SBART brings Positive Coaching Alliance program to Santa Barbara

Youth Sports organizations in Santa Barbara will soon have access to new resources thanks to a new partnership between the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table and the Positive Coaching Alliance.

The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) – a national organization that provides leadership training for youth sports coaches, administrators, parents, and athletes – has built a program that includes seminars, online resources, live workshops, and open lines of communication for support.


WHAT: PCA Youth Sports Leadership Workshop
WHEN: Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: San Marcos High School Library
WHO: Youth Sports Organization Board Members,
Executive Directors and Athletic Directors

SBART, with the support of its donors, raised the funds to commit to the project for three years and it all starts on August 28th with the first local seminar. The Round Table has issued invitations to all of Santa Barbara’s youth sports organizations to participate, as well as the athletic directors from each of the local high schools.

“Our goals are to bring the PCA programs and resources to all youth sport providers in our community so that we can truly say “Better Athletes, Better People”,” explained Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table President Laurie Leighty.

Jim Thompson founded PCA in 1999 and has succeeded in exposing over 1 million youth athletes, coaches and parents to the program.

“I realized that there was so much known about how to get the best out of kids that the average youth-sports coach didn’t know,” Thompson says. “So Positive Coaching Alliance used research-based tools and the best practices of some of the greatest coaches in the world to help youth coaches who are ideally situated to affect the trajectory of a kid’s life through sports.”

Local chapters of AYSO and PONY baseball have identified the benefits of the PCA program in the past.

“We knew that John Maloney had used PCA last year for AYSO and PONY had also used it one season but no one seemed to be able to gain any traction and really keep it going,” Leighty said. “So that’s how we came up with the idea to be the umbrella organization to offer it to all the youth sports providers with the thought that once they were on board, we would throw it out to the high schools as well. Dave Cash heard about it and was familiar with it and wants us to include the schools sooner so we are going to invite ADs.”

The Round Table committee responsible for organizing the effort and raising the money to make it available to local organizations consisted of Mike Warren, Jay Smith, Paul McClean, and Paul Bradford.

“SBART wants to create a sporting culture which encourages players to win and give their best effort, but also teaches players positive character traits that will help them be successful in life,” McLean said.

The PCA began at Stanford 10 years ago and is prevalent throughout the bay area. The organization has used some high-profile sports figures as spokesmen, including Phil Jackson, Steve Young and Herm Edwards.

The PCA has shown that organizations that adopt its program experience higher levels of retention for both athletes and coaches.

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