Championship Thinking in Sports

Jim Meier

Championship Thinking in Sports – John Vodenlich, Head Baseball Coach-U. Wisconsin-Whitewater on Championship Leadership

This is the 3rd show in a series on how do championships happen because of quality leadership. Of course a head coach, must have game know-how and the ability to teach technical skills/X’s & O’s for player development. However, he must also possess strong leadership skills. Why? Because championships do not occur randomly. Rather, they happen because the head coach has and uses sound leadership principles. Principles practiced and communicated daily with all team members: assistant coaches, players, conditioning, sports psychology, academic advisor and administrative staff. A few highlights about coach Vodenlich’s 11 years coaching career with the U. Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks…his alma mater: 402 wins and 75.8 winning percentage. 2005, 2014 NCAA Division III National Champions 2005, 2014 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 WIAC Coach of the Year 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014 NCAA Regional Coach of the Year2005 WBCA Man of the Year and 2004, 2008, 2010 WBCA College Coach of the Year. John is an internationally known clinician, conducting coaching clinics in Germany, England, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. Among the best players to ever take the field for Whitewater, from 1989-1992, Vodenlich finished with a .397 career batting average, good for third all-time in school history. His .456 average in 1991 is the second best single season average in program history and became the first two-time All-American at Whitewater. Core topics in this show include: 1. Leadership styles of key coaching mentors-from autocratic to democratic, 2. John’s own leadership style and philosophy, 3. The leadership-follower equation, 4. How John’s business education-B.A. in Marketing and Public Relations and M.B.A. has helped frame his leadership decisions and system development, 5. Adaptability, openness and the hunger to learn, and 6. Placing the image of the school and program front and center in recruiting.