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How PCA Ideas Apply To Individual Sports

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"How are PCA practices applicable to individual sports like swimming, fencing, ice skating, or running?"

PCA Response by Roch King, PCA Trainer-Indiana
One powerful aspect of the PCA message is a vocabulary that can be shared by coaches, parents, leaders, and athletes. Every organization, regardless of the format of the sport, can benefit from incorporating PCA concepts into their cultures.

A subtle and often over-looked difference in the cultures of individual and team sports is the concept of teamwork. At the heart of the original question is what does “teamwork” look like in an individual sport? Individual sport athletes are continuously and simultaneously teammates and opponents. Good news is that PCA has tools for defining and building teamwork in places like the pool, fencing sallé, wrestling room, and track.

The acronym ROOTS can be vital in helping to create an environment where athletes compete “with” each other rather than against each other. Strive to develop the intertwined PCA concepts of “a worthy Opponent is a gift” and “a true competitor makes their Teammates better.”

If all of your teammates are respected as worthy opponents and all of your opponents are respected as teammates, then your athletes will benefit from every encounter; whether practice or competition, and regardless of the uniform.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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