DAA Adds Positive Coaching Program to its Playbook
As a new sports season gets underway, the Davidsonville Athletic Association will enhance its youth athletics program with a partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) – a national, non-profit organization that is committed to offering youth and high school athletes with a positive, character-building sports experience.
As part of the alliance, DAA coaches will attend a series of coaching and character building workshops and will have access to a variety of online coaching tools and resources from nationally recognized sports leaders.
DAA soccer commissioner Laura Bjorn said that Jim Thompson founded PCA in 1998 at Stanford University. Over the years, Bjorn has come across the program through her association with travel soccer groups and at South River High School where PCA practices are put into play.
It was Bjorn who brought the idea of PCA to the DAA board of directors’ attention. A few weeks ago, the board unanimously approved the partnership and moved quickly to implement the practices into the spring sports season.
In April, about 20 DAA commissioners will go through a leadership workshop. Shortly thereafter, some 100 coaches will attend coaching seminars.
“All head coaches have to be certified within the year,” said Bjorn. “DAA assistant coaches will be offered the course next year.”
According to the PCA website, the group has three central models:
- The Double-Goal Coach®, teaches that the first goal is winning, with the second, more-important goal to teach life lessons through sports;
- The Second-Goal Parent®, concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing;
- The Triple-Impact Competitor®, strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.
Bjorn said that DAA has always believed the focus in youth athletics should not just be about winning but honoring the game and respecting the rules.
“Winning is great but it’s also important to show appreciation for the opponent, coaches, rules of the game and referees,” said Bjorn. “The PCA model emphasizes these beliefs and helps educate coaches on how to instill these character traits in youth sports.”
DAA field hockey commissioner Lyn Shoop is a huge fan of PCA as well and strongly believes in the power of positive coaching. In fact, she has included PCA tools in her playbook for some six years.
Shoop said that years ago she read an article about youth sports and how it should be a joy for children to play and not a chore. Somewhere along the way she came across PCA and signed up to take their Double Certification Program.
“Positive coaching is a huge motivator for kids,” said Shoop.
Shoop said a few examples of positive coaching include: every time you cheer for your own child cheer five times for another team member; or for every criticism, reaffirm the child with five positive comments.
“If one of my kids has a bad game, I tell them to ‘flush it’ and move on,” said Shoop. “Focus on what you can control and leave the other stuff behind.”
Shoop said she is thrilled DAA is mandating PCA certifications for all coaches.
“I think it’s fabulous,” said Shoop. “DAA will benefit from this program and so will the kids. The power of positive coaching is absolutely amazing and should never be underestimated.”
For additional information on the Positive Coaching Alliance visit www.positivecoach.org.