Bringing PLUS to you
Whether you are running stand alone program or full community youth sport effort including the schools, parents, and community center PLUS can help you be intentional in creating a program that promotes positive learning and child development. PLUS will train community members on the PLUS Model.
The PLUS Model
PLUS has served as an educational platform for over 10,000 children around the world. PLUS understands that sports possess the unique social and educational components to promote social and psychological development in children. The PLUS Model is a comprehensive, integrated and developmental sport-based educational program that draws upon longstanding educational theory and research- based educational practice that serves school-aged children. PLUS’s Five Core Principles serve as a guide for training and evaluating all community stakeholders, a guide for the adoption of policies, and informs how values are taught, learned, and measured.
Philosophy: What is important?
The philosophy of our program defines why we are doing what we are doing and what we want to accomplish. In this sense, our program’s philosophy drives all of our decisions and serves as a template as we think about issues ranging from distribution of playing time to how we address social and moral issues as a team and provide opportunities for learning.
Psychology: How is what’s important caught?
How do you know your students are learning? We need to be cognizant of how children learn in general, and, specifically, how children learn important program goals such as teamwork and responsibility. The PLUS Model turns to and employs the common theories of how people learn including the Social Learning Theory, The Behavioral Learning Theory and the Cognitive Development Learning Theory.
Pedagogy: How is what’s important taught?
How we “teach and coach” can be understood as our pedagogy. If one of our goals is to teach teamwork, for example, it is important to explore the best ways to teach the concept of working together. Our team’s pedagogy takes into account our team’s philosophy and psychology as well as our program’s outcome goals.
Program: What are your learning activities?
Basically, all of the activities that we design including practices, team meetings, team orientations, readings and rituals make up what we call our Program. The program activities are the places in which the learning takes place. It is important to expand our vision of what it means to play on our team. Sports can be much more than practices and games. The “coach as teacher” understands that within the program or season there are many ways to bring the team together and provide opportunities for learning.
Progress: How do we know our children’s are learning what’s important?
Valid sport-based programs seek to prove their validity. The new science of sport-based learning provides tools for coaches and teachers to define their program’s outcome goals (i.e., teamwork, respect, responsibility), and design pre- and post-tests to determine how successful their program was in promoting those goals. It is one thing to state that “sports are good for everyone” and quite another to announce teamwork as a desired outcome goal and have the ability to demonstrate how well the program did to advance team players’ understandings of teamwork.
PLUS is currently working with Tampa Skills Center in Florida, Purnell School in New Jersey and launching PLUS Learn to Lead programs in the Cape and Islands, Massachusetts.