Monday, 27 May 2024

National Conversations on Good Coaching

Almost a year ago, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming youth sports, joined forces with USA Volleyball and other top youth sports groups to initiate the “National Conversation on Good Coaching.” This collaborative effort seeks to engage parents and coaches in discussing case studies and promoting positive coaching practices. Since then, several other organizations have joined the conversation, further strengthening the movement.

The Importance of Good Coaching

Jim Thompson, the founder and Executive Director of PCA, emphasized the significance of distinguishing between professional sports and youth sports. He believes that discussing what constitutes good coaching for youth athletes is crucial to creating a positive and character-building environment for young athletes. By encouraging conversations across the country, this initiative aims to ensure a better experience for all participants.


Topics for Discussion

To facilitate these conversations, PCA has compiled a list of case studies that can be used for discussion during practices or tournaments. These case studies cover a range of coaching scenarios, addressing various aspects of coaching youth athletes. Each case study is accompanied by queries and action plans contained in linked PDFs. These resources provide an excellent opportunity to enhance the development of the game while fostering a positive environment for young athletes.

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Here are some of the topics covered in the case studies:

Old Yeller

Coach Coates is known for constantly yelling at players during practices and games, even when they seem to be performing well. Despite his coaching style, his teams consistently achieve winning records. This case study delves into the potential impact of such coaching methods on players’ well-being and performance.

The Specialist

Coach Hastings believes that specialization is key to unlocking an athlete’s full potential. This case study explores the implications of early specialization in a single sport and the potential trade-offs involved.

The Limits of Sportsmanship

This case study recounts a heartwarming story where a player from an opposing team helps an injured player to score a crucial run. It prompts discussions around the boundaries of sportsmanship and the impact of such acts on the overall game.

State of Play

Parents often find themselves concerned about their child’s playing time, even when the team is successful. This case study raises the question of a coach’s responsibility to provide opportunities for all players, even when there are no external requirements to do so.

These are just a few examples of the thought-provoking case studies available for discussion. By engaging in these conversations, parents and coaches can contribute to the growth of the game and ensure a positive experience for young athletes.


Q: How can I access the case studies and related resources?

A: You can find the case studies and accompanying resources on PCA’s website dedicated to this specific topic. Simply visit Alpinetgheep and explore the available materials.

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Q: Can these case studies be used in sports other than volleyball?

A: Absolutely! Although the initiative is in partnership with USA Volleyball, the principles and concepts discussed in the case studies are applicable to various youth sports. Coaches and parents from different sports can benefit from these valuable resources.

Q: Are these case studies suitable for coaches at the professional level?

A: While these case studies primarily focus on coaching youth athletes, the underlying principles and discussions can be insightful for coaches at all levels. The conversations sparked by these case studies can help refine coaching practices and promote positive environments at every level of the game.


The “National Conversation on Good Coaching” is a collaborative effort to promote positive coaching practices in youth sports. By engaging in discussions around various case studies, parents and coaches can contribute to the growth of the game and ensure a positive and character-building experience for young athletes. Visit the Alpinetgheep website for access to these valuable resources and join the conversation today.