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Featured Pickler: Author writes that pickleball promotes leadership skills

Courtesy of Dr. Kaliym Islam
Dr. Kaliym Islam combines his passion for pickleball and leadership training in a new book.

Does playing pickleball make a person a better leader? Dr. Kaliym Islam sure thinks so.

In fact, the 62-year-old Lithia resident wrote a book on that matter. It combines his newfound passion for the thriving sport with his business acumen.

Islam has a doctorate degree from Northcentral University in Arizona, worked on Wall Street in financial services and focused on leadership and training. He is the author of “Pickleball Leadership, Lessons from the Court to the Boardroom.”

“It’s about using pickleball to make you a better leader,” said Islam, who has written four books on leadership, training and development. “Just like in pickleball, in business you have to make decisions in how you go about your business.”

Islam is not new to athletics. A former high school and college standout in track, he heard about pickleball from his wife Cathy nearly two years ago. In that span he has gone from newcomer to a competitive tournament player.

In addition to his recent book, Islam is collaborating on a research article for an academic journal with Dene Williamson. A co-owner of Tampa Pickleball Crew in Ybor City, Williamson is a sports management professor who in the fall will teach at the University of Tampa.

“I love the way that he has taken the sport of pickleball and transferred those skills into a leadership component in the workplace,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Kaliym Islam

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