Garry Watanabe is a lawyer, an instructor at Queen’s Smith School of Business, an inspirational speaker, and holds a master’s degree in sport psychology. Most of all, whether he’s on the pool deck, in the classroom, or at the lectern, Watanabe is the consummate coach.
Watanabe spent the first five years of his career as a corporate lawyer before a passion for coaching led him to leave the legal profession and obtain his master’s degree in sport psychology. He spent the next 10 years as a national level swim coach, directing programs at Carleton University and in Southern California—the most competitive swimming environment in North America.
Looking to combine his business experience with his coaching background he joined Performance Coaching in 2002. Since then, he has helped thousands of managers apply the principles of coaching and high performance in their professional and personal lives — working with senior executives and front-line managers alike across numerous industries and geographies, and teaching at Queen’s Smith School of Business.
In addition to his work in the corporate arena, Watanabe continues to prepare elite athletes and coaches for competition. He works with skaters at the Mariposa International Training Centre and is the architect of Coach To Leader, a 12-month leadership journey for national team coaches delivered in partnership with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.
Watanabe is a key player in our work with Right To Play, where he has adapted the Coaching for High Performance program to meet the needs of 15,000 volunteer coaches, and travelled to Rwanda to roll the program out to internal Right to Play facilitators.
Whether the goal is to introduce the concepts of coaching, motivate employees to deliver their personal best, or strive for a new level of organizational excellence, Watanabe’s friendly, easygoing manner, trained analytical mind, and wealth of practical experience can provide the inspiration, technique and tools to make that goal a reality.