Championship Thinking in Sports

Jim Meier

Championship Thinking in Sports – Building Respect and Trust between a pitcher and his coach

Hear from guest, Shaun Cole*, University of Arizona pitching coach and 2012 DI pitching coach of the year, about how he builds trust and respect with the U. Arizona pitching staff. In order to create a winning tradition, each player needs to believe they are a winner. They also need to be communicated with directly and honestly about their team role and responsibility and what they are doing well and what they need to do to improve. Fundamentally, this is a slow near impossible road to travel as leader-coach unless the foundation of respect and trust is laid like concrete and reinforced like steel rebar. In this show expect to hear Shaun share specific information about: a) amount of quality time with pitchers, b) what he does to get to know them as individuals, c) his use of listening and questioning skills, d) assessing pitchers on the recruitment trail, e) role modeling, f) maintaining confidences, g) understanding what head coach, Andy Lopez, expects from him, and more.

*After completing his college career, a lefty pitcher at Iowa’s William Penn University, Shaun Cole returned home to the Seattle area and plotted a career in coaching baseball. First, he sought a master’s degree at the University of Washington but wasn’t initially accepted into the program. However, his persistency paid off.  In January 2009, Cole joined the Arizona program to assist in the daily operations while completing coursework from the University of Washington as he earned his Master of Education degree in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership. For the Wildcats, Cole shadowed Lopez in the development of the pitching staff and served as a liaison between the baseball staff and other UA departments, including academic services, marketing, fundraising, ticket sales and the medical services. Prior to joining the UA program, Cole held the position of pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington. At Edmonds, Cole helped coach the program to the 2008 NWAACC Championship title as he assisted with pitching instruction to develop proper mechanics, arm health and conditioning. In 2006, Cole spent six months assisting the General Manager for Baseball Operations with the Seattle Mariners Triple-A affiliate.