Positive Coaching Alliance – Minnesota is celebrating its 5th Anniversary! Join us taking a look at the highlights, milestones, and comments from some founding Executive Board Members and why they invested their efforts to develop Better Athletes, Better People in Minnesota.
You can read thoughts from PCA-Minnesota Supporters below:
Lucy Heegard, Former Executive Board Member
Positive Coaching Alliance-Minnesota started with a spark. A few curious people started to ask, “How can we change the culture of youth sports in our state?” The group met for two years, gaining new members along the way as the idea started to become a reality. It is hard to believe that it is now the 5-year anniversary of Positive Coaching Alliance-Minnesota! Getting PCA Minnesota off the ground was a grassroots effort with many people sharing the load. Each came at just at the right moment to play their role.
The following people were part of the committee who worked to bring PCA to Minnesota: Meagan Frank, Paul Kaufer, Don Craighead, Teresa Iglesias-Solomon, Bob Jasper, Christine Smith, Ralph Olsen, Jeff Kubitschek, Adam Wright, Patricia Neal, Mike DeWane, Ivan Arenson, Craig Thielen, Bob Freeh, Mark Erickson and Karen Gudeman. A big thank you to each of them! It is important to also acknowledge Bruce Langer and Jeb Morrison who brought in fresh energy and resources just when it was needed to help reach the $300,000 goal that was required to get PCA-Minnesota off the ground. It’s so wonderful to see how vital PCA is today in our state!
Jeb Morrison, Executive Board Member
Serving the cause of "Better Athletes, Better People" has been a source of enormous pride for me. When I first met Jim Thompson in 2012, PCA's fundraising efforts to launch in Minnesota were just short of the finish line, and I knew I had to try to help. From my own experience as an athlete, and watching my young kids through sports, I knew how powerful a great coach can be in transforming young lives. I continue to believe coaching is one of the most impactful adult relationships that a child can have, but we don't invest enough to be sure adults know how to use that connection. I saw too many former star players mimicking coaching behavior they'd experienced as college or professional athletes - those are inappropriate for 10-year-olds. I saw adults who loved sports and competition but didn't know how to bring that love to children in an effective way. I saw people applying tools and tactics that might have been state-of-the-art 30 years ago - but we've learned a lot about how kids work and how to teach them in the meantime. So much of our work is simple - people are hungry to understand how to help their kids succeed, and PCA is absolutely about helping kids succeed, including at the highest level. I remember so vividly Wes Walz sharing details of his own professional path at one of our early events at the Xcel center, a story about a bad coach using "old school" tactics temporarily derailed his professional career as a player by shattering his self-confidence. If a yeller and screamer can do that to an adult professional, imagine what that can do to a young kid. PCA serves a critical, underserved need in youth sports, and I'm proud to have been part of helping us reach a Minnesota audience!
Erika Stein Rosenhagen, Executive Board Member
From the first time I heard founder Jim Thompson speak about t-ball games gone awry because of the intelligent, well-intentioned, yet thoroughly unprepared, parents in Silicon Valley who were part of the impetus for the creation of PCA, I recognized the valuable lessons that PCA would bring to us.
PCA’s focus on kids’ growth and development as people and athletes resonated with me then and now. Five years ago my children were early in their competitive sports experiences, but I could already see the necessity for the PCA curriculum. What I wasn’t prepared for then was seeing it in action. Witnessing first-hand the effects PCA-trained coaches have on the little league field has been nothing less than exceptional — keeping kids playing longer, getting better, enjoying the game, and winning! And while not a big sample set, my kids really notice when the opposing team’s coach is not getting the best out of his players due to yelling or other behaviors with a “Mom, their coach is not PCA.”
From the excitement of our first Breakfast with the Champions to the hundreds of workshops that have taken place in MN, I am privileged to have been part of the positive change that IS HAPPENING here in Minnesota.