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Little League International, Positive Coaching Alliance Partner to Enhance Educational Offerings to Volunteers

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Feb. 24, 2006) – Making better Little League coaches and administrators through enhanced education is the driving force behind Little League International’s partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance.

For more than six decades, Little League Baseball and Softball has been a program dedicated to helping children become good and decent citizens by melding healthful athletic activity with the discipline of teamwork.

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), established in 1998 by founder and Executive Director, Jim Thompson, was created to transform the culture of youth sports to give all young athletes the opportunity for a positive, character-building experience, while enlightening and educating adult volunteers on what it means to ‘Honor the Game.’ It is based at Stanford University’s Department of Athletics in Palo Alto, Calif.

“This special partnership gives our program’s volunteers the tools to teach Little Leaguers much more than just the skills of hitting, throwing and catching a ball,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Coach™ method affords Little League International the opportunity to enhance its educational material for our adult volunteers, so they can present the most well-rounded, healthy and positive experience regardless of skill level.”

Mirroring the basic values of Little League, the goals of PCA seek to replace the ‘win-at-all-cost’ model of coaching with the Double-Goal Coach model, where goal No. 1 is striving to win and (the more important goal) No. 2 is teaching athletes positive and enduring life lessons.

PCA is designing an on-line Double-Goal Coaching Course specifically for Little League Baseball and Softball managers and coaches. The intent of the course is to help Little League administrators and coaches create healthier leagues and the kind of league culture where children look forward to practices and games as times when they will have fun, and where the joy they find in playing will last a lifetime.

“We are thrilled and excited to partner with an icon of the youth sports world, and one that I have a long relationship with,” Mr. Thompson, a Little League graduate from San Diego, Calif., said. “I got my start as an athlete in Little League, and have coached my son’s Little League teams. The sheer breadth of Little League in the United States and abroad affords us an unrivaled opportunity to advance the Positive Coaching movement, while at the same time furthering Little League’s mission.”

Another component of this national partnership will be the creation and delivery of varied PCA educational content, along with news articles and related features stories for the Little League’s monthly “Little Leaguer” and “The Coach’s Box” electronic newsletters.

For more information on Positive Coaching Alliance, visit its website, at: www.positivecoach.org. Little League’s website is: www.littleleague.org.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.