Youth sports currently involves forty million children, which presents a tremendous platform on which to develop youth character and life skills. Research has shown that in order for youth to accrue these benefits from sports, sports needs to be done in a way that creates a positive youth development culture. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have an impact at three levels in a youth sports organization or school:
- Youth experience improved life skills and character development. They also perform better!
- Coaches become more positive and increase their focus on using sports to teach life lessons.
- Youth sports organizations and schools see their cultures become more positive; everyone involved has more fun.
Since its founding in 1998, PCA has established 18 chapters nationwide and partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching 19.2 million youth. PCA offers interactive online courses and has thousands of multimedia tips and tools for coaches, parents, athletes, and leaders available free of charge on PCADevZone.org. PCA also runs two annual awards programs: a scholarship program for high school student-athletes and a coach award program to recognize youth and high school coaches who strive to win and teach life lessons.
Impact of SCE Support
By 2023, PCA will directly train over 400,000 youth sports coaches to incorporate social and emotional learning and professional youth development into their coaching practices. SCE will directly support coach training and help PCA build marketing and technology infrastructure, including a centralized monitoring capability that will track which coaches are being trained and where.
Why We Funded
Youth sports in the U.S. reaches over 40 million young people each year. While many people believe that participation in sports develops character in youth, the research is clear that sports by itself doesn’t develop life skills and character in youth – sports done right does. As one of the largest youth sports organizations in the country, Positive Coaching Alliance can completely change the conversation about what it means to be a good coach by empowering coaches to become positive influences in young peoples’ lives.