Coach’s Corner: Weekly Articles of Interest

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s lead is a story of Connecticut’s Wolcott Tech-Torrington girls basketball team, which recently snapped a 19-year losing streak.

Putting ‘W’ In Wolcott Tech (Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 1/11).

Times Changing? Era of Hockey Fights Could Be Over If Leagues Influenced By Public Opinion (Thane Burnett, Calgary Sun, 1/15).

Scholastic Sports May Be Best Bargain in ‘Bad’ Economic Times (Larry Hicks, York Dispatch, 1/15).

School Sports Tackle Funding Cuts (James Johnson, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 1/14).

Too Much Playing Harms Youngsters (San Jose Mercury News, 1/14).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Coach’s Corner: Minneapolis Paper Covers PCA’s Annual Sports Lists

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s lead features an article on Positive Coaching Alliance. In Minneapolis, Rachel Blount takes a look at Positive Coaching Alliance’s lists of the top 10 and bottom 10 moments in sports:

Lists Offer Lessons in Life That Sports Can Teach So Well (Rachel Blount, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/6).

“I think there’s a growing awareness of the importance of honoring the game. There’s something going on in sports beyond the immediate competition, the idea of who wins and who loses. Sports have the ability to inspire us, to elevate us, to enhance our appreciation of life. That’s why we created this movement, to make sports the ennobling experience it should be.” -Positive Coaching Alliance Executive Director Jim Thompson.

Positive Coaching Alliance’s Bottom 10 Moments and Top 10 Moments in Sports, 2008

More articles of interest:

Games Are for the Kids (Steve Delaney, Burlington Hawk Eye, 1/10).

She’s a Goalie: Three Girls Make Their Mark in PIHL and They Would Prefer To Be Treated Like Any Other Hockey Players (Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Posts-Gazette, 1/9).

Where Enforcers Come From (Robert MacLeod, Toronto Globe & Mail, 1/9).

Zebras Earn Their Stripes (Brian Swane, Edmonton Sun, 1/8).

Caution: Collegs Put Pressure on Kids (Mason Linker, Winston-Salem Journal, 1/9).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Coach’s Corner: One Writer Asks if High School Coaches Should be Father Figures

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week features articles from the Toronto Sun’s Bill Lankhof and the Atlanta Constitution-Journal’s Scott Bernarde:

Should High School Coaches Have to Serve as Father Figures? Lifelong Influence; Many Enjoy Becoming a Role Model For Players (Scott Bernarde, Atlanta Constitution, 11/30).

Coaching Players Today: Generation Gap Traps; Modern Pressures Alter Field Relations (Scott Bernarde, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/7).

Motto Should Be ‘Remember Kids’ Kids’; Here Are 10 Commandments to Fix the Major Problems in Minor Hockey in This Town (Bill Lankhof, Toronto Sun, 12/7).

You Play, You’ll Pay; But If You Think Parents Are the Only Ones Bemoaning Minor Hockey’s High Costs, Think Again (Bill Lankhof, Toronto Sun, 11/30).

The Lost Generation; ‘Stagnant’ Registration is a Concern (Bill Lankhof, Toronto Sun, 12/1).

Big Dreams, Little Chance (Bill Lankhof, Toronto Sun, 12/2).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Coach’s Corner: Ripken Tops Articles of Interest; PCA’s Trophy Time Case Study

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s lead is a piece from the Washington Post about MLB Hall of Famer and State Envoy Cal Ripken Jr.’s trip to Nigaragua:

Baseball Diplomacy: Amid Post-Election Violence, Hall of Famer Ripken Cultivates a Field of Dreams for Nicaraguan Children, (William Booth, Washington Post, 11/16).

Officials Tackle High School Sportsmanship, (Baird Helgeson, Tampa Tribune, 11/21).

For Athletes, Playing is All About The Experience, (Paul Valencia, The Columbian, 11/18).

Smyrna to Let Arrested Star Play, (Tom Kreager, Nashville Tennessean, 11/20).

Getting Cut is Part of Life and Sports, (Leland Gordon, Chico Enterprise-Record, 11/20).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

More from Positive Coaching Alliance:

Each month, Positive Coaching Alliance and its partners in the National Conversation distribute Case Studies to stimulate conversation among youth and high school sports parents, coaches and leaders about the elements of good (and bad) coaching.

This month’s study: Trophy Time:

The league your 10-year-old plays in does not award participation trophies, but some team’s coaches buy trophies and distribute them to their players. Your child is not on one of those teams.

  • What, if anything, do you say to your child’s coaches?
  • How, if at all, do you approach the subject with league administrators?
  • How do you address the situation with your child?

Share your answers on the Good Coaching Case Studies blog.

Coach’s Corner: The Daily Oklahoman Runs Series Called “The Disappearing Referee”

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue will list several articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s lead is “The Disappearing Referee” series The Daily Oklahoman:

The Disappearing Referee: Battling Attrition, (Jason Kersey, Daily Oklahoman, 11/3).

The Disappearing Referee: Officials Vanishing from the Field, (Jason Kersey, Daily Oklahoman, 11/3).

The Disappearing Referee: Suggestions for a Solution, (Jason Kersey, Daily Oklahoman, 11/3).

Bad Calls: Shortage of Refs Won’t End Soon, (Editorial, Daily Oklahoman, 11/6).

More Articles of Interest:

Charges Filed Against Parent, Who Vows to File Civil Suit, (Ross Dolan, The Mitchell Daily Republic, 11/13).

District Not As Bad As Parent Says, (Editorial, The Mitchell Daily Republic, 11/14).

One-Sport Athletes May Pay a Price: Year-Round Use of Same Muscles Leads to Injuries, (Tom Ziemer, Wisconsin State Journal, 11/14).

Worrisome Trend in Women’s Hockey; Injuries twice that of male counterparts, according to some studies. The question is: Why?, (Mary Ormsby, Toronto Star, 11/8).

Internet Forum Posters Should Think Before They Type, (Keith Groller, The Allentown Morning Call, 11/11).

Fear Sends Wrong Message to Young Athletes, (Steve Politi, Newark Star-Ledger, 10/29).

Fat Kids Have The Arteries Of 45-Year-Olds, Study Shows, (Marilynn Marchione, Huffington Post, 11/11).

Some Actions in Sports Are Hard to Explain, (Craig Smith, Seattle Times, 11/11).

Crazy Parents, But Hopefully Not Me, (Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/9).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance

Coach’s Corner: Positive Coaching Alliance Opens Nominations for Youth Sports Awards

Positive Coaching Alliance

Positive Coaching Alliance is now accepting nominations for its 2009 National Youth Sports Award Ceremony sponsored by Deloitte. Deadline for nominations is November 30, 2008.

The Double-Goal Coach® Award is given to coaches whose first goal is winning, and whose second, more-important goal is teaching life lessons through sports.

Award Eligibility for Coaches
Coaches eligible for PCA Awards must meet these requirements:

  • Their coaching experience must be with athletes of high school age or younger.
  • They must have at least two years of experience as a head coach.
  • They must have been actively coaching within the past two years.
  • PCA Trainers are not eligible.

Meanwhile, the Honoring the Game Award for organizational excellence is presented to schools and youth sports programs.

Award Eligibility for Schools and Youth Sports Organizations

  • This annual award recognizes individual youth sports organizations (YSOs) and schools from throughout the U.S., whose programs teach players not only athletic skills but also help them develop positive character traits that will serve them throughout their lifetimes.

Award winners receive an expenses-paid trip to the award ceremony. Click here for more information about the program and nominations process (Positive Coaching Alliance).

The Ringers: National Conversation With Positive Coaching Alliance

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each month, Positive Coaching Alliance and its partners in the National Conversation distribute Case Studies to stimulate conversation among youth and high school sports parents, coaches and leaders about the elements of good (and bad) coaching.

This month’s Case Study: The Ringers

Before your child’s game starts, you notice the opposing team looks much different than it did earlier in the season. You are certain the opponent has recruited “ringers” against league rules.

  • How do you react?
  • How, if at all, should your child’s coach address the situation?
  • How do you help your child understand the other team’s behavior?

Share your answers on the Good Coaching Case Studies blog.

Positive Coaching Alliance Creates Social Network on Popular WePlay Site

Positive Coaching Alliance now has a presence on WePlay, an online social network that lets users connect with teams, leagues, family and friends to share schedules, photos, and the other information. WePlay is a family-friendly, youth-sports-centric environment. Coaches, parents and players can automatically receive updates for all their teams and groups in one convenient place: their weplay profile. The Positive Coaching Alliance group hopes to connect the PCA’s Double-Goal Coaches, Second-Goal Parents and Triple-Impact Competitors nationwide (Positive Coaching Alliance).

Responsible Sports: Registration is open in theFall Responsible Sports Community Grant period. Responsible Sports focuses on providing expert advice and helpful resources for youth sport parents and coaches. The program is an effort of Liberty Mutual with support from Positive Coaching Alliance. Under the program, teams and leagues rally coaches, parents, administrators and community supporters to take a course and pass a quiz to join the Responsible Sports movement. Each successfully passed quiz earns youth sports organizations a point. The organizations with the most points in their division at the end of the period are honored with a $2,500 Community Grant (Positive Coaching Alliance).

Family Film Her Best Move Features Positive Coaching Alliance Workshop

The latest Positive Coaching Alliance Connector touts the family-friendly film “Her Best Move,” which “follows the fictitious adventures of 15-year-old soccer prodigy Sara Davis, who must juggle high school, romance, and her parents as she pursues a spot on the U.S. National Team.”

The G-rated film stars Leah Pipes (WB’s “Life is Wild“) and Scott Patterson (“Gilmore Girls“) and a scene set at a Positive Coaching Alliance workshop (Positive Coaching Alliance).

”Her Best Move” Trailer (0:31)

Thrive Foundation Teams With PCA on Athlete Initiative

Positive Coaching Alliance and Thrive Foundation for Youth have launched the Thriving Athlete Initiative. The effort will provide resources to help high school student-athletes “navigate their experience with sports and life.”

A National Student-Athlete Advisory Board has been created. PCA Program Manager Lindsay Schedeler “has interviewed many high school athletes to identify important issues they face as both students and athletes.” PCA will host NSAAB members at a forum at Stanford University this summer.

Some other elements of the program will include:

  • A book on becoming a Triple-Impact Competitor (“who makes self, teammates and the game better”)
  • Online resources for student-athletes
  • Athletic Leadership Councils within high schools

Thrive Foundation for Youth has granted PCA $1 million over the next five years for the initiative. PCA Founder Jim Thompson said the grant “provides a quantam leap in PCA’s ability to transform youth sports culture directly through student-athletes” (Positive Coaching Alliance Momentum Newsletter, Spring 2008).

Positive Coaching Alliance’s Thompson Featured in Q&A

Positive Coaching Alliance Founder & Executive Director Jim Thompson is featured in a recent Q&A with MLB’s Baseball Tomorrow Fund. PCA, which has a goal of “transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth,” has served over 3 million youth athletes since its inception in 1998.

A few of Thompson’s comments from the Q&A:

  • On starting PCA: “I realized that most adults who worked with youth athletes weren’t prepared to get the best out of kids nor to seize the endless procession of teachable moments that sports provide.”
  • On the “best qualities” a youth sports coach can possess: “The ability to fill Emotional Tanks is a high priority for any coach, especially of youth athletes. When players have full E-Tanks, they can perform their best without worrying about failure or having their coach come down on them when they fail, as everyone does in baseball on a regular basis. Teaching athletes to fill each others’ E-Tanks is a crucial aspect of building a team culture in which players commit to trying to reach their potential.”
  • On the role of parents: “Parents who are not coaches need to let the coaches and athletes worry about winning. Parents should be what PCA calls “Second-Goal Parents” where the Second Goal is using sports to teach life lessons.”

Click Here to read the entire Q&A with PCA Founder & Executive Director Jim Thompson (Baseball Tomorrow Fund).

For more information on Positive Coaching Alliance, please visit www.positivecoach.org.

Positive Coaching Alliance Ranks Top, Bottom 2007 Moments

Today, Progress Avenue features Positive Coaching Alliance’s “Top 10 Moments in Sports, 2007.” The organization also listed the “Bottom 10 Moments in Sports, 2007.” As a complement to both lists, the PCA also released Discussing Sports Incidents with Children, to help youth and high school athletes process all the life lessons contained in the Bottom 10 and Top 10 Moments (Positive Coaching Alliance).

Top 10 Moments in Sports, 2007:

  • 10. In an English League Cup soccer game that resumed a month after a Leicester City player suffered a heart attack, league rules prevent Nottingham Forest’s 1-0 lead from carrying over, so Leicester City corrects matters by letting Nottingham Forest take the ball from the opening kickoff and score without opposition.
  • 9. Cincinnati’s Knothole Baseball bans parents from directing negative chatter at youth baseball players.
  • 8. To raise funds for the family of cancer-stricken Minnesota state high school wrestling champion Torrey Line, MN/USA Wrestling coordinates sales of a limited edition Minnesota Storm Wrestling shirt, which depicts Torrey having his hand raised after his 2006 State Championship.
  • 7. The Everett, WA Centennial Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade girls basketball team – during the fourth quarter of games – identify the opponent exhibiting the best sportsmanship and surprise her with a postgame medal presentation.
  • 6. Houston Texans defensive back Jason Simmons “sells” jersey #30 to teammate Ahman Green for a down payment of $25,000 (matched by owner Bob McNair) on a home for a single mother and her 7-year-old child with autism.
  • 5. Bret Harte High School basketball player Hannon Smith prevails in getting the Calaveras (CA) County Board of Education to revise the policy that kept him from playing his senior year for refusing to cut his shoulder-length hair.
  • 4. Utah Jazz guard Derek Fisher chances missing his playoff game to help his infant daughter through life-saving surgery in New York City, flies back to Utah in time to hit a key three-point shot to seal a Jazz win and in a postgame interview inspiringly explains his priorities.

  • 3. An Ottawa area girls soccer team walks off the field in solidarity with their teammate when a referee bans 11-year-old Asmahan Mansour for refusing to remove her hijab, a ceremonial Muslim headscarf.
  • 2. Former Dallas Cowboy Everson Walls donates a kidney to his former teammate, Ron Springs, who has since lapsed into a coma.
  • 1. Release of the Mitchell Report on use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, providing a chance for parents and coaches to capitalize on teachable moments with youth athletes and steer them away from cheating and drug use.

More information about the topics on the above list, as well as the “Bottom 10 Moments in Sports, 2007” and the Discussing Sports Incidents with Children resource, is available at www.positivecoach.org.