Paul Assaiante: Run to the Roar

Last week, in Hartford, Connecticut, Debbie and I got to meet Paul Assaiante, head coach of the Trinity College Men’s Squash Team. Trinity has an unprecedented 13 year and 13 national title win streak going. Assaiante has also coached tennis during his long sports career. He was an international caliber gymnast in his younger days, but has made a name for himself in coaching circles with an effective approach. We enjoyed hearing him speak about his own personal struggles and how he gets the most from his athletes. The best part of the talk was when our small group got to ask him questions. He fielded them with skill and had short and interesting answers.

I wrote about Trinity College squash in 2009 when they were in the midst of one of their national championship runs. They have won two more titles since my last post. I picked up a copy of the book that Assaiante wrote with James Zug, titled Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear. The book contains many management and leadership lessons. It should be a good read.

Assaiante was asked which sporting star he most admired. He acknowledged several big time athletes who have disappointed him. There are many to choose from. You can name many of the names! He said that character was one of the most important virtues and said that unequivocally, Billie Jean King was the sporting person he most admired. He told several personal stories about her and cited examples of why he admired her so much. He made a good choice.

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