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Q&A with Inspiring Award-Winning Coach DeVon Holmes

05.05.2020

“Coach Holmes helps athletes win in and out of sports,” said Chris Moore, CEO of Positive Coaching Alliance. “By creating a positive, character-building youth sports experience and serving as a Double-Goal Coach, DeVon helps youth develop into better athletes and better people.”

Holmes came to The Boys & Girls Club as a senior at Brevard College after his football career came to an end and he was looking for ways to occupy the time he suddenly had available after 4 years of a non-stop sports schedule.  Even he didn’t expect for it to turn into a career, but several years later and he is not only coaching several sports at the club but he is working to enlarge the program which was non-existent when he arrived.

In 2014, the Boys & Girls Club started a trial program with baseball and slowly added more sports including soccer, tennis, flag football, volleyball and rugby. Holmes said, "My vision wasn’t to create a sports program starting off but then I saw kids latching onto it, I realized we had something.” The club uses a program they call Triple Play where kids are introduced to many different sports so they can find one that interests them and everyone finds something they are good at and where they can find success.

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Also the administrator of a national mentoring program at the club and a mentor himself, Holmes was described as calm, quiet and a man of few words.  Jamie Atkinson, his direct supervisor at the club and the person who nominated him shared that, “the great thing about this is that when he does speak, EVERY member in the room makes sure that they are listening with intent ears. This also means that DeVon chooses his words very carefully, as he believes that no spoken word should ever be wasted.”

"DeVon Holmes is not only an exceptional coach, but an exceptional person. During his tenure at our Club, our sports department has grown from one baseball team to over 10 teams (across many sports), thanks in large part to DeVon’s constant desire to provide opportunities."

Q&A With Coach DeVon Holmes


What does "positive coaching" mean to you?

To me, positive coaching is leading by example, and teaching through setting expectations & maintaining accountability.

How have you been connecting with your athletes during this unique situation with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our topic this week is "the mental game". What are some ways you help develop and improve your athletes‘ mentally? And, how do you help your athletes stay mentally focused? When sports return, what are some things you'll keep in mind while coaching in relation to the mental stress athletes have gone through during this pandemic?

I am constantly challenging my athletes to think. Problem solve. Take the time to try & figure out things for themselves instead of rushing to seek help first. As always, safety is the number one thing I have to keep in mind as a coach. We are all ready to return to play, but this is a learning experience for all. More fun, team bonding activities are on my list as we prepare to return to play, as well as consistent emotional check-ins. Both of these correlate with our Triple Play - Soul program at the Club.

Many parents with athletes now at home full time are looking for advice about how to maintain the balance of being both a positive parent and coach. Do you have any suggestions for them?

Do you have a favorite book you've read and can you tell us why it's a favorite?

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