Positive Coaching Scotland
Violence on the touchline, disrespect for officials, win at all costs, falling volunteer numbers, rising obesity levels... Scotland faces a number of challenging social issues that are overflowing into youth sport.
Together, these factors are causing more and more young people to drop out of sport, and miss out on the type of valuable life lessons that only sport delivers. Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) was established to help reverse this trend.
PCS is based on Positive Coaching Alliance, a successful US model that was developed at Stanford University in 1998 to combat escalating health and social problems.
PCS challenges the win at all costs mentality and focuses instead on effort, learning, psychological development, building confidence and developing responsible citizens.
And it does so by encouraging positive attitude and behaviour among coaches, parents, teachers, sport leaders – and players.
By involving the whole community, PCS provides the tools and framework for a positive sporting experience that can also be character-building. It sets a new standard for all the key influencers in a young person’s life.
The cornerstone of the strategy is the Double Goal Coach ethos. The first goal is winning: learning to compete effectively, through concerted effort, is a necessity in today’s society. However, the second more important goal is to teach young people vital, character-building life skills through sport – such as leadership, handling adversity, teamwork, persistence and compassion – that will equip them for the future.
After a two-year pilot in East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Fife (with the Scottish Football Association), Winning Scotland Foundation is now working with sportscotland to roll out the initiative across all local authorities and sports governing bodies.
Challenges remain – for example, to ensure lasting change, PCS must be embedded into existing structures and communicated clearly to parents and coaches.
However, significant progress is also being made, through workshops that target groups within schools, and sports-specific and club development networks – and by a committed team of Winning Scotland Foundation and sportscotland staff.
For more information go to www.positivecoachingscotland.com