Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Wheelchair Basketball Coach On Wins And Life Lessons

Share This Resource

Lawrence "Trooper" Johnson, a wheelchair basketball coach for Berkeley, CA's Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (@BORP_org), explains definitions of "winning" in the context of working with disabled athletes. His definitions have very little to do with the scoreboard. Rather, he uses sports to help youth overcome their ailments and develop into independent adults.

Because competitive opportunities are scarce, his teams travel often, meaning he needs each youth player to be as self-sufficient as possible. That often entails kids pushing their own every-day chairs, along with their basketball chairs, and moving their own gear. It also means communicating independently with airline employees and other adults.

Using sports as the carrot to draw youth out from the mode of relying unnecessarily on their parents or others for care, Johnson counts that development in his players as people as the team's "win."

This video was shot as part of a panel discussion among winners of PCA's Double-Goach Coach® Award Presented by TeamSnap at PCA's 14th Annual National Youth Sports Awards Dinner and Auction Sponsored by Deloitte. The panel moderator was two-time World Cup Soccer Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy), a PCA National Advisory Board Member.