Homewood Middle School/Football/Track & Field (Homewood, Alabama)
DGC Stage Winner
Steve Sills, Homewood Middle School Football/Track & Field Coach has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted National Double-Goal Coach® Award presented by TeamSnap for his positive impact on youth sports.
Sills 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, Sills is one of four coaches who won an all expenses paid trip to Palo Alto to be recognized and speak on stage at their 17th Annual National Youth Sports Awards Dinner and Benefit sponsored by Deloitte being held at Maples Pavilion on Stanford’s campus.
“Coach Sills helps athletes win on and off the field,” said Jim Thompson, CEO and Founder of Positive Coaching Alliance. “By creating a positive, character-building youth sports experience and serving as a Double-Goal Coach, Sills helps youth develop into better athletes and better people.”
Sills, who envisioned a career in football after receiving a scholarship to play at Tennessee Tech, didn’t follow his expected path and instead found himself teaching and coaching at Homewood Middle School. He knows ultimately that this was the right path and feels that God puts us exactly where we are needed most. He is well-loved by the school and community and has made a huge impact on his players and students. As one of the parents shared, “Coach Sills possesses an innate ability to engage, challenge and inspire the athletes he coaches both on and off the field.” Multiple references shared that he has a magical ability to relate to his players and students and make an impact in their lives in a way that few others can.
After realizing that many of his players and students needed a role model and more positive influences in their lives, Sills created a club called Homewood Trendsetters which started with about 40 students and now boasts over 300. The club focuses on creating leaders and community service. Sills has made the group so appealing that students often have to sign up in lottery fashion to participate in community service activities such as working at a local food bank or raising money to get clean water to the people of South Sudan. In addition, the group gets together to support other sporting events at the school and at the Exceptional Foundation, an organization where individuals with special needs enjoy social and recreational activities.
Sills’ approach to coaching middle school athletes is to keep it fun to get the most out of his players. “I’m the one who is out there cutting up and dancing and stopping practice to do fun things, but when I demand hard work, effort and all they have, they give it to me without hesitating because they know I truly care about them first as a person.” Sills goes above and beyond to get to know his players as individuals and realizes that each child is different and needs to be approached in a unique way.
Sills gives 100% every day and reminds his players and students that “you can’t fall if you don’t climb, there is no joy in living life on the ground”. He encourages them to push their limits and reach for more than they think is possible. His mission everyday is “to make someone else feel great about themselves each and every day.” Sills pours positivity into all that he does and he is truly rewarded for his efforts by the impact he is having on the youth of Homewood Middle School.