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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Pro teams back initiative to help coaches

TAMPA — Good sportsmanship got a boost Wednesday when the Rays and Lightning announced they are teaming with the Triad Foundation to form a Tampa Bay area initiative for youth and high school coaches.

The Positive Coaches Alliance will be a local chapter of a national organization that helps provide “a positive, character-building sports experience.”

It involves seminars and workshops for coaches, athletes, parents and administrators. For the past four years in Hillsborough County — for a few hours before each sports season (fall, winter and spring) — it has been a requirement for high school coaches.

“Some coaches who have been around for a long time have said we should have had this 30 years ago,” Hillsborough County athletic director Lanness Robinson said. “It’s a different mindset, and the coaches have been very receptive to it.

“It’s not just about rules and regulations and wins and losses, it’s about philosophies and attitude and perspective.”

And now it’s getting stepped up with the backing of the Rays, the Lightning and Triad, which will hire an executive director for the Tampa PCA chapter.

“The focus is on high school and high school coaches, but we’ll also be working with the school districts and with youth leagues,” Rays president Matt Silverman said. “We hope to get some of our coaches and athletes involved to help push (the initiative of better athletes, better people).”

Successful PCA chapters backed by the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins precede the Tampa Initiative.

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