Coaching softball proves to be Adrian Peele’s love language

Adrian Peele with his 11-year-old daughter, Madeline.

Adrian Peele, a Synovus private wealth advisor, loves to see others smile. For the last four years, this devoted father has coached his 11-year-old daughter in softball, which she started playing at the age of 6. He’s made it his mission to create a supportive atmosphere for the team, Suwanee Fastpitch, by helping improve skills and boost self-esteem. He’s volunteered almost 300 hours and counting. The love and care he’s shown to his players has created an environment he wishes he had experienced as a child.

Growing up, Peele’s family moved 12 times in 11 states as his father sought increasingly better job opportunities. Peele understands his father only wanted the best for his mother, him and his two siblings. However, each move made it difficult for him to make new friends, so sports became a significant part of his childhood.

Sports helped him cope with each move to a new state and later helped him as a kicker on the University of West Georgia’s football team. After graduating, he and his now wife met at a church in Villa Rica, Georgia, married and started a family. Building a life for them became his primary focus.

Peele and his wife have centered their family’s life in Suwanee, Georgia, where they’ve raised their 17-year-old son and daughter. He explains that his son briefly played baseball but later found his passion in art, but his daughter has loved playing the sport since she started five years ago.

“Whether it's in high school, college or life, I want to share encouragement with the girls on the softball team. I hope they remember when facing something tough,” the three-year Synovus team member explains. “I want them to know that taking one step at a time is okay. Focus on what you can control and stay firm in accomplishing your goal.”

To teach the young girls life lessons, he taps into the harsh lessons that come with playing sports, hoping they will carry them into adulthood. The coach recalls one incident where he shared a teachable moment after an on-field breakdown.

“One day a player broke down during a game,” Peele recalls. “She had a rough play and responded by hyperventilating. Of course, I called a timeout to calm her, explaining that mistakes happen and reassuring her that more opportunities to step up would come her way.” The player regained her composure and made a great play on her next opportunity.

"I love that my dad is always there when I’m down after a getting out, hurt or had a hard play," Peele’s daughter shares. “He lets me know everything will be okay, and it’s a chance to learn. He always says there’s always a next play, and he makes me more confident to face my fears."

“The more I can show the girls my vulnerability, the more I can build them up along with myself. And we can get through this journey together.”
Peele’s team, Suwanee Fastpitch, huddles during a game.

Inspiring players, family and even people he meets daily brings him joy. “Whether at home, church, a grocery store or on the softball field, I've got a lot of energy,” Peele admits. “But I also struggle with my stuff, too. The more I can show the girls my vulnerability, the more I can build them up along with myself. And we can get through this journey together.”

He often shares a story about basketball player Michael Jordan’s rise to fame, one of his favorite athletes. Peele tells the young team how Jordan was initially cut from his high school team, but with a supportive coach’s help and immense talent, he became a basketball legend.

“Jordan knew he had talent, and I’m sure he thought, ‘You know what, I'll just work harder.’ And look at what he accomplished. I try to instill the same drive and perseverance in these girls,” he says.

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Peele with his family (clockwise): son, Michael; wife, Meredith; daughter, Madeline, and Peele.