4 Key Benefits Of A PCA Training Workshop
According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because “it’s just not fun anymore.”
The Positive Coaching Alliance works with schools and youth leagues to create better experiences and more engagement for kids in sport. (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators, and student-athletes. LeagueApps believes so strongly in the PCA mission that we’re supporting them in our second annual Ballin’ for Charity tournament.
The PCA resources include over 1,000 free audio-video and printable tips and tools at the PCA resources library. PCA trainers and coaches also host over 3,500 live workshops around the country each year.
The LeagueApps team took three separate PCA training workshops recently:
- COACHING FOR WINNING AND LIFE LESSONS: Establishes PCA’s premise that youth and high school sports entail the goal of winning and the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. Each attendee learns how to Coach for Mastery of Sport (Not Just the Scoreboard); Fill Emotional Tanks; and Honor the Game.
- CULTURE, PRACTICES, AND GAMES: Further illustrates how coaches use PCA principles to build a team culture that players and their parents buy into, thus leading to life lessons and improved athletic performance in practices and games.
- DEVELOPING COMPETITORS: Views the Double-Goal Coach model through the lens of high school sports, including such topics as social pressure, hazing, and the role of high school coaches and athletes as standard-bearers in their communities.
We consider ourselves sports organizers at LeagueApps, like our partners. This training workshop allowed us to collect further direct feedback and put ourselves in the shoes of our partners. It’s part of what we call “dogfooding,” or practicing what we preach.
“It was good to take a step back from our day-to-day and think about the actual experience that sport has on kids,” Nick Sutedjo said. “There are so many issues that organizers have to tackle and teaching kids, parents, and coaches the way to compete is key to positive youth sports experiences.”
Here are four key benefits of a PCA training workshop that can help organizers deliver positive youth experience and lower that 70% drop out rate.
The 20 Year Shift of Youth Sports
The biggest change to affect youth sports in the past twenty years is a shift toward consumerism. Factors like sport specialization, an increase in scholarship numbers, and growth in viewership at the collegiate level have really tipped the balance toward an all-consuming type of experience.
With this consumerism comes high costs for parents, yielding high expectations to have a return on those investments. Now there’s a larger demand in playing time and scholarship offers, to name a few.
This consumerism is part of the reason of why there can be a disconnect between an athlete’s wishes and his or her parents’ goals.
What Youth Athletes Want Most From Sports
In a 2014 GW Study, 9 out of 10 kids said having fun is the main reason they participate in sports. When asked to consider what is fun, they listed 81 characteristics of fun, and winning (#48) barely finished inside the top fifty.
“Kids want a great experience with their friends, the ability to get better and advance, and an environment that matches their taste through technology,” Cam Goldberg said.
Memories are what sports are most about, not win-loss records. By delivering a rewarding experience to your athletes, you can deliver a memorable sports experience, making it easier for a player to want to come back next season or event. Start with creating a rewarding environment.
Creating Rewarding Environments for All Levels of Athletes
Sport serves as a form of informal education, so it is critical to understand that coaches who will work with kids are trained properly. This will ensure that your program’s mission is carried out.
A meaningful and rewarding experience means that an athlete feels connected to teammates and coaches, believes that he or she can improve, and proudly acts with integrity when doing the right thing.
Melanie Rose thinks this learning process can start by teaching kids at an early age about the importance of mental participation in sports.
“Many youth sports coaches today are failing to teach kids the mental part of participating in sports. Sports are 90% mental; however, coaches and parents alike are so quick to critique an athlete’s mental toughness or mindset, when that is something that was never taught, developed, or coached,’ she said.
Start With The FAMILY Approach
PCA suggests the FAMILY approach in helping parents create memorable experiences for their kids.
A great reminder what sports is all about. Rutgers Jerseys: F.A.M.I.L.Y. – Forget About Me I Love You. pic.twitter.com/8EZ3Pwh1vk
— Dan Britton (@fcadan) September 22, 2013
“A lot of this starts with positive coaching feedback from parents. Promote or incentivize activities where parents don’t yell during the game and instead write down on a notecard positive things they see happening,” Greg Cuccinello said.
Ammad Sheikh agreed. “It’s all about positive reinforcement for the kid. You want to make sure everyone in the organization is aligned to ‘Forget About Me I Love You.’”