Pearcey’s first goal for youth sports: fun


The opening sentence of Chapter 2 of Coaching Kids While Managing Parents: A Coach’s and Parents Guide to Youth Sports, reads: “You are coaching and the kids are playing to ‘learn’ the game, to be taught team concepts, to learn from failures, to learn from successes and to have fun.”

The last word of the passage — “fun” — means the most to Tony Pearcey, the book’s author.

That’s what playing sports are supposed to be about, right?

That’s the way Pearcey, 43, sees it, anyway.

“As a coach of youth sports I wanted to provide a resource,” Pearcey said, “for individuals who are just getting into coaching or individuals that are already coaching or have coached for years, and may just find one thing that I say and be able to add to their tool kit.”

The manual is 10 chapters of advice, snippets of personal stories and diagrams of football, baseball and basketball plays.

The advice isn’t just for coaches.

The parents were a main catalyst for the book, which is a how-to manual for both parties.

After coaching youth sports year-round for 18 years, Pearcey has witnessed his fair share of egotistical coaches and self-centered parents, but, at some point along the way with two sons, Chris, 13, and Cameron, 12, heavily involved in sports, Pearcey probably found himself in one of these two categories on a couple occasions.

But isn’t that what the book is for? To teach folks how to learn and have fun.

Which leads us to the Pearcey Principles, which is fun, fun, fun.

Make it a point that the players have fun. Coaches should stress the fundamentals and “always fund the operation through the investment of time and the giving of small rewards.”

Pearcey, who has coached in the Braden River Little League organization for several years, understands that winning isn’t always the end result.

He knows this all too well. Pearcey was a wide receiver on the Bayshore football team that went winless in the 1983 season.

“It definitely wasn’t fun, but it built character,” said Pearcey, who went on to play football at Vanderbilt University and spent a brief stint with the New York Giants.

But watching his players have fun and learn the fundamentals helped bring Pearcey’s book to life.

“I wrote (the book) from a perspective that 20 years from now somebody can pick it up and learn something for it,” he said.

Ryan T. Boyd, sports writer, can be reached at 745-7017.