Adam Ottavino, pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, recently joined the first Action Team conference call of the 2015-2016 school-year. He spoke about the importance of leadership and community to more than 30 Action Team Captains from high schools across the country. The Greenwood High School Action Team of Bowling Green, Kentucky joined Adam as the featured high school on the call.
As soon as he heard about the Action Team, Adam was very interested in what they were doing. “As a kid growing up, I benefited from volunteers myself,” Adam said, “and if it wasn’t for people acting out of the kindness of their own hearts, I may have never gotten to where I’ve gotten today.”
Adam and his wife are very involved with volunteer work. “We really are trying to focus on the issues that matter to us, which are domestic violence and child abuse prevention and homelessness.” The couple works with homeless shelters, as well as early education with children in school programs. Adam claimed, “When you’re passionate about something, it’s easy to take action whenever you can.”
As the question and answer session approached, questions flooded in from various high schools. Michael from St. Anthony Junior Senior High School in Maui, HI posed the first question to the Greenwood High School Action Team, asking for advice on how to get the entire school involved in Action Team projects. Greenwood High School recommended advertising the project on posters and announcements throughout the school, to which Michael replied a friendly “thanks and mahalo from Maui.”
Adam was asked for tips on how to make time for volunteering. Adam recommended getting the first priorities such as homework “out of the way early,” as well as setting realistic goals. He said, “When you care about other people, it doesn’t feel like a job. It makes it a lot easier to make time and do that because you’re so inspired and motivated.”
Aside from advice on advertising volunteer projects and time management, leadership was the underlying theme.
Upon entering the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Adam immediately looked up to fellow pitcher, Adam Wainwright. “I was very impressed with his leadership. I tried to take some of what I learned through watching him into my own clubhouse now.” When asked about how to be a leader, Adam replied, “The biggest thing is showing genuine care for each other.”
The high schools dialed in to the call heard valuable advice from the pitcher who wears a single number 0 on the back of his jersey. “If you say something that has meaning and real emotion behind it, people are going to listen,” chimed Adam. “I think it’s everybody’s job to step up and be a leader in their own way.”
To hear the entire October Call featuring Adam Ottavino click here.