Yosef Meystel is a big fan of sports and is a very influential person in the philanthropist world in the Chicago area. Using his love for sport, he always likes to look for charities that include sports programs to help people overcome adversity.
In this occasion, the charity institution we are going to learn about is focused on giving all the necessary resources to coaches in education institutions in order to better teach sports and values. All the coaches are professional and academic coaches that need a little help to train their athletes and young prospects. At the same time, Positive Coaching Alliance has 1,000+ free audio-video and printable tips and tools that help coaches, youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes have a better approach to their sport and help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture so the athletes can aim for really big goals within very important leagues around the world.
The story started back in 1998 when PCA Founder and Executive Director Jim Thompson launched the PCA program within the Stanford University Athletic Department after seeing that sports education focused on winning at all cost. He took his son to the baseball team and felt something had to be done because they were teaching young adults and children values that did not go with a positive way of life. Jim wanted to have a sports approach that really educated children on physical education and provided values for the rest of their lives. The first mission statement, if we can call it a mission statement at that time, was that Positive Coaching Alliance was created to “transform youth sports so sports can transform youth.” Of course, that mission statement is now “Better Athletes, Better People.”, that covers all the idea of the CPA programs. Many awards have been granted to Thompson after he served more than ten years as the Director of Public and Global Management Programs at Stanford University. Some of them include, in 2004, being recognized as an Ashoka: Innovators for the Public fellow for outstanding social entrepreneurship.
For the Chicago area, PCA has an event called Windy City Shootouts where they gather teams of basketball players to play a small tournament. This year 10 teams competed in the April 9 event; FOX Sports 1 basketball commentator Stephen Bardo and UIC Flames Athletic Center hosted the tournament.
The Positive Coaching Alliance uses a program that is based on the “PCA Way”. Let’s take a brief look at their important milestones:
- PCA is emotionally committed to young athletes. They see their work not as job or an obligation. They see their work as a chance to be part of something important that will help create a better future for those that are just growing up.
- Professionalism: in order to achieve their mission, CPA is aware that a non-profit business has to be run. CPA runs the business in a very careful way to allocate all the donations and to manage the business in order to stay in the market.
- Effort and enjoyment always go together: the idea is to achieve balance between the goal and the process to reach the goal. PCA also thinks that the journey must be enjoyed and a balance between work and life is very important for athletes and people in general.
- The extra mile for their partners: coaches and partners need information and tools they can use and apply in their teams and groups. CPA works towards always having that information and those tools ready for the partners; if they can’t deliver, they take full responsibility for their actions rather than leave the coach hanging.
- Learning from mistakes: CPA is convinced that mistakes are there to learn from them. They know they are doing something that involves a lot of people and interactions. Mistakes will be made, but rather than making excuses, they apologize for them and move on with a lesson.
- Innovation: CPA is always looking for new approaches that can improve their work. There are always new and better ways to do the same things and CPA welcomes those ideas that can improve already established procedures.
- Hands on approach: as they say, and it is very clear “we debate and commit rather than smooth and avoid”. They believe in leaders, and sometimes leaders have to be leaders, even when it is uncomfortable for them and or for their team.
- Emotions are important: they know their job is hard and tiring. They also keep in mind that every member is a human being and sometimes emotions can be very different. They support each other through hard times.