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Positive Coaching Alliance is a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. Below is an embedded TEDx vidoe and a series of PCA articles we thought might be helpful for coaches, parents and players. 

Youth Sports As A Development Zone  | Jim Thompson at TEDxFargo

Youth sports is dominated by a win-at-all-cost mentality that leads to undesired and sometimes tragic results. Jim Thompson articulates a powerful competing vision powered by a growing movement to make youth sports a "Development Zone" to develop Better Athletes, Better People, which, with 40 million youth playing sports, will have far-reaching positive impacts on our country.

Coach Parent Partnership

Coaches and parents both play an important role in the development of youth athletes. To ensure a positive experience for the child, and to avoid parent/coach conflict, parents should recognize the part they play in making the season a success. This is often hard for those parents who want to involve themselves as much as possible but have stopped short of volunteering to coach. However, it is best for the athletes if parents can provide support in a different way than the coaches do during practices and games.

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Tips for Honoring the Game

Parents should feel like they play an integral role in helping their youth sport organization uphold a standard of positivity and respect. At Positive Coaching Alliance, we call this behavior Honoring the Game. Coaches, parents, administrators and athletes all have a part in ensuring a level of respect and sportsmanship is upheld. Kids learn from watching others behave, and parents can influence how their children Honor the Game by making sure to do so themselves before, during and after the game.

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The Second-Goal Parent

There are two broad goals in youth sports: striving to win and building character so kids develop into successful, contributing members of society. As important as winning may seem, Second-Goal Parents let coaches and athletes worry about the first goal of scoreboard results. Second-Goal Parents have a much more important role to play: ensuring their children take away from sports lessons that will help them be successful in life. That is the Big Picture.

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Empowering Conversations with Your Child

In order to help get the most from your child’s experience playing sports, it is important that parents try to engage in meaningful conversations. Talking to your children about their involvement can help foster a deeper impact from sport. It can also help children understand how the lessons and skills they are learning in sports translate to other parts of life. This is a great way to maximize your child's growth through youth sports.

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Culture Keeper

Every parent and guardian plays an important role in maintaining a fun and positive environment for their kids playing sports. This is especially true during games, when the coach's focus is on the team. An appointed "Culture Keeper" helps generate and maintain positive behavior among parents and other fans on the sidelines or in the bleachers. This position assists the coach and league leaders by actively setting a good example and guiding other fans.

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