You have coached tennis at the collegiate level for over ten years. How do you keep getting the best out of your players?
As a coach I think it is vital that I genuinely show love and compassion to my players. I care very much for every player that plays for me and that has ever played for me. When they know you care for them then I feel like it is very motivating for a player to want to give their all.
As a college Coach, what is the most important aspect of Leadership for you on a daily basis?
Integrity. I know my players are always watching me and how I handle things. I am by no means perfect and I make mistakes but I always own up to them and I want all my players to know that they can trust me with anything. I would never want to do anything to lose that trust.
Any leader has to find balance in their life. All leaders are busy but Coaches are extremely busy. How do you find balance in your life as a Coach, Husband, & Father?
You have to learn to say no to things. I also had to learn early on what are my true priorities in life. Mine are God, Family, and my job. In that order. I make sure everyday I wake up I follow that order.
A couple years ago, you went in to see the doctor and came out in a fight for your life against leukemia. What did you learn in that battle and how has it changed your life?
I learned a lot to be honest. The verse in Isaiah 41:13. says For I am The Lord you God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear: I will help you." This became my rallying cry. I leaned on God through each mountain that came my way and I learned not to tell God how big the mountain was but to tell the mountain how big my God was.
I also learned that cancer has it’s limits. Cancer took me away from my church for a year but it never took away my ability to worship. It took me away from my family for weeks and months at a time but it never took away my love for them. In fact, it grew. It took me away from my job for a whole year but it never took away my love for my players and it did not take away my motivation to get back.
Cancer knocked me down physically so many times over the course of that year. But I told myself from the beginning that I would not let it touch my mind, my heart and my soul. I am here today to tell you that Cancer never invaded those three areas.
Cancer left me with three very distinct physical scars. One on my head, one on each of my arms. These scars are now precious to me because they are permanent reminders of how much God loves me and how far He carried me.
Your program has completely adopted and embraced Finish Empty as your mission each day. How have you seen it impact your players?
Finish Empty gives a target to shoot for every single day. Not just in practice, or on the court but in the classroom, in the community and in their personal lives. It has been so great seeing the players use the hashtag and wear the shirts but it has also been great seeing them applying it in their lives. We had a match recently where one of our players had to be transported to the hospital due to severe de-hydration. When she was released she told me well I guess I can say I finished empty!
What does Finish Empty mean in your life?
Finish Empty means the same for me as it does my players. I want to make sure I am giving everything I have everyday to God, my family and my job. I have learned that there are a lot of things in life I cannot control. Two things I know I can control are my effort and attitude. I make sure I am using those two things each day to positively impact everyone I come in contact with.