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Exciting Leadership For Colorado Youth Sports: A Q&A with Paula Hendrickson

by Paula Hendrickson


"We are incredibly excited that Paula Hendrickson has taken on the role of Board Chair, an incredibly important leadership position within our Colorado Board and for all of Colorado youth and high school sports. Paula brings a wealth of knowledge from her lengthy career as both a basketball coach and player, as well as helping her own kids navigate the youth, high school, and college sports landscape.  I am excited to work with her to continue the momentum that Colorado is building for all coaches, parents, leaders, and student-athletes in our state."

- PCA-Colorado Executive Director, Tom Puzio

Tell us about your personal history with Positive Coaching Alliance-COlorado?
I have been on the Board for two years but was formally introduced at an awards dinner in 2015. The dinner was so inspiring and moving that I wanted to not only support PCA monetarily but become personally involved. I was a college athlete, a coach and a parent and PCA’s mission touched every part of who I am.  If we can reach more athletes, coaches and parents, we can make a huge positive change to youth sports which will then change sports across all levels – college and professional – and ultimately create better people.

Where does your personal passion for youth sports come from?
I have three children who all played sports beginning at 4 years old through college.  I have coached at the youth level for over 20 years and truly believe that as a coach I have the ability to help build character.  I love coaching skills but the most important lessons are dealing with adversity, teammates, officials, etc.  I have stayed in contact with many of my former players and it is rewarding to hear them talk about how what they learned years ago translates into their current everyday life.

Tell us about your most memorable sports experience? 
As a parent, we want our children to succeed! My youngest was awarded a scholarship to play softball at Florida State University and we were so proud.  Her freshman year was a Cinderella story.  They made it to the World Series after winning the conference championship and regional championship.  Her sophomore year she was injured in the training room and it became apparent that she needed medical attention.  The coaching staff at FSU made the decision to let her go as they did not think she could work her way back onto the roster.  Her world was turned upside down.  She never gave up!  Boise State picked her up injured and she battled her entire college career with injury.  This past December she graduated with honors and she said she would not have changed a thing that happened to her, sports gave her the tenacity to overcome whatever life obstacles come her way!  This is a what PCA is all about.

What do you feel the perception of sports in colorado is to people outside the state?
I hadn’t really thought about how Colorado sports are perceived but if I had to think about it, we are certainly a healthier state with many outdoor activities.  I would think that Colorado athletics would be perceived well, hardworking, dedicated athletes, training at a higher altitude which gives us a little bit of an advantage.  Certainly now with the Winter Olympics, we are getting showcased quite a bit which is awesome and makes me proud to be a Colorado native.

What is your vision for PCA-Colorado?
The Colorado Chapter has achieved so many great things, Dare to Chill being amongst one of them.  I believe our momentum will continue and we will be a leading Chapter with similar creative initiatives.  I would love to see us be part of every school district, youth sporting and corporate leadership program.  We have an incredible Board, Executive Director and instructors so there is nothing stopping us from being hugely successful.

Paula Hendrickson was recently named Chair of the PCA-Colorado Chapter Board. Paula’s professional experience is unparalleled in the Retirement field, and she has been recognized time and again for her achievements and innovation. She is one of the nation’s top 40 advisors and was nationally recognized among her peers as one of the Most Influential Advisors in Defined Contribution by the online publication 401k Wire, for two years in a row. In 2014, she was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of their Outstanding Women in Business.

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