Ronney Wins National Award

March 10, 2009

Stanford, CA — Karen Ronney, girls tennis coach at San Diego’s Patrick Henry High School, has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted Double-Goal Coach® Award for her positive impact on youth athletes.

Double-Goal Coach Award recipients — whose first goal is winning, and whose second, more-important goal is teaching life lessons through sports — will be honored by Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) at the Eighth Annual National Youth Sports Awards Ceremony sponsored by Deloitte at Stanford University on Friday, April 24.

“Winning this award is a great tribute to Karen’s work with youth athletes, considering there are 4 million youth sports coaches nationwide,” said Jim Thompson, PCA’s founder and executive director and author of The Double-Goal Coach. “More importantly, Karen’s work with youth athletes makes them winners.”

Leading her team to last season’s Eastern League championship, Ronney employed an unusual mix of teaching both tennis and life skills. “I would like the lessons learned through sports to transcend into life,” said Ronney, author of Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced, and Coordinated Kids.

“We have personal notebooks for each player, where she writes to me and I write back. Through this notebook program we addressed life goals and sports goals, and that’s how we blended sports and life. It was easy for kids who were verbal, but it was miraculous for the introverted, because I got to know them in a way that had not been possible before. It feels safer to some kids. It’s non-confrontational, and they don’t have to look at me to say something, so it’s less intimidating.”

In addition to such insights from award recipients — who were selected by a panel of collegiate coaches — the ceremony will include presentation of PCA’s Ronald L. Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement to Tara VanDerveer, Stanford University Head Women’s Basketball Coach, who has won two NCAA Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal as coach of the 1996 U.S. Women’s National Team.

Joining VanDerveer at the event are many of her current and former players, including two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, former WNBA star and PCA National Advisory Board Member Ruthie Bolton. Also featured: Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer and PCA National Advisory Board Member Summer Sanders.

More information and online ticket sales for PCA’s National Youth Sports Awards sponsored by Deloitte are available at

Founded as a non-profit within the Stanford University Athletic Department in 1998, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) has the mission of “transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth.” To that end, PCA has conducted roughly 6,000 live group workshops nationwide for more than 300,000 youth and high school sports leaders, coaches, parents and athletes. Workshop attendees have helped create a positive, character-building youth sports environment for more than 3 million youth athletes.

PCA’s partnership network includes more than 1,100 youth sports organizations, cities and schools. In 2009, PCA will conduct roughly 1,300 live, group workshops across the U.S., while assisting thousands of other individuals via online workshops.

PCA workshops train coaches to be Double-Goal Coaches, whose first goal is winning and whose second, more-important goal is teaching life lessons through sports. PCA sports parent workshops cultivate “Second-Goal ParentsTM,” who focus on life lessons through sports. PCA student-athlete workshops produce “Triple-Impact Competitors™,” who work to improve themselves, their teammates, and their sport as a whole.

PCA has the support of elite coaches and athletes on a National Advisory Board, including National Spokesperson, Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson.