Cleveland, OH – Rick Sirl, who coaches for Eastlake’s Ranger Soccer Club, has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted Double-Goal Coach® Award presented by TeamSnap for his positive impact on youth athletes.
Sirl 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.
Sirl also is in the running for an all-expenses-paid trip to Palo Alto, Calif. to participate in a panel discussion among selected award winners on-stage April 22 at PCA’s 16th Annual National Youth Sports Awards Dinner and Benefit Sponsored by Deloitte.
“Rick helps his athletes win on and off the pitch,” said Marty Mordarski, Executive Director of PCA-Cleveland, the local Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance. “By creating a positive, character-building youth sports experience and serving as a Double-Goal Coach, Rick helps youth develop into better athletes and better people.”
Sirl is a former soccer player, who once contended for a spot on the Junior National Team until injury kept him from that goal. He began coaching his daughters, one of whom has risen to an Olympic Development Program, and he somewhat jokingly summarizes the difference between boys’ and girls’ soccer: “Every boy thinks he’s Messi or Ronaldo, and every girl thinks she should barely be on the field.”
Turning serious, however, he explains: “Building girls’ confidence is one of the things we have to work on the most. I work on a lot of individual foot skills to help the girls realize it’s OK to go out there and take someone one-on-one and not feel like they’re short-changing teammates by allowing themselves to become the player they have the potential to be.”
That level of reflection is a strength Sirl brings to his coaching, and he acknowledges he is probably the antithesis of the typical American youth soccer coach. “I’m a pretty laid-back dude. I actually had one parent leave the program because I didn’t yell enough at games. But game-time is where kids express what they’ve learned in practice, and if I’m yelling from the sidelines, we’ve already lost the game.”
Sirl’s approach demonstrates the role sports can play in the development of youth, Mordarski said. “Our Chapter’s employees, board and supporters are thrilled that Coach Sirl is getting national recognition for his work at Ranger Soccer Club. Having an award-winning Double-Goal Coach in the community provides an example for other coaches to emulate, so thousands more youth and high school athletes in our area can benefit from a positive, character-building sports experience.”