"My best friend asked me to coach his daughter's softball team and he said he would help as an assistant coach. I agreed to do it, even though this was my first-time coaching girls. When I met with our team of 12-year-old girls I found out that only one or two had ever played softball before. We started practices and the girlssteadily improved day by day. I worked with the team on fundamentals at every practice and during every game all year long. During the regular season the girls struggled and didn't win a game. I felt like I had failed them as their coach.
"But we had one more chance to succeed. At the end of the regular season the Parks and Recreation Department puts on a double-elimination tournament to finish the year. Each team's record is reset to 0 wins and 0 losses. Teams are eliminated from the tournament when they have two losses.
"I didn't have a lot of hope for us when we headed into this tournament. I figured we would play our two games and be done. Incredibly, at that point all my coaching and the girls practicing paid off. The team banded together and started winning. Our team lost one game before the championship game. We dropped into the loser's bracket and had to win again to get back to the championship game. The girls did it and we went into the big game with one loss. Now, we had to win two straight. They pulled it off and won both games to win the league championship for the year!
"The lesson I learned from this experience is to never give up. By teaching, drilling, and practicing the fundamentals and believing in my team, winning is possible. By remaining a positive coach it keeps my team striving for more and the team keeps swinging.
"The action I call you to take is believe in yourself, your team, coworkers, children, spouse, family, everyone in your world. Never give up even when it seems you are having a losing season. When you master the fundamentals of your game through disciplined practice and remain positive, things can turn around in an instant.
"The benefit you will gain is a heart full of joy and everyone on your team will have the confidence and encouragement that comes from winning."
You and I weren't there but we know these girls' lives were impacted in a positive way by coming from behind to win the championship. This win is now anchored in the cells of their memories for a lifetime.
Classes graduated in Vancouver, Washington (25 graduates), Clackamas, Oregon (38), and Bend, Oregon (29). Successfully completing the Leadership Development Lab requires persistent effort and courageous determination. Thank you to the 30 companies represented in these classes.
You can reach Larry Dennis in Loganville, GA TODAY at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-329-4519
band together and start winning
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems