Scholarship Review

Patrick Brewer

Greensburg Central Catholic High School
Senior? Yes
Elite top 100? Yes
Letters of recommendation: Letter of Recommendation 1, Letter of Recommendation 2


Addicted to Youth Coaching
Why do we have youth sports? Based on the thriving pricey clubs, camps, and private lessons, it appears to be a big business aimed at luring parents in hopes that their child might improve, even by a fraction. But, I submit this is not the true goal of youth sports, nor where its inception had intended it to land.
As a child, I was lucky enough to learn and enjoy almost every sport. Through this, I have become knowledgeable, even as a WPIAL medalist in three different sports. I never pushed overly hard in one sport though, because I enjoyed too much the camaraderie of the team, fun of the game, and health benefits I obtained all year by balancing multiple sports.
As I grew, I began to see the need for all young students to have the benefits that sports can bring: fitness, confidence, and mental health, to name a few. So, I began to volunteer youth coach, and what I found was that it rewarded not only the students, but it rewarded me.
I started refereeing and coaching Upward youth flag football, a national faith-based organization based on teaching kids values through scripture during practice. I saw the students feel great about themselves, and not just for catching a pass, but for realizing how loved they each are. Moreover, as I helped them see this, my passion overflowed, and it became addicting to help children.
While coaching Upward, I pressured my school to start a wrestling program. I advertised and organized 5K races to provide funds. I wrestled on this team through high school, and volunteer coached the junior high. I saw children that were obese lose weight and have fun doing it. While teaching them, they developed discipline and work ethic. Again my students learned different values, and again, I was addicted.
I found another opportunity to help initiate and coach a cross country program at my elementary alma mater, the only school in its district without a team. As I ran with these students, I taught them to love the peace and joy that comes from running through nature. This time the students not only got in shape, but learned that bettering themselves, even by just the smallest amount each day, was a victory. They learned the feelings of accomplishment and success, and by default, I learned these feelings too.
Now, as I have chosen to compete as a decathlete at Cornell over wrestling at Columbia, I will finally focus on one sport. This saddens me, but the joys and personal growth that I have gained from youth coaching I will carry with me. I am confident that wherever I go, there will always be youth that need to feel special, that need to feel part of a team, that need a coach; and I will be there, my joy from youth coaching shining. Then, together, we will continue to reap the real rewards and fulfill the intended purpose of youth sports.