Play Like a Champion Reaches Milestone Number of Coaches & Parents Trained
NOTRE DAME, IN, FEBRUARY 4, 2019 – The Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series is experiencing a period of rapid growth, as a record number of schools and diocese from across the country have partnered with the organization to bring Play Like a Champion Coaching as Ministry and Parent Like a Champion programs to their communities. These programs, which cover both youth and high school age groups, are designed to address the core elements of effective coaching in a Catholic environment while promoting children’s physical, social, spiritual and moral development through sport.
Play Like a Champion now has partnerships with schools and youth leagues in 9 of the largest 15 dioceses in the United States. This growth has helped the organization move past 200 partners and more than 120,000 coaches and parents trained. These coaches and parents have in turn impacted well over 1 million children, changing the culture of youth sports in their communities and fostering moral development across thousands of teams.
“Youth sports provide a tremendous opportunity to build virtue in our children,” said Dr. Clark Power, the program’s founder and Executive Director. “It is critical that we respond to this opportunity by giving coaches and parents the tools to be able to provide a safe, positive and developmentally appropriate environment for children.”
Since the start of 2017, Play Like a Champion has added the following youth partners: Archdiocese of Boston, Brooklyn CYO, Chicago Catholic Youth League, Chicago CYO, CYO of Detroit, Diocese of Arlington NVJCYO, Diocese of Jackson MS, Diocese of Wichita, Miami Youth Sports (FL), Orange County Parochial League, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School (Green Bay, WI), Pensacola Youth Sports (FL), Saint George Catholic School (Baton Rouge, LA), Saint John the Evangelist (Naples, FL), and Saint Peter Catholic School (Greenville, NC).
The organization has also added the following high school partners: Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (Atlanta, GA), Cristo Rey College Prep (Dallas, TX), Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School (Minneapolis, MN), Bishop Lynch High School (Dallas, TX), Bishop Machebeuf High School (Denver, CO), Carmel Catholic High School (Mundelein, IL), Davenport Assumption High School (Davenport, IA), Diocese of Covington KY High Schools, Diocese of Jackson MS High Schools, Diocese of San Bernardino (CA), Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ), Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario Catholic Schools, Holy Family Catholic High School (Minneapolis, MN), Niagara, Ontario Catholic Schools, Plymouth Christian Academy (Canton, MI), Saint Ignatius College Prep (Chicago, IL), Saint Mary’s Parish High School (Annapolis, MD) and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (Bethesda, MD), Trinity Catholic High School (St. Louis, MO).
A full map of partners can be found online here.
With several schools and diocese already planning to implement the program in the coming year, it does not appear Play Like a Champion’s growth will be slowing down anytime soon. “We want to welcome everyone into our mission,” says Power. “We’re excited to continue growing the Play Like a Champion family and changing the lives of children across the country.”
Chris Ybarra, Athletic Director for Aquinas High School in the Diocese of San Bernardino, CA is the newest member of our “Champion family.” Following their coach clinic, Chris said, “I am extremely grateful that my coaches and I were able to learn many valuable coaching tools that we can use with our teams. It is vital to the success of not only our teams, but to the many student athletes at Aquinas. Coaching in such a way that promotes good Christian morals and values, is what we strive to do. It is very important that we continue to promote our Catholic identity. I believe that you have greatly enhanced our ability to continue to do this while also motivating us to want to be even better.”
The Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series, Inc is a non-profit 501c(3) organization based in Notre Dame, IN. Founded in 2006 by Dr. Clark Power, Play Like a Champion is committed to the mission of training coaches and parents in both Catholic and public schools and organizations across the country. In addition to partnerships across the country, the organization also hosts an annual Sports Leadership Conference and other events throughout the year. For more information, visit www.playlikeachampion.org or contact Program Director Kristin Sheehan at (574) 250-6424 or Kristin.Sheeha@playlikeachampion.org.