Winning in Life

Athletics are the cornerstone of the JJK Center, because they bring kids willingly to our doors, and teach them valuable life lessons. However, sports are not enough to change their lives. Kids also need purposeful programs designed to support – rather than undermine – their social, mental, and physical health.

Our Winning in Life program is part of every practice, every game, every activity, everything we do.

The skills taught in Winning in Life are what propelled Jackie Joyner-Kersee to become the greatest female athlete of the 20th century. She was born and raised in East St. Louis, and if it weren’t for the community center there at the time, that gave her a safe place to train and the life skills she needed, she may never have found her path in life. Jackie developed this curriculum to give every child a shot at success – and even greatness!

Click here to learn more about the Winning in Life program.

Every Leader at JJK Teaches Winning in Life

Winning in Life is not a class unto itself. It’s integrated into every program, every day. Every teacher, coach or mentor at JJK has embraced the Winning in Life curriculum, and proactively weaves it into their lessons or activities.


Winning in Life for Schools and Youth Leaders

Winning in Life is a valuable program for all youth – not just our JJK kids. We have developed this curriculum for any adult in a leadership position with youth:

  • Coaches
  • Physical education teachers
  • Classroom teachers
  • Youth facilitators
  • After-school & summer camp leaders
  • Recreational and nonprofit youth organizations

For more information on the Winning in Life curriculum and how to apply it to your organization, visit jjkwinninginlife.com or call 618-274-5437

Life Skills Taught in the JJK Winning in Life Curriculum

1. Confidence

Having confidence in our ability to do something increases our motivation to do it.

2. Courage

Standing up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.

3. Risk Taking

Learning to navigate, manage, and assess risk so you can choose to take risks in a beneficial way.

4. Critical Thinking

Remaining unbiased and open to all the facts, angles, and sides to an argument or situation.

5. Determination and Grit

Having the resolve to carry out a task and the ability to get back up and move on after a setback.

6. Desire

Having a strong feeling, wanting, or wishing for something, and choosing positive things as the focus of your desire.

7. Dedication

Having the devotion or commitment to a purpose or task, and matching that passion to a cause that is bigger than yourself.

8. Commitment and Hard Work

Sticking with something, even though it might not be fun or easy.

9. Goals

Setting and maintaining goals to lead to achievement in every area of life.

10. Passion

Learning how to fuel your passion in a way that enhances others, your community and beyond.

11. Self-Respect

Demonstrating a sense of pride in yourself which leads to reducing risky behavior.

12. Service

Learning the importance of giving back by serving each other, your school, or the community.

13. Values

Developing values including personal ethics, spiritual or religious, political, social and aesthetic.

14. Wellness

Understanding how proper nutrition, hydration, regular physical activity, positive thinking and adequate sleep enhances wellbeing.