Legends Baseball Academy/baseball (Menlo Park, California)
DGC Stage Winner
David Klein, who founded Menlo Park Legends Baseball and Legends Village, a 501(c)(3) organization designed to teach life lessons through baseball to low-income and disabled children, has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted National Double-Goal Coach® Award presented by TeamSnap for his positive impact on youth in sports.
Klein 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. In addition, Klein has been selected as one of four award winners to win an all expenses paid trip to Palo Alto, CA to participate in a panel discussion among selected winners on stage April 28th at PCA’s 17th Annual National Youth Sports AWards Dinner and Benefit Sponsored by Deloitte being held at Maples Pavilion in honor of their 20th Anniversary of being founded on Stanford’s campus.
“David helps his players win on and off the field,” said Brian Watson, Executive Director of PCA- San Francisco Bay, the local Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance. “By creating a positive, character-building youth sports experience and serving as a Double-Goal Coach®, David helps youth develop into better athletes and better people.”
With the focus on the whole person, Klein runs his program with a very holistic approach. He works with the players on not only their baseball skills, but on diet, meditating and visualization, personal goals and journaling. “I like to think I’m a forward thinker and I’m always looking up research... to find ways to better serve my players. Klein is a believer in Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset concept and shares with his players that “you can change your life, change your game, improve relationships, improve your grades with focus and determination.” He finds that once he can demonstrate this improvement to the players it snowballs from there and they get more motivated.
Klein realizes that “so few of these kids are going to make it professionally...so for me it’s about the skills that they can take with them for the rest of their lives, about the friendships, relationships and memories, are all extremely important.” His staff makes a game out of development in all areas by awarding stickers for their helmets for players who do things like participate in community service, complete their journal entries, or follow a healthy diet. They have found that it resonates with the players. Additionally, many parents have shared with Klein their appreciation for a program like this as many came from very toxic, competitive environments. Klein’s staff focuses on positive reinforcement because it’s what resonated with him as a player.