PCA Resource zone

Checklist for Positive Coaches

Positive Coaches strive to develop their athletes as competitors and ensure the development of life skills by creating a positive sports culture. Here are simple but powerful things you can do to have a lifetime impact on your athletes as a Positive Coach:

Prioritize Building Trusting Relationships

  • Check-in with athletes as they arrive at practices and games
  • Plan games/activities that help players connect with one another
  • Listen to understand the perspectives of your athletes, and validate them

Adopt a Mastery-Focused Skill Development Mindset

  • Praise effort over of results
  • Reframe mistakes as learning opportunities
  • Provide truthful, specific feedback

Create a Positive Team Culture

  • Encourage teammates to celebrate and acknowledge each other’s successes
  • Give athletes the opportunity to voice their opinions and shape team values
  • Acknowledge that athletes come to practice in the context of their day and provide any support they may need

Show Players That You Want to Be There

  • Always show up to scheduled practices and games on time, unless you have communicated to the players and families otherwise
  • Be mindful of your tone and body language, does it communicate that you are happy to be there with them?
  • Participate safely and appropriately in practice and have fun with your team

Make Parents an Asset to Your Team

  • Engage parents early with a pre-season meeting to set expectations and relay your coaching philosophy and goals for the season
  • Ask parents to help out with snack breaks, carpools, and making signs for big games

Help transform the culture of youth sports. Embrace your role as a Positive Coach and let people know that you are coaching to develop competitors and life skills. Encourage others to become part of the PCA movement.