Breeze McDonald, who coaches a top-flight boys’ basketball team for national grassroots youth basketball powerhouse Earl Watson Elite, has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted Double-Goal Coach® Award presented by TeamSnap for her positive impact on youth athletes.
McDonald is one of 50 national recipients of the Double-Goal Coach award, named for coaches who strive to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. The award includes a $200 prize, a certificate, and mention within the websites and newsletters of Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national non-profit developing Better Athletes, Better People through youth and high school sports.
McDonald, who played for Long Beach State University and eventually earned a master’s degree in education, believes she is the only woman coaching an elite boys’ basketball team on the Under Armour Association Youth Basketball Circuit. “Being in the education industry and now a dean and administrator, coaching is no different than teaching kids with different learning levels. I tend to take my classroom and put it on the court. I believe in ‘Each one teach one,’ and I believe it takes a village. If I can create an arena or an environment where I’m putting kids on a track to go to school, or do something constructive, that’s a win-win.”
Perseverance is among the life lessons McDonald emphasizes. “It’s not all about winning. I tell players that we don’t lose; we get lessons. You learn how to take defeat graciously and turn that defeat into a new attitude. You’re going to go after jobs that you don’t get. How do you pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and re-boot yourself?”
McDonald also emphasizes collaboration, pointing out its importance on the court and in later life. “By establishing relational trust with my players, I help them establish relational trust in other aspects of their lives. Our players come from a wide range of backgrounds, some more privileged than others, and I teach them how to be culturally responsive and linguistically responsive with each other, on the court, off the court, and online, when they’re on social media.”
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