Training has ended, the players have departed from the clubhouse, and head coach Darren Sawatzky is downstairs with a vacuum cleaning up and preparing for the next day of training.
Yes, you read that correctly…
The son of a welding foreman, Sawatzky was taught at a young age that his work ethic should always speak for itself. From building a car engine as an eight-year old, to hoisting championship trophies on the highest level of professional soccer.
Sawatzky has always attributed his accomplishments to the values and morals he was taught as a child.
“Life is all about people, helping others achieve their goals,” Sawatzky said. “That has always been my philosophy. So even though I am the head coach, you will see me cleaning up the locker room, washing dishes, because life is about helping people.”
A self-motivated individual, Sawatzky has cemented his beliefs into “Four Pillars of Success.” An ideology that he adopted during his days as a soccer player.
“The first (pillar) is that we respect each other,” Sawatzky said. “You can’t accomplish anything if you don’t respect a person. The second is respect the club, followed by maximum intelligence and last but not least maximum effort. If we do those four things, we will not only be champions, but better individuals because of it.”
Sawatzky brings nearly three decades of soccer knowledge and experience to FC Tucson in the club’s first-ever professional season. However, he brings something else the FC Tucson family. Something that isn’t easily measured: a high-level of respect for those around him.
“I’ve won championships on every level. I may not have been the best player on my team, however, I did everything the best player wasn’t willing to do. I worked my butt off and always gave maximum effort in everything I did,” Sawatzky explained.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Darren Sawatzky, the head coach of a brand-new professional club, practicing what he preaches. He’s willing to do what the best aren’t. If his players follow his lead, and the four pillars of success become ingrained into their everyday lives, Sawatzky could have some company in the locker room post-practice well into October.