This profile was prepared when Jim Thompson was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Jim Thompson is leading a movement to make character education the primary focus of youth sports without sacrificing competitiveness. He recognizes in sports an unparalleled opportunity for young people to build skills of leadership, communication, and cooperation. Where many others have failed, his Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) has succeeded in crafting practical tools to enable parents and coaches to teach core social values through sport. In their work with the PCA, coaches learn to support respect, reciprocity, and emotional resiliency in their players. Through his large and committed membership base and through partnerships with major players in the sports-entertainment industry, Jim achieves a cultural shift, encouraging children to stay involved in sports.