Last updated September 2020

PCA's HIstory

PCA Founder Jim Thompson first realized the need for an organization dedicated to cultivating a positive youth sports culture in 1971 when he worked as a teacher aide at the Behavioral Learning Center (BLC). BLC, an elementary school dedicated to serving children with severe behavioral and emotional issues used relentless positivity to help children achieve their goals. Thompson watched as kids with few advantages in life blossomed when they were treated to endless doses of positive reinforcement to fill their Emotional Tanks. In 1998, Jim Thompson started PCA in an athletic closet at Stanford University's Roble Gym. Since then, in more than 20 years, PCA has grown from a small, local non-profit to a strong, national organization hosting thousands of workshops every year, and partnering with some of the largest organizations, pro sports teams, and national governing bodies.

PCA's MIssion

As a catalyst for a positive youth sports culture, Positive Coaching Alliance provides research-based training and resources for coaches, parents, athletes, and leaders to ensure a positive youth development experience for ALL kids, in all communities across the U.S., through sports. PCA ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have impact at three levels in a youth sports organization or school:

  • YOUTH experience improved life skills and character development.
  • COACHES become more positive and increase their focus on using sports to teach life lessons.
  • YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS AND SCHOOLS see their cultures become more positive and everyone involved has more fun.

PCA believes that all youth can benefit from a positive, inclusive sports culture that develops social and emotional skills, molds character, and prepares them for competition and life. In more than two decades of work, PCA expanded from a small local nonprofit to a strong, nationwide organization that provides programming in all 50 states, reaching thousands of organizations around the country and positively impacting millions of youth athletes every year. PCA has now partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching over 20 million youth.

PCA's Vision

All youth can benefit from a positive, inclusive sports culture that develops social and emotional skills, molds character and prepares them for competition and for life.