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Higley partners with Positive Coaching Alliance on workshops


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  • Michelle Reese/Higley Unified School District

Positive Coaching Alliance-Phoenix – a Chapter of the national nonprofit Positive Coaching Alliance, which develops “Better Athletes, Better People” through youth and high school sports – is partnering with Higley Unified School District.

The three-year partnership makes HUSD the first district in the Valley to provide PCA-Phoenix’s workshops for coaches, student-athletes, sports parents and athletic department leaders.

Two-dozen live group workshops over the next three years will impact all 152 coaches at the District’s two middle schools and two high schools, and more than 2,000 student-athletes at the four schools.

Workshop attendees receive copies of books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson that complement the trainings, as well as year-round access to series of e-mailed coaching tips, such as weekly Talking Points for coaches to use with players and 2-Minute Drills for athletes, coaches and parents.

“Our work with PCA-Phoenix will provide all our student-athletes with a positive, character-building school sports experience,” said Higley District Athletic Director Dr. Michael Fowler. “Some of the largest school districts throughout the U.S. are partnering with their local PCA Chapters, and Higley is proud to be a pioneer in the Phoenix area. The youth we serve deserve the best, and this partnership will raise our sports programs to new heights.”

McCarthy Building Companies is providing the funding necessary to bring PCA training to the Higley Unified School District.

“The training provided by Positive Coaching Alliance will give Higley coaches and their students a firm foundation in the meaning of ‘student-athlete,’ ” said Justin Kelton, vice president of school operations at McCarthy. “We are proud to help reaffirm the strong, positive values of the Higley families on the playing field.”

All PCA workshops, online courses and books address key principles, such as:

  • A Mastery Focus that values effort, learning and bouncing back from mistakes, rather than just scoreboard results
  • Filling Emotional Tanks so that players are uplifted and able to perform at their best
  • Honoring the Game, a sportsmanship credo based on teaching respects for rules, opponents, officials, teammates and oneself.

“PCA-Phoenix is so proud to partner with Higley,” said Bob McGahie, Chapter Executive Director. “In forging our plans together it has become clear how committed the district is to providing an optimal student-athlete experience. We’re looking forward to being a big part of that effort.”

About Positive Coaching Alliance and PCA-Phoenix
Since its founding within the Stanford University Athletic Department in 1998, Positive Coaching Alliance has helped develop “Better Athletes, Better People” primarily through live group workshops, online courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, student-athletes and school/organizational leaders.

In partnership with nearly 2,000 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide, PCA has conducted more than 13,000 live group workshops and impacted more than 5 million youth. PCA workshops and courses strive to establish these prevailing models in youth and high school sports:

  • The Double-Goal Coach®, who strives to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports
  • The Second-Goal Parent®, who concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing
  • The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.

PCA has the support of elite coaches and athletes on a National Advisory Board. Advisory Board Members with Arizona ties include Jerry Colangelo and Steve Kerr. Membership on the PCA-Phoenix Chapter Board includes representatives of the Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Suns as well as several major businesses. PCA-Phoenix was established in 2013 with seed funding from Tom Lewis, owner of the luxury homebuilding firm TW Lewis.

For more information, contact Higley Unified School District Athletic Director Dr. Michael Fowler at (480) 279-7078.