The Power of Positive

3,500+ Partnerships with schools and youth sports organizations


20,000+ Live group workshops for leaders, coaches, parents, and athletes


20+ Million youth reached by our programs and resources since 1998



A positive approach helps youth get the most out of sports, which is what coaches, parents, and the athletes themselves want.
Encouraging athletes with positive reinforcement helps them hear and heed the necessary corrections. With that winning combination of truthful, specific praise and constructive criticism, athletic performance improves and so do the chances that kids stick with sports longer and learn all the valuable life lessons inherently available through organized competition. Academic research and real-world scoreboard results from millions of coaches, parents and athletes that PCA has trained and educated prove what the pro and college coaches on PCA’s National Advisory Board already know: Positive is powerful.
“The difference a coach can make in a youth's life is enormous, and PCA is showing high school and youth coaches how to teach life lessons while preparing their team to win on the scoreboard.”

Doc Rivers
Head Coach, Milwaukee Bucks &
PCA National Advisory Board Member

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The Core Concepts


Focusing on what you can control is the key to performance and success. Great coaches teach this, and a tremendous body of research backs this up! As youth learn to compete, a critical lesson now and throughout their lives, is to take a mastery approach to sports, which requires focusing on what they can control: their Effort, Learning, and ability to persist through Mistakes and adversity. We call this the ELM Tree of Mastery.


Sports done right can provide a great framework for developing integrity. Learning to treat people with dignity, especially under the pressure of competition, is one of the most valuable life skills we can learn through sports. We call this "Honoring the Game," behaving respectfully towards the Rules of Competition, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self. These are the ROOTS of competing with integrity and a healthy team culture!


Each person has an “Emotional Tank” or “E-Tank,” that works like the gas tank of a car. When the tank is empty, we go nowhere. When the tank is full, we can go nearly anywhere. Athletes with full E-Tanks feel connected to their team and coach, which enables them to learn, perform, and compete better! The Magic Ratio for a full E-Tank is 5:1. In other words, five parts specific, truthful praise for each piece of constructive correction.


Being a trusted adult in athletes’ lives is one of the most important roles a coach can play. When athletes feel a sense of belonging and connection to the people around them they are more likely to collaborate effectively, perform at a higher level, experience improved mental wellness, engage more fully in learning, and take on challenges without the fear of failure. Strong connections support all athletes, especially those who have experienced adversity.