As a coach, I am committed to the principles of Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and against a â€œwin-at-all-
costâ€ mentality. I aim to be a Double-Goal CoachÂ®, who strives to win, while also pursuing the more-impor-
tant goal of teaching life lessons through sports. I hope you will help me by reinforcing three principles:
l The ELM Tree of Mastery
l Filling Emotional Tanks
l Honoring the Game.
Here are some details on these principles.
The ELM Tree of Mastery
While winning is important and learning to compete is one of the major life lessons available through sports,
not everyone can win every game. Still, youth athletes are winners, regardless of what the scoreboard says,
when they pursue mastery of their sports. As a way to remember key elements of mastery, PCA uses the acro-
nym ELM for Effort, Learning and Mistakes are OK.
Youth athletes who keep these things in mind develop habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.
As an added benefit, athletes who are coached toward Mastery tend to have reduced anxiety and increased
self-confidence, because they focus on things they can control. Therefore, they are more likely to have fun
and perform better. Hereâ€™s how you can help:
â€¢ Tell your children itâ€™s OK to make a mistake.
â€¢ Tell them you appreciate their best effort even if they fall short of the desired result.
â€¢ Recognize that Mastery is hard work and an ongoing process over time that can fuel great
conversations with your children about sports and life.
Filling Emotional Tanks
An â€œEmotional Tankâ€ is like the gas tank in a car. When itâ€™s empty, we go nowhere, but when itâ€™s full, we can
go most anywhere. The best fuel for an Emotional Tank is an average of five specific, truthful praises for
each specific, constructive criticism. Hereâ€™s how you can help:
â€¢ Encourage your children with specific tank-fillers regardless of scoreboard results. Be honest,
but remember the value of that 5:1 ratio.
â€¢ Avoid an immediate and critical deb