Corner Canyon High School, Mountain Biking/Cycling, Utah
Double-Goal Coach Award Winner
Whitney Pogue, Mountain Biking Coach at Corner Canyon High School has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted National Double-Goal Coach® Award presented by TeamSnap for her positive impact on youth sports.
Pogue 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 two tickets to attend PCA’s 18th Annual National Youth Sports Awards Dinner and Benefit sponsored by Deloitte being held at the Leavey Center on the campus of Santa Clara University, 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, Pogue is one of four coaches who won an all-expense paid trip to the awards benefit and an invitation to participate in a panel discussion on stage with emcee for the evening, Mike Tirico of NBC Sports Broadcasting.
“Coach Pogue helps athletes win in and out of sports,” said Tina Syer, President of Positive Coaching Alliance. “By creating a positive, character-building youth sports experience and serving as a Double-Goal Coach, she helps youth develop into better athletes and better people.”
The mountain biking team at Corner Canyon High School boasts over 150 riders - more than the football, soccer and lacrosse teams combined. The draw to participate is due in large part to Coach Pogue. She cares about the team like family, includes everyone who wants to participate, and believes in each student whether they are the best varsity rider or the newest freshman on the team.
In the period of 5 short years since the school opened with just 75 team members, Pogue, or “Ginger Mama”, as they lovingly refer to her, has built the largest Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team in the country. However, the size hasn’t detracted from the experience because she takes the time to know each and every rider personally and leads the team with her positivity and love for the sport.
Pogue and her husband, Jamie, have been involved in building out the community’s trails for well over a decade and the town now boasts world-class trails which draw people from all over the country. Mountain Biking requires a huge undertaking of manpower and planning to organize a competition and Pogue pulls things together effortlessly with a team of parent helpers and supporters because of her love for the sport and her “kids”, as she refers to them.
Mountain Biking has become the perfect fit for students of varying skill levels, personalities, and with a wide range of interests. Pogue makes everyone feel welcome with her magnetic personality and accepting nature. She draws students in and pushes them to “be better at the sport, be accountable for their choices, and get good grades. She is so much more than a coach”, shared one reference for her nomination. Most importantly though, is “how she has created a safe, inclusive environment for even the non-competitive riders”, one parent shared. “With Whitney’s encouragement, our son joined the team and has found a place to make new friends, to feel important, and to boost his self-confidence”.
There are many stories of kids who have been forever changed by their participation with the team. Riders have dealt with mental health issues, drug usage, feeling left out and even death due to suicide and an auto accident. Pogue uses these challenges, much like the challenges on the mountain bike course, to teach life lessons about getting through difficult situations, working hard to accomplish goals, being accountable to teammates and coaches, and to be inclusive of everyone.
The motivation for spending countless hours and resources coaching the largest mountain biking team in the nation is to create a team dynamic where everyone supports one another, wants to work hard, and most of all have fun together.
About Positive Coaching Alliance
Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. In addition to more than 1,800 free multimedia tips and tools at www.PCADevZone.org, PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, along with online courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.
PCA resources, which have reached more than 8.6 million youth, strive to transform high school and youth sports into a Development Zone® culture, where the goal is to develop Better Athletes, Better People and the following become the prevailing models in youth and high school sports:
· The Double-Goal Coach®, who strives to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.
· The Second-Goal Parent®, who concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing.
· The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.
PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board, including National Spokesperson and 11-time NBA Champion Coach Phil Jackson, and many other top coaches, athletes, organization leaders and academics who share PCA’s mission. PCA is proud to partner with the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and over 35 professional teams across the United States.
Director of External Relations
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