As Little League® continues its celebration of Girls with Game, Nevada District 3 Administrator, Kati Harmon, shares her advice for other females and the importance of being involved as a Little League volunteer.
Little League (LL): What motivated you to take on a leadership role within the Little League program?
Kati Harmon (KH): Getting involved always started with my son’s passion for baseball, but also the relationships I’ve built throughout the years as a volunteer. I saw some of the struggles my league was facing, so I wanted to jump in and get our league back on track and help it grow. When we had our District Administrator resign due to personal reasons, I decided to step in and take over that role to try and grow our district as well.
LL: What do you feel are important traits of a District Administrator?
KH: Organization is a very important aspect. Second, and it goes hand-in-hand, is transparency. You need to have information at your fingertips ready to share when asked but sharing before you’re asked can be even more important that responsiveness.
LL: What would you say to someone interested in volunteering at their local league?
KH: It is absolutely worth every second of your time. There are so many rewards that you can’t see that are gained from volunteering. On a personal level, it will help you grow. On a community level, it will help your community grow. And that, in turn, will help Little League grow internationally. It all starts with you.
LL: What advice would you give to a female that may be scared to coach a male baseball team?
KH: Use your femininity to your advantage. Women have that nurturing nature. Being the mom of the group can be advantageous to your coaching philosophy, depending on which age group you’re coaching. When you’re giving them that experience, gender doesn’t matter. Just be a good role model and help them through what they’re dealing with at the time.
LL: What do you think about the Girls with Game initiative?
KH: I think it’s a great promotional tactic for registration and throughout the entire season. Softball numbers in our district have been low, but they are starting to grow and the league that embraced the Girls with Game initiative saw the most growth. I think it would be really helpful for leagues to find a way to use this on a player-to-player and girl-to-girl level. We are a social media age and if we put it in the players’ hands to promote, it will really help us a lot.
LL: What advice would you have for other women who may not have the confidence to step into a leadership role?
KH: For me personally, it was research. Learn the rules, regulations, and policies and just show up. Take something small if you aren’t ready to jump into a League President role. Start as a Team Mom or in the concession stand and realize you are capable of anything. You just need to take your own path.
LL: How would you describe the Little League experience to someone?
KH: It should be about fun. It should be the moments in a kid’s life that they remember forever. It’s team bonding and sportsmanship, but bottom line is about fun. For Little League, it’s a program that they should feel safe in, have fun with their friends, and enjoy for the rest of their life.