Spotlight on Ed Pomykala: promoting athletic and academic excellence
Although several factors determine results in sports, coaches have a direct impact on the athletes. A long-standing figure in Bishop’s University student athletes’ experience is Ed Pomykala, who was the Gaiters’ Men’s basketball team Coach from 1984 to 2008, worked in Recruitment and Admissions afterwards until 2018, and remains a Consultant Coach with the Gaiters’ Women’s basketball team to this day, having also served as Sports Information Director and Interim Director of Athletics. As Bishop’s marks its 175th anniversary, Coach Pomykala talks about athletic excellence and his experience with our Gaiters. “Working with Bishop’s has been a wonderful opportunity and a rewarding experience. One of my favourite Bishop’s moments is when I got married in 1993 at the Chapel and when the men’s basketball team won the Canadian national trophy in 1998,” says coach Pomykala.
Athletes’ memories of their journeys are often based largely on the leadership they experience. How coaches create an environment to motivate the players is often key to a successful performance. “I don’t believe in the reward-punishment system. I believe in the reward-reward system. Catching the athletes doing something right and praising them instantly is an amazing reward. By doing this, other players on the team are motivated to do the right thing,” explains Coach Pomykala.
In a student athlete’s career, academic excellence is as important as athletic excellence. “Bishop’s has always been a wonderful academic institution that promotes overall growth for its students. It’s all one – it’s not just about reading a book. Bishop’s provides an environment where both academics and athletics are intertwined. When people think of excellence, they look for the level of academic success a person has achieved, but excellence includes many things and I define it as a way a person goes about everything they do. This is what Bishop’s stands for and promotes so well,” explains coach Pomykala.