Pro Athletes Outreach (PAO) is a national, non-denominational 501(c)(3) Christian organization dedicated to serving coaches, professional athletes and their spouses. Having equipped pro athletes for more than four decades, we saw a great unmet need to equip coaches at the junior and senior high school level. As professional athletes shared their life experiences at these conferences, it became apparent that nearly all had been dynamically impacted by athletic coaches prior to their pro careers. They credited much of their personal, professional and spiritual formation to coaches who were intentional with their influence.
Here’s an example from John Kasay, NFL kicker for the Carolina Panthers:
“Billy Henderson was my high school head coach. He was a steady example for me as I matured and dealt with some difficult issues in my personal life. I remember Coach Henderson’s philosophies concerning hard work, preparation, excellence and teamwork. The impact he had on me as a 15-year-old has carried over into my life, my family and my career two decades later…
“Because of our experiences with coaches, Laura and I have joined with and whole-heartedly support Coaches Time Out. We believe it is the single greatest tool for us to impact the lives of our country’s next generation of leaders.”
In 1998 Pro Athletes Outreach launched our Coaches Time Out (CTO) program; it is a natural outreach connection with our pro athletes, and is one of the most fruitful investments we can make in the spiritual and character development of our next generation’s leaders. Few leadership development models have the exponential replicating power of Coaches Time Out, where every coach we reach influences hundreds of student athletes each year and often thousands over a career.
We employ the same relational, conference approach that we’ve used in our pro sports ministry to engage, equip and encourage coaching couples so that they have a more intentional approach as positive role models and influential mentors in the lives of young athletes. We believe coaches can prepare young athletes for success on and off the field, cultivate the next generation of leaders, strengthen families and help transform communities across the nation.
The interest and involvement in Coaches Time Out continues to grow nationally. During the past ten years, CTO conferences have expanded to Florida, St. Louis, the Great Lakes region and North Carolina, and in the past three years:
* Over 1,100 coaches, athletic directors and spouses participated in a CTO conference
* 224 public and private schools from 18 different states represented
* CTO expanded from two to six nationwide conference venues, in five different states
* In 2009, over 700 coaches and spouses will participate in a regional CTO conference.
As a result of the steady growth in attendance and the positive impact on youth, the Board of Directors approved an exciting and ambitious strategy to expand CTO conferences to serve coaches in all 50 states within the next ten years. Our ultimate objective is to grow a nationwide community of Christ-centered coaches who develop the moral and spiritual foundations of our student/athletes and equip them to lead with excellence and integrity.