The Positive Coaching Alliance and the New York Yankees honored five incredible youth and high school athletic coaches Tuesday evening at Yankee Stadium. These coaches were recognized as the PCA’s Double-Goal Coach Award winners, and were honored with an on field pregame ceremony. The award is given to youth and high school sports coaches who embody the ideals of the Double-Goal Coach, striving to win, while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.
The 2017 PCA Double-Goal Coach Award recipients: Gus Orenstein, football coach at Ethical Culture Fieldston School; Linda Houghland, physical education teacher at Far Hills Country Day School; Joe Eassa, wrestling coach at Unity Prep Charter School; Annie Eckstein, Girls Varsity Soccer coach at Bronx High School of Science; and Ayette Carrasco, Softball coach at Queens High School of Teaching.
“It’s a humbling experience to be here with all these great people and talk about something I really enjoy doing in coaching.” said Annie Eckstein of Bronx High School of Science. As the award winners and their families were hosted in Suite 7 at Yankee Stadium along with the PCA to enjoy Tuesday night’s game. When asked about one of her main principles that she instils in her athletes Eckstein responded, “One of the biggest things is effort and attitude. If you can give everything you’ve got and you can help your teammates out and you can be positive with them, then you can walk away from whatever you’ve done and feel good about yourself. And the result is going to be the result, that feeling that you take away, that’s more important most of the time.” Truly spoken like a Double-Goal Coach Award winner.
Jim Thompson, Founder of PCA, believes it is vital to provide resources that make it easier for parents and coaches to teach and raise their athletes. The end goal is to ultimately have coaches raise their athletes as “elevaters”, triple impact competitors that elevates their teammates, elevates themselves, and elevates the game by the way they compete. Thompson believes these characteristics help shape young athletes into model citizens that will grow up to be fine young men and women in the future.
The Positive Coaching Alliance has been delivering incredible resources nationwide to youth and high school sports coaches, parents, and athletes for nearly twenty years. Just last year the New York City chapter of PCA opened up, and the impact has been dynamic. In only one year the chapter has partnered with over fifty local organizations ranging from all over the city area, including New York Empire Baseball, Mount Vernon RBI, Westchester Youth Soccer League and many more.
Darrell Johnson, Executive Director of the New York City chapter, spoke on the success of the first year and his mission for the future of the chapter. Johnson stated, “We look to increase even more focus on to the inner city programs that can use our help, and of course grow and reach out as much as possible”. Johnson, a Bronx native, continued on the expansion of the organization mentioning he views expansion as a thread count, the higher the threat count (the higher amount of people supporting the organization), the stronger and higher quality of the product.
In their near twenty years of existence, Positive Coaching Alliance has reached more than 8.6 million youth and partnered with roughly 3,500 youth sports organizations, districts, athletic conferences throughout the country. With a National Advisory Board filled with professional athletes, coaches and researchers such as Phil Jackson, Steve Young and Julie Foudy, the learning resources are endless.
More information of the organization, as well as ways to get involved can be found on their website.