PM360 recently spoke to Mike I. Cvijanovich, VP Marketing at Entera Health, about his love of coaching his daughters’ softball teams.
PM360: Mike, we understand that you coach softball. Tell us about that.
I spend a lot of my time either coaching my daughters’ (Kaitlin, 14 and Megan, 10) softball teams or volunteering to help as an assistant, scorekeeper, or any other job the team needs help with.
How did you get involved with coaching softball, and how has it evolved over the years?
I started out just helping on occasion with my oldest daughter and found that they always needed help—and the kids really enjoyed having more parents around. I took on instructional teams with my youngest daughter (that’s when the coaches pitch to the kids and there are no umpires) and didn’t think I would be interested in coaching the more competitive games. Turned out I was wrong, and have become more involved in both of my daughters’ teams as they have gotten older. I’ve been coaching now for more than six years.
Very cool. What makes you passionate about coaching?
Softball with my daughters is “our thing.” I enjoy talking about the game with them, going to the batting cage and watching college softball games on TV. I love the fact that no matter how busy I am, I can take time out to go to practices and games. We have a very family-focused culture at Entera Health, and my colleagues are very supportive if I need to duck out of work a bit early to coach a game or practice. Those are some of the best hours of my week.
That’s great. What do you coach these kids on, how do you inspire them on the field and how does that inspire you?
I believe in two things—fun and fundamentals. Especially with younger kids, we coach them on the basics—how to throw the ball, the right way to hold a bat, where the play is in the field. Even if they don’t execute the play, knowing what to do is very important. We let them know that spending time with them is the highlight of our week. They really respond to knowing that.
Coaching is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Watching the progress that the kids make in just one season is amazing. What’s even more amazing is watching the kids grow up as people as well as players.
Were you inspired by someone to get involved?
I never got to meet my grandfather, but he coached little league baseball. I remember seeing pictures of him with his teams and he looked like the happiest guy in the world.
What other interests do you have or would like to pursue at some point?
I like to hunt and fish—mostly in the winter and summer. Then we play softball in the spring and the fall. Our family also likes to go hiking in the mountains. I have always wanted to fly an airplane. Maybe someday, I will take flying lessons!