Youth Sports-Principles

This is an important document about the upcoming season. Please take the time to read it carefully. Thank you.

Our organization is committed to the principles of Positive Coaching Alliance and against a "win-at-all-cost" mentality. PCA calls a Positive Coach a "Double-Goal Coach®." A win-at-all-cost coach has only one goal -- to win. A Positive Coach shares that goal (wants to win) but has a second goal that is even more important -- to use the sports experience to help young people learn "life lessons" and positive character traits that will help them be successful throughout their lives.

Help us promote the three PCA principles which have the power to "transform youth sports so that sports can transform youth." The three principles, explained below, are:

1 Redefining "Winner,"

2 Filling the Emotional Tank, and

3 Honoring the Game.


In professional sports (which is entertainment), there is only one goal--to have the most points at the end of a contest. However, in youth sports (which is education), there is a second goal: to produce young people who will be winners in life.

To help our children get the most out of competitive sports, we need to redefine what it means to be a "winner." Winners are people who:

This is called a Mastery Orientation. PCA says that the Tree of Mastery is an ELM Tree where ELM stands for Effort, Learning, and rebounding from Mistakes. If our athletes keep these things in mind, they will develop habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

There is an added benefit. Athletes who are coached with a Mastery Orientation tend to have
reduced anxiety and increased self-confidence. And when athletes feel less anxiety, they are
more likely to have fun playing their sport and to do better!

Here's how you can help:


Research shows that the home team wins about 60% of the time because of the emotional
support a team receives when it plays in front of its own fans. Like gas tanks in cars, athletes have "Emotional Tanks" that need to be filled to do their best. There will be times when you need to correct and criticize. Research has shown that a "Magic Ratio" of 5:1 (praise to criticism) is ideal. Help us achieve this Magic Ratio with your child.

Here's how you can help:


Honoring the Game gets to the ROOTS of positive play, where ROOTS stands for respect for

Use the "3-Pluses-and-a-Wish" technique.

Before you give advice, find three good things about your child's performance. Phrase the advice as a wish:

If you can't come up with three pluses, don't say the wish because then it may drain his emotional tank rather than fill it.

Remember the Magic Ratio*

Praise your child about 5 times for every time you criticize. If you do, she will be better able to hear your criticism without becoming defensive.

*It's called the Magic Ratio because great things happen when we get close to it with our children.

Here's how you can help:




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