The Positive Coaching Alliance recently announced 100 regional winners for its Double-Goal Coach Award, with four lacrosse coaches among the recipients. The lacrosse honorees were:

● Jeremie Brunet - San Rafael (Calif) High School Girls' Lacrosse
● Justin Georgacakis - Glenbrook (Ill) North High School Boys' Lacrosse
● Robert Graff - Bloomington (Minn) Youth Lacrosse Association
● Jason Smith - Texas Legacy Lacrosse

The regional winners were selected from nearly 700 nominations representing 44 of the 50 states. Nominees are assessed on the extent to which they reflect the model of a Double-Goal Coach, whose first goal is winning, and whose second, more-important goal is teaching life lessons through sports.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a regional winner,” said Graff, who played for National Lacrosse Hall of Fame coach Joe Cuozzo at Ward Melville High School in New York and Bob Scalise at Harvard. He notes that their influence as mentors helped shape his commitment to the Double-Goal philosophy.

“I believe that, at its core, Double-Goal requires one to care for all players, and to recognize that how you interact with them impacts them in all areas of their life, not just athletics,” Graff said. “If we, as coaches, fill the emotional tank of our players to motivate them, rather than intimidate or shame them, are we not helping in the creation of more emotionally healthy individuals?”

The PCA will identify 25 national winners next month who will each receive $1,000, a certificate from PCA, and an invitation to accept the honor at PCA's National Youth Sports Awards & Benefit on Saturday, May 2 in Santa Clara, California.

US Lacrosse and the Positive Coaching Alliance are partners in a nationwide endeavor to make lacrosse a positive, character-building experience for every athlete and to improve the experience for officials, coaches, parents and fans. Completion of the PCA’s Double-Goal Coach online courses are required elements for US Lacrosse Coach Development Program certification. 

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