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The Development Zone

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The dominant culture in sports is an entertainment sports culture with a win-at-all-cost mentality that colors every level of sports in our society. John Madden once said, “Winning is the best deodorant.” In the entertainment sports culture, if you win, you can get away with things that won’t pass the smell test. But there is a competing vision.

PCA’s mission is to transform the culture of high school and youth sports into a Development Zone™ with the goal of developing Better Athletes, Better People. In the Development Zone the roles of the key players are transformed:

  • Each Leader is a Single- Goal Leader™, who understands that creating a Development Zone culture is the most important leadership task.
  • Each Coach is a Double-Goal Coach® with the goal of winning and the second, more important goal of teaching life lessons.
  • Each Parent is a Second-Goal Parent® who leaves the scoreboard to coaches and athletes while focusing relentlessly on the life lessons a child takes away from sports.
  • Each Athlete is a Triple-Impact Competitor®, committed to impacting sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.

In a Development Zone, events have a different meaning than they do in the larger entertainment sports culture:

  • An unfavorable call by an official becomes an opportunity for athletes to work on resilience.
  • A coach who keeps weaker athletes on the bench is seen as shortchanging his players. In the Development Zone, coaches find ways to get kids into games!
  • Setbacks and mistakes provide a chance for kids to learn to struggle, and there is no better place for kids to learn to struggle, adapt and overcome when things don’t go well than sports.
  • The scoreboard is a key ingredient in the recipe for developing Better Athletes, Better People. But it isn’t everything or the only thing.

Read and download the entire article on the Development Zone below.

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