INDIANAPOLIS (June 23, 2022) – USA Gymnastics member coach Breasha Pruitt, owner and women’s competitive head coach at Breasha Pruitt Elite Gymnastics in Evansville, Ind., has been named this year’s Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Coach of the Year for the Taube Family Prize in Recognition of Excellence in Coaching. She received the award Wednesday evening at PCA’s Game Changer Awards & Benefit in Atherton, Calif.
A former U.S. Junior National Team member, Pruitt has drawn from her own experience as a gymnast to inform her coaching style. Learning from what was effective for her as an athlete as well as from negative coaching methods that were ineffective or harmful, she focuses on improving the athlete experience for everyone who enters her gym.
"We’re their second home," Pruitt said of the athletes she coaches during a USAG mental health webinar last month. "Home is where you’re safe, home is where you have fun, and home is where you can just be yourself. I get to know them on a personal level and let them know that I care about everything that they’re doing [outside of gymnastics]. When they’re in the gym, it comes natural, because they have someone that believes in them, and it kind of becomes their superpower."
Earlier this year, Pruitt was named one of 25 National Double-Goal Coach Award Winners along with fellow gymnastics coach Lainy Carslaw of Pittsburgh Northstars in Pennsylvania.
"On behalf of USA Gymnastics, we congratulate and thank both Breasha and Lainy for the examples they are setting nationwide for what positive coaching looks and feels like," USA Gymnastics President and CEO Li Li Leung said. "It is only through people like them that any sport can truly change for the better."
Pruitt and Carlsaw discussed their coaching philosophies during the USAG webinar in May, hosted by U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee sport psychologist Karen Cogan. The full conversation is available here.