PCA – Central Texas partnered with Austin Independent School District to launch “Elevating the Bar”, a Character and Leadership Development Program structured to embrace, educate, nurture, and motivate the athletic culture on school campuses. This year-round program embeds PCA into all aspects of a young athlete’s experience, with the goal of increasing participation and support.
Through the leadership and backing of The Mountain Family and Glimmer Austin, PCA was embedded within William B. Travis’ Athletic Program starting in the fall of 2018. The "Elevating the Bar" program consists of workshops, small group sessions, mentorship, and career development designed to educate student-athletes on PCA’s foundational principles and how to put those principles to use every day.
The embedded nature of the partnership and program allows PCA the opportunity to engage and educate students through their in-school, hour-long Advocacy Periods, on a monthly basis. Each workshop is an in-classroom, highly interactive session integrating group learning and case study techniques.
The school intentionally selects 100 boys and girls to participate as Champions of “Elevating the Bar”. The program uses sports to create experiences and opportunities for students last a lifetime, including internships, career networking, and participation in PCA’s special events (Reclaiming Youth Sports).
Athletic Director for the Austin Independent School District, Leal Anderson says, “We want to help more students improve as athletes, and learn skills that lead to success in their sports, in academics, and ultimately as citizens and leaders in our community. Our partnership with PCA-Central Texas supports and enhances that vision!”
Additionally, Elevate the Bar is based on PCA – Central Texas’ “Presence Model”, which consistently places PCA’s Trainer on campus to support students at their games, practices, and special events. This presence allows for the development of authentic relationships and the earning of trust, which increases the probability that PCA’s lessons will be used within each student’s life.
The program is adapted around the needs of the specific community and engages with leadership in determining the topics of focus. During the 2018-19 year, some of the topics were: Accountability, Discipline, Honesty, Integrity, Positivity, Responsibility, Teamwork.
After one year partnering with PCA, Travis High School’s Football Program increased its participation numbers 57%!
Travis High School Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach, Joe Frank Martinez said, “We all want to win games, but the bigger picture is changing lives. When we went through our workshops with Positive Coaching Alliance that really reminded us what we’re here for…to help these kids become better people.”