Michel Tilapa coaches a game at Beyond the Ball.
Kids disperse after a game with Beyond the Ball.
/BEYOND THE BALL
Gary Elementary School before Beyond the Ball transformed the campus.
/BEYOND THE BALL
Gary Elementary School after Beyond the Ball transformed the campus.
8th graders at Locke Elementary School talk about basketball and how it influences their life.
Cesar Aguilar tells other kids if they don't feel love at home they should come to Beyond the Ball.
Michel Tilapa talks about his experience with gang violence in Little Village.
Related LinksBeyond the BallChicago - Positive Coaching Alliance3point AthleticsYou hear about youth obesity, but here's a story about youth intensity
Off the court lessons in basketball
• Sense of pride
• Self respect
• Self confidence
• Merits of handwork
• Working with others
• Dealing with adversity
• Bouncing back from mistakes
Chicago organization provides resources to coaches.
Seventy percent of kids drop out of sports by the age of 13. That concerns Jason Sacks, executive director for the Chicago Positive Coaching Alliance.
“Sports provide endless opportunities for teachable moments,” Sacks said.
Besides throwing a ball or shooting a basketball, he says one can learn life skills such as working with others, dealing with adversity and bouncing back from mistakes.
He believes these lessons will last longer than sports skills.
“Sports is basically a virtual classroom and a lot of times kids are much more engaged when they're playing sports than when they would be sitting in a classroom.”
Sacks wants to make sure coaches realize the opportunity they have to shape kids' lives.
The Positive Coaching Alliance is a national non-profit that partners with schools and youth sporting organizations. They organize trainings for coaches and parents with a mission to “develop better athletes, better people, transform the culture in youth and high school sports, so all kids have a positive experience.” They have a local division in Chicago.
They do work all over the city, including East Garfield Park and Little Village.
“A lot of times in these neighborhoods sports can be the only outlet there for kids besides getting in trouble,” Sacks said.
He says kids from these neighborhoods might not always have positive role models.
“These coaches become individuals that are around these kids 24/7, and they're really serving as more than a coach.”
They train coaches through online and live interactive workshops. According to Sacks, all of their content comes from sports psychology and research, and must go through the national advisory board first. Among the board members are Joe Ehrmann, founder of Coach for America, Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics head coach and Carol Dweck of the Stanford University department of psychology. Phil Jackson is the national spokesman.
Sacks says coaches serve as role models. Kids mimic actions of the coaches. Even sideline behavior.
“If a coach is going nuts when the ref makes a call and yelling at the ref, he's setting the scene that this is OK,” Sacks said.
Sacks, a former high school athlete and coach himself, realizes that coaches are in an important position and that’s why he works for PCA. He wants to make sure coaches feel that they're equipped to be successful as a coach, mentor and role model.