Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Corps Partner Up to Reach Coaches

Positive Coaching Alliance, whose mission is to be a catalyst for a positive youth sports culture in all communities across the U.S., and Coaching Corps, an organization that trains volunteer coaches to teach social and emotional skills to kids of color living in low-income communities, have partnered to engage and train community members as qualified coaches to ensure they are available to youth in underserved communities across the country.

Together, these two nonprofits are committed to:

  • Collaborating to provide the best possible resources to ALL coaches across the country.
  • Ensuring that if someone wants to coach in an underserved community, they will have the opportunity and resources to do so effectively.
  • Collaborating on best practices for coaching youth who have experienced trauma.
  • Providing after school programs serving youth who qualify for free or reduced school lunches with a trained workforce of coaches so that they can offer sports
  • Conducting the first of several webinars for coaches who need resources and support to coach kids during the pandemic, and once sports come back. The first of these webinars, on National Coaches Day, is scheduled for later today at 2:00pm PST hosted by Sacramento Republic FC.

PCA and Coaching Corps both work to increase access to high-quality coaches trained in developing social/emotional skills and improving health outcomes for youth and help young people become the best version of themselves.

We know that youth benefit most from a positive, inclusive sports culture that develops social and emotional skills, molds character and prepares them for life’s challenges. We also know that low income youth are only half as likely to play sports on a regular basis. 

Coaching Corps CEO, Janet Carter, believes that, “Our partnership with PCA will enable us to provide kids in underserved neighborhoods throughout the country with the health and educational benefits of playing sports. Together, we can work towards a day when all kids have equal access to quality sports programs regardless of their zip code.”

“With the ultimate goal of positive youth development, it is a great move to work with Coaching Corps and share our research-based training and resources for coaches to improve culture and ensure a positive youth development experience for ALL kids through sports,” echoed PCA CEO, Chris Moore.

Janet Carter

Chief Executive Officer 

Coaching Corps

Chris Moore

Chief Executive Officer 

Positive Coaching Alliance

For more information on Positive Coaching Alliance visit their website or follow them on social media (Facebook: @PositiveCoachUS Twitter: @PositiveCoachUS and Instagram: positivecoachus)

For more information on Coaching Corps visit our website or follow us on social media (Facebook: @CoachingCorps, Twitter: @CoachingCorps, and Instagram: coachingcorps)

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About Positive Coaching Alliance:

As a catalyst for a positive youth sports culture, Positive Coaching Alliance provides research-based training and resources for coaches, parents, athletes, and leaders to ensure a positive youth development experience for ALL kids, in all communities across the U.S., through sports. PCA ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have impact at three levels in a youth sports organization or school:

  • YOUTH experience improved life skills and character development.
  • COACHES become more positive and increase their focus on using sports to teach life lessons.
  • YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS AND SCHOOLS see their cultures become more positive and everyone involved has more fun.

PCA believes that all youth can benefit from a positive, inclusive sports culture that develops social and emotional skills, molds character, and prepares them for competition and life. In more than two decades of work, PCA expanded from a small local nonprofit to a strong, nationwide organization that provides programming in all 50 states, reaching thousands of organizations around the country and positively impacting millions of youth athletes every year. PCA has now partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching over 20 million youth. Learn more about Positive Coaching Alliance at www.positivecoach.org.

About Coaching Corps:

Since 2012, Coaching Corps has been fueling a movement of skilled coaches to give kids of color living in low-income communities the sports mentors they want and deserve. By partnering with over 600 afterschool programs across the country, Coaching Corps has provided more than 200,000 young people with the opportunity to play sports under the guidance of a caring, well-trained coach. Informed by the latest research on youth character development, Coaching Corps trains coaches to foster persistence, optimism, and empathy in kids, providing coaches with the ongoing support they need to ensure children in under-resourced communities learn skills that last lifetimes. 

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Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Benita Vargas-Brown, Volleyball Coach at Hampstead Hill Academy

Benita Vargas-Brown grew up in one of the poorest parts of Baltimore. She always wanted to make a difference in the city, which is why she became a social worker. That same passion eventually led her to coach and mentor kids in sports. Learn more about Benita’s journey in her own words.
How did you become a Coaching Corps coach?
I didn’t go looking for coaching, it found me. I was really stressed with my job and my final semester in undergrad, so my husband said, “You’re really not helping yourself. Why don’t you leave your job, take the semester off, and figure out what you want to do next?” So, I went to a volunteering fair, and that’s when I got to know Coaching Corps. It was destiny: They were looking for a volleyball coach, and I am qualified to coach volleyball. They said they needed a coach for Hampstead Hill Academy, which is literally just a walk away from our home. So, it was really perfect.
Can you tell us more about the challenges that the kids you coach face at school and at home?
When people hear Baltimore, crime and violence are among the usual challenges that come to mind, so it was extra important to keep the kids off the streets. I’ve had to drive some of the girls home so they don’t have to take the bus when it’s dark.
There have also been some differences among the girls. The school is located at Patterson Park, where on one side you have the million-dollar houses, and on the other you have boarded-up houses. So you wind up having kids coming from privileged and underprivileged situations. This created some interesting dynamics within the team that led to some difficult conversations, but we got through it eventually. That’s one of the benefits of team sports. We got this whole learning experience that wound up really positive at the end.
You mentioned something about “interesting team dynamics.” Can you share more about that?
This is actually one of the things I’m proudest [of] about my team. The girls take it upon themselves to address differences within the group. At one point, it became very clear during our practice that something wasn’t right. We were on this championship drive but there was obvious tension within the team. The girls came to me and gathered as a group to talk things through. The fact that they came up with that strategy on their own is really amazing. For me, it meant that we’re doing something right. After that talk, we got back together as a team. I’m so glad we did it because I know for a fact we wouldn’t have won the championship without sorting things out. Everybody makes mistakes. At the end of the day, what’s important is to be there and have each other’s backs.
What changes or improvements did you see in the girls as a result of being on the team?
The most obvious one would be the sense of maturity. To be in a position where you have a responsibility over something, to be able to practice and play, there are expectations. If you didn’t come to practice on Wednesday, you’re not going to play on Thursday: that’s the consequence for skipping practice.  Eventually it wasn’t the consequence that really drove them. It was their commitment.
All my [Coaching Corps] girls who tried out for high school sports made their teams. There are two highly-rated schools in Baltimore, Baltimore Polytechnic institute and Baltimore City College. To get into those schools is every parent’s and kid’s dream. They have great education and high graduation rates, and they don’t tolerate gang-related violence, which creates a safer environment for the kids. Fifteen of the girls from the team got in and played for Poly while 13 went to City. That makes me really happy.
Wow! If there’s one way to describe success and promoting equity, that would be it. With all these experiences, what advice would you give aspiring coaches and mentors for kids?
Show up. You have to be there. You have to be consistent. You can’t cancel on these kids. Over the course of my time, if I know something’s going to come up in my schedule, I plan for an assistant coach to take over. Kids know if you care. You can figure out everything else, there are Youtube videos for that. You just have to show up because these kids expect you to be there for them.
Afterschool Partners

Orlando

Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida

City of Orlando Athletics

Afterschool Program Partners

Other

JT Dorsey Foundation

Afterschool Program Partners

San Diego

Gompers Preparatory Academy

High Tech High

La Maestra Foundation – Center for Youth Advancement at Generations

The Monarch School

Pro Kids | The First Tee of San Diego

Soccer Kids America

YMCA of San Diego County

Afterschool Program Partners

Los Angeles

A Place Called Home

AFFIRMATIVE ATHLETICS

After School All Stars: Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Club of Venice

Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica

Boys and Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor

Brotherhood Crusade

City of Huntington Park Department of Parks

East Los Angeles Rising Youth Club

Equitas Academy

Girls on the Run of Los Angeles

Girls Play Los Angeles

ICES Education

IMPACTO

L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine

Los Angeles Rec and Parks

Major League Baseball Youth Academy

Norwalk La Mirada Unified

P.F. Bresee Foundation

Sloane Stephens Foundation

Street Soccer USA: Los Angeles

Team Prime Time

Variety Boys & Girls Club

Watts Rams

YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles

Afterschool Program Partners

ATLANTA

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta: Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
Afterschool Program Partners

Boston

All Dorchester Sports and Leadership

Boston Centers for Youth & Families

Boston SCORES

Cambridge Community Center

East End House

Oak Square YMCA

Sole Train: Boston Runs Together