Core Principles in Positive Coaching

Positive Coaching Alliance Founder – Jim Thompson’s TED Talk

Some of the most important and innovative educational initiatives have come out of Stanford University.  Jim Thompson’s founding of the Positive Coaching Alliance is one of the best – and – it has the power to impact every youth sport athlete playing today by reinforcing life lessons as well as strength, speed, endurance, and playing skills.  How?  By educating and informing “Coaches” and “Parents” as to the best practices for getting results on the field, while also building character and leadership amongst the athletes he or she is mentoring.  Take a look:


The Positive Coaching Alliance was formed in 1998 and to date has impacted upwards of 5 million youth sports athletes, parents and their coaches.  At the center of PCA’s work are three models:

  • The Double-Goal Coach®, is one who strives to win while also pursuing the more-important goal of life lessons through sports;
  • The Second-Goal Parent®, concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing; and
  • The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.

There is a class of ‘tough guy’ coaches who have been featured in Podium before… (see Dr. Alan Goldberg’s article on “Bad Coaching”).  This feature openly discusses examples of poor behavior exhibited by coaches – and – their impact on the athlete.  Too many athletes are dropping out of sport before the age of thirteen.  It is some of these ‘old school’ coaches who think PCA’s program is an excuse for pushing a namby-pamby agenda and making it acceptable to “lose”.  This impression couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Just listen to Steve Young, PCA’s spokesperson talk about how and why this is so important right now:


In my opinion, if we can keep sporting kids engaged for even one or two more years, their development as athletes as-well-as good citizens is likely to grow significantly. One doesn’t have to look far to find out-of-control sports parents and athletes who think its okay to hit the referee.  We can only hope that PCA’s program continues to get traction and for our part, here at Podium, I’d like to give the Positive Coaching Alliance our highest endorsement.  I’ve seen the difference personally and professionally and believe that this is the top program in coaching education in the US today. Further evidence for how many of PCA’s coaching initiatives get results can be found in Podium’s feature article of Dr. Scott Martin’s “Effective Coaching Behaviors”.

For more information and to sign up for a PCA coaching or parent program visit their website at Positive Coaching Alliance.

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