We know that Super-Sod team members are ardent turfgrass experts. However, we love exploring their passions that are separate from sod. Meet a couple of coaches who make those around them smile in the office and on the field.
Daniel White – Softball Coach & Manager
By day he manages Atlanta’s sod needs for the Super-Sod store at the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park, GA.
By night he’s a coach extraordinaire for not one, but two softball teams. It seems Daniel White is always leading others somewhere near turfgrass.
Daniel first became a softball coach when the director of his church softball league asked him to help out. Now four seasons into coaching the women’s team, titled the Black Team, which his wife plays on, he says, “It’s not all about winning. It’s about being the same guy, win or lose.”
More recently, another opportunity to coach came along when both Daniel’s daughter and the daughter of a friend wanted to play softball. The two dads signed up to coach at the local recreation department, and now they’re on their second season of coaching. The 8U Ola Gems are clad in fabulous pink and black uniforms, complete with logos designed by Daniel’s wife, Jennifer.
Daniel was first introduced to baseball by his brother and learned from his coaches throughout childhood, including the inspiring Mark Sorrells who coached him from the age of 7 to 14. Since then, Daniel has learned softball and baseball by constantly playing watching the Atlanta Braves and playing baseball himself.
Though the Gems and the Black Team are far from professional, he said, “It is a lot more intense than I thought it would be.”
However, the years of experience have made him a wise coach with a purpose behind all of his efforts.
“My favorite part of coaching the Gems is watching the little girls grow, seeing their progress and knowing I had something to do with it,” Daniel said. “Just being there to pour into the kids and hoping I can make a good impression in their life while I have them.”
Daniel also enjoys seeing the relationships that form that will hopefully last forever between the women and girls on the Black Team.
As manager of a Super-Sod store, Daniel has learned skills that also help him in the dugout.
“Patience…lots and lots of patience. It has also helped me know how to talk to parents to parents and kids,” he said. “How to be a leader and how to keep a good attitude no matter how challenging something may be.”
Thanks to Daniel for getting involved in his community and representing Super-Sod in a positive way, even when the games get intense!
Nathan Tart – Lacrosse Coach & Safety Expert
Nathan Tart, Director of Health, Safety, and Training, serves as a coach who has learned the sport as he teaches it. Based in Middle Georgia, Nathan coaches the Macon Grizzlies, part of the Macon Youth Lacrosse League.
Though Nathan hasn’t been playing, or even watching, Lacrosse for his entire life, he has drawn inspiration from coaches of his past. From three years of football at Valdosta High, Nathan still remembers his coach, Nick Hyder.
“He never let us forget that our hard work and sacrifices were to make us better men for life,” Tart said. “It wasn’t all about football.”
Nathan took these lessons in sportsmanship and implemented them in a game less familiar to himself — and most Georgians — than football. Tart first saw the sport when he attended the Air Force Academy, but has only recently become a coach and fan of lacrosse.
His sons tried out a few years ago, and Nathan took on a coaching role between his time in the U.S. Air Force and beginning his position with Super-Sod in June 2016. He has learned from both watching YouTube videos and watching the local college lacrosse team at Mercer University.
Nathan enjoys coaching because it’s a way for him to give back following his Air Force career. “Along with being the Super-Sod Safety Coach, it fills the void of no longer being an instructor pilot and teaching the young guys in the squadron about flying and combat."
However, Tart’s favorite part of coaching is introducing lacrosse to Middle Georgia as parents learn simultaneously with their children.
“This has created a great family experience. We go out and have fun playing the fastest sport on two feet with none of the pressure of traditional Georgia youth sports.”
Through teaching both parents and kids, Nathan has also learned lessons of encouragement.
“You might be the only person to lift up a kid on a given day,” Tart said. “Get your mind right, show them some love, and remember it’s just a game.”
Nathan has gleaned a few lessons from his work at Super-Sod that have aided in his coaching experience as well.
“You never know what’s going on with the folks that walk through the door, and it never hurts to share a smile or a kind word. I joke with our front desk crew that I think some of the people that come by don’t want to leave. They may be the only people those folks get to visit with, and Heather, Russell, and Jasmin never fail to make people feel good.”Thanks to Nathan for stepping up in his community and keeping the Super-Sod crew safe each day.