‘Right now it’s not about X’s and O’s’ — Positive Coaching Alliance makes real-world difference


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – In sports and in the game of life, we have to learn how to handle both the wins and the losses. 

Those lessons begin with good coaching, which is where the Positive Coaching Alliance comes in. The PCA’s mission is to create sports environments that develop character. 

PCA is a nonprofit organization founded right here in the Bay Area at Stanford University. The group was created to transform the culture of youth sports. 

With conversations about social justice at the forefront of the nation and a pandemic halting sports around the world, it’s important that coaches and parents have discussions with their athletes to keep an open line of communication.

PCA Vice President of External Relations, Casey Miller, explained how coaches and parents can play a significant role in the dialogue.

“We really do feel like sports is that unifying place where people from all different types of backgrounds gather and you have respect from one another there and coaches can make sure that happens. we’re really hoping to empower those coaches to have those conversations and really get across the main message of this is about humanity. We really want to make sure every kid and person feel valued.” 

As sports remain on pause not only are coaches tasked with preventing the spread of the coronavirus among their players, they’re also acknowledging the need to address mental health.

Miller said that even though players aren’t taking the field, it’s more critical than ever to learn how teammates can support one another when away from the game. 

“Right now it’s not about the X’s and O’s. We can’t play,” Miller said. “But how do you be a good teammate to one another? And how can you support each other through these times and again that’s a lesson that goes beyond the field. And now more than ever, we need to be good teammates to one another.” 

Now, more than ever, when kids DO go back to playing sports, their coaches are going to need to be equipped with the social and emotional skills to connect with athletes. 

Why not take the time now to learn about how to best motivate kids so when you get back to sports, we can leverage the unique opportunity it presents? 

In a world where Zoom webinars have become the new normal, PCA is now offering highly interactive workshops to provide tangible and practical tools for athletes to use throughout life. 

“Taking those off the field opportunities to connect with one another and talk about what it means to be a good teammate in life,” Miller said, reasoning that doing so will help athletes on and off the field.

And even though athletes can’t get together physically, that doesn’t mean the conversations have to end.

PCA has recently launched a roundtable series to discuss how sports can battle racism, holding weekly webinars where athletes can have an open dialogue. 

The Series coming up this week is called, “Respect: Why college athletics impacts more than their campuses.”

Looking to join the conversation? Click here to register.

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