This week I had the privilege to attend a kickoff luncheon for the Cleveland Chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in the “Heavy Hitters Room” at Progressive Field. The meeting was hosted by Mark Shapiro, president of the Cleveland Indians; Chris Grant, general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers; and Dan Hurwitz, CEO of DDR Corp, a Cleveland-based developer and owner of retail properties all over the U.S. Heavy hitters, all.
The Indians, Cavs and DDR each contributed seed money to launch a Cleveland chapter of PCA, a non-profit corporation founded by Jim Thompson at Stanford University in 1998.
PCA’s mission can be summed up in four words: BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE.
Thompson started PCA, he says, “to stop adults from doing negative things (however well-intentioned) that were driving kids out of youth sports.” He continues: “Youth sports provide an endless procession of teachable moments. PCA workshops, on-line courses, books and new media help coaches and sports parents focus on the bigger picture in youth sports and learn to seize these moments, to benefit the millions of kids who play sports.”
PCA works with schools and youth sports organization like AAU and Little League to train coaches, parents and athletes. Coaches can become certified as “Double Goal Coaches,” teaching not only the importance of winning (that always comes first!) but also how to lose gracefully and to respect your opponents. Athletes are encouraged to become “Triple-Impact Competitors,” committed not only to making themselves better but also to making their teams better and making the game better.
PCA has a star-studded National Advisory Board of coaches and players who support its mission and programs. Among the heavy hitters are Bill Bradley, Larry Brown, Brandi Chastain, Tony Dorsett, Tony Dungy, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr, Dot Richardson, Doc Rivers, Steve Young and Barry Zito.