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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2010 > Coach's Box - June > PCA Article

PCA Article

Volume 5, No. 5 - June 2010

Menlo-Atherton Little League Wins Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Honoring the Game Award

By David Jacobson, Positive Coaching Alliance

For its outstanding work in creating a positive environment for youth athletes, Menlo-Atherton Little League has earned Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted Honoring the Game Award.

The award goes to schools or organizations serving athletes of high school age or younger that embody Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) principles in using sports to teach life lessons. Award-winning organizations embrace Double-Goal Coaching® -- in which the first goal is winning, and the second, more-important goal is teaching life lessons through sports -- as well as Second-Goal ParentingTM, in which sports parents focus on helping youth athletes learn life lessons.

“Winning an Honoring the Game Award is an amazing achievement because of the amount of work it takes to establish and maintain a positive culture in the face of so many negative influences,” said Jim Thompson, PCA’s founder and executive director. “While we honor the youth sports leaders, the real winners are the youth athletes and families who benefit from a positive sports culture.”

Menlo-Atherton Little League serves roughly 500 baseball and softball players and has more people volunteering to coach than the league can deploy, according to Scott Barnum, a member of the league’s board of directors and chair of its sportsmanship committee. “From the kids’ and parents’ standpoint, people like playing in our league, because it’s a positive environment.”

The league reached a tipping point of positivity when it formalized a “sportsmanship business plan, and set metrics and standards,” Barnum said. “PCA really helped by customizing its presentations and workshops. In partnership, we developed 30 different plausible scenarios involving players, parents, coaches and umpires, and then we role-played the scenarios.”

Among Menlo-Atherton Little League’s efforts to win the Honoring the Game Award:

  • Earning PCA's Seal of Commitment for pledging that all of its coaches are trained and certified as Double-Goal Coaches
  • A 90-percent-plus satisfaction rating as measured by the league’s annual online survey tool, which solicits objective, confidential feedback from parents and coaches
  • Implementing a league-wide player sportsmanship award program.

The Honoring the Game Award is part of PCA’s National Youth Sports Awards Program sponsored by Deloitte.

For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the Little League Double-Goal Coach® Course at www.positivecoach.org/LittleLeague

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