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The LTAD Network Podcast

124 EpisodesProduced by Rob AndersonWebsite

A podcast for Parents, Sports Coaches, PE Teachers, Support staff and anyone else interested in Youth Athletic Development! Our mission is to support grassroots coaches in the development of youth athletes.Here you'll find interviews with technical coaches, support staff, researchers and former athl… read more


Ruben Nieves (Positive Coaching Alliance): What is a Positive Coach?

Ruben Nieves is the Director of Training for Positive Coaching Alliance, responsible for overseeing the training and support of PCA trainers around the US. Ruben earned his Masters Degree in Education from Stanford University in 1982. He coached collegiate volleyball for 18 years including stints as the Head Men's Coach at Stanford and the Head Women's Coach at Fresno State. Ruben was twice named NCAA Men's Volleyball Coach of the Year, in 1992 and 1997. He guided Stanford to the Cardinal's first men's volleyball NCAA championship in 1997. Ruben also has extensive experience and success in international volleyball. He spent the summer of 2001 as Head Coach of the USA Men's Volleyball World University Games Team which captured the Gold Medal in Beijing, China, thus becoming the first and only American squad in history to accomplish this feat.

In addition, Ruben has seven years of physical education teaching experience at all levels K-12. As a parent, coach or official, he has been involved in many youth sports including track and field, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, swimming, water polo, football, tennis and cross-country.

Ruben has worked with Positive Coaching Alliance since 2001 and has presented over 500 PCA workshops.

In this episode Ruben discusses:

  • His fortunate opportunity to break into coaching at Stanford as an interim Head Coach.

  • Winning NCAA coach of the year and taking the reigns at the World University Games in Beijing.

  • How he got involved with the PCA

  • How the PCA focusses on coaches, administrators, parents and athletes to change the culture of youth sport.

  • The importance of Double Goal Coaches and Triple Impact Competitors.

  • Some of the guiding principles including ELM, E-tank and ROOTS.

  • How positive coaching isn't just for recreational or youth sports.

  • The role of legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson as a spokesperson for PCA.

You can learn more about the Positive Coaching Alliance work by visiting as well as access resources at  or by following Positive Coaching Alliance on Instagram: @positivecoachus .

As always you can keep up to date with Athletic Evolution via our website, Instagram and Twitter.

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