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Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘That’s Just Breasha’

Breasha Pruitt’s positive coaching style has garnered national attention

It’s easy to see why Breasha Pruitt is among the 25 people honored with the Positive Coaching Alliance’s 2022 National Double-Goal Coach Award. As the owner of and instructor at Breasha Pruitt Elite Gymnastics at 2949 N. St. Joseph Ave., she is passionate about creating a safe, caring, and fun environment.

Pruitt was nominated by the grandmother of one of her women’s competitive team members. After being selected as a Double-Goal winner, she was named 2022 Coach of the Year.

“I felt amazing,” Pruitt says. “I’ve been this person all my life. ‘That’s just Breasha.’ I’ve had some great opportunities. I’m just so grateful that everyone can see what we do.”

Photo by Zach Straw. When Breasha Pruitt won the Positive Coaching Alliance’s 2022 National Double-Goal Coach of the Year, she also was the first gymnastics coach to earn that honor.

The Henderson, Kentucky, native started gymnastics at age six and by 11 was living with host families as she trained at programs in Texas and Pennsylvania. She became a two-time U.S.A. Elite national team member and a gymnastics level 10 champion — the most competitive level — in Indiana and the Junior Olympics bar event. 

After studying at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and graduating from the University of Southern Indiana, Pruitt worked as the women’s head coach at two Evansville gyms before opening her namesake center in August 2018. 

Pruitt’s goal is to allow her students to reach their full potential as athletes, whatever that means to them, while still being kids. 

“I strive to create a fun and safe environment for all my athletes,” she says. “The goal is to help each athlete reach their full potential while still being themselves. Once athletics is over, they will have gained life skills and tools to be positive role models in the world.”

That certainly was the experience for Ariana Halbig, 17, a former student and current beginner gymnastics coach at Pruitt’s gym. Halbig, a Central High School student, studied gymnastics for 11 years and competed at level 7 with Pruitt as her coach.

“I like her teaching methods, how she thinks about and cares about us. The higher level you are, the more you have to think about mentally, and she helps us,” Halbig says. 

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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