Vote for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week: Week 8

Great coaches can instill a lifelong love of the game

Coaches teach young athletes about hard work, passion and good sportsmanship — skills that are just as important off the field — and can instill a lifelong love of the game.

This summer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta Braves are teaming up to honor the youth baseball and softball coaches who are making a difference on the field and in their communities.

ExploreVote for the Braves Baseball Coach of the Week: Week 8

“We would like to recognize the outstanding coaches in Georgia providing our young athletes with exceptional playing experience. The most important thing to know is the fundamentals, but there is so much more than that,” the Braves said in a statement.

This week’s nominees have all demonstrated outstanding dedication to providing youth athletes with exceptional playing experiences. Check out their profiles and vote for your favorite. Not only will the winning coaches be profiled in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but each will also receive a $100 gift card from Kroger and a baseball autographed by a Braves player.

Vote for your favorite coach

Voting is open through Sunday. The winner will be announced the following week on the Braves Coach of the Week page.

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

TJ Bruce

TJ Bruce has his hands full, according to nominator Candice Bruce.

“Coach TJ is one of a kind! He coaches an 11U travel softball team, is a captain at Newton County Fire and owns a business,” she wrote, “but still gives the girls his undivided attention. He loves the baseball and softball and enjoys teaching the girls everything he knows”

The coach apparently is also a big Braves fan, according to two people who nominated him.

“He’s a great coach and cares about the girls!” Brenda Welbron wrote. “Plus, he loves the Braves.”

Terry Welbron agreed: “He loves these girls as much as he loves the Braves. He has taught these girls so much and spent so much time with them, he deserves to be recognized!”

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

Adam Parks

Once you play for Adam Parks, nominator Holly Parks wrote, “you are family.”

“We hold drafts every season, and when we cant get all of our girls they will come back just to see coach Adam and let him know how they are doing,” she wrote.

“Coach Adam works a 50 hour work week, just to turn around and work 50+ hours with his rec girls,” Holly Parks wrote. “He supports them in all aspects of their life, not just softball. No child is left behind. If they don’t have the right equipment or dues to play, coach Adam would buy it, or pay it. He is also field director for our volunteer only park.”

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

Garrett Roberts

The way Garrett Roberts treats his players impressed two people enough to nominate him to be the Braves Softball Coach of the Week.

“He is a full-time lead at the hospital, but always puts his team first,” Faith Mansfield wrote. “He is great with the girls, and the girls keep winning, I think, because of their relationship with him. He always is so excited to go to practice and games — not to mention a great dad, too.”

According to Anne Kelley, Roberts “shows leadership, stays calm in stressful situations in the game, absolutely never yells at his team or an individual. He was coach of the 8-9-year-old Calhoun Lady Jackets and was chosen as coach for the Calhoun All Stars. His ‘new team’ was runner-up in their first tournament. He talks to girls individually so as not to ‘call them out’ and embarrass them if they make a mistake.”

Previous Braves Softball Coaches of the Week

Week 1: Wes Ward

Week 2: Jackey Felker

Week 3: Emily Barnard

Week 4: Tony Maldonado

Week 5: Nicole Black

Week 6: Kevin Pittman

Week 7: Josh Burris