other coaches on bringing new ideas to the program.
Some of the qualities that I would like to further develop is having the ability to stand up for what I believe in. Again with the softball program I work with I think there are a lot of changes that need to be made. I usually only voice my opinion to the other JV and Freshman coaches. For some reason I’m afraid to approach the Varsity Head Coach. I’m not a big fan of confrontation and I don’t want to bring up a subject and cause problems. I don’t want to lose my position as a coach witht he program but I’m unfortunately becoming so frustrated with the situation that I’m to the point that I don’t care if I lose my position as a coach. I’d much rather voice my opinion in a respectful manner and however the Varsity coach takes it is up to her. In addition to working on standing up for what I believe in, I also need to devolop my time management skills. This is an area I’m severely deficient in and it has proven to be my kryptonite with school. I’m a terrible procrastinator and I know in the professional world that procrastination and poor time management skills will not get me very far at all.