Director of Community Relations and Hockey Partnerships, Minnesota Wild
Local Board Member, Minnesota
Petersen carries vast experience in athletics, competing in several sports during his youth, and more recently, coaching his two sons in baseball, football and lacrosse for 10 years. “Sports were a big part of my life growing up,” he said. “My dad was a college football coach for many years and was involved with athletics himself. For as long as I can remember, I always participated in sports and followed them closely.”
Those experiences formed his view – which matches PCA’s – of what great coaches do for kids: “They treat you with respect. They expect and ask a lot from you, but they’re always fair and always have your best interests in mind. They want you to do your best.”
Petersen has brought those concerns for youth to his community work with the Wild. Though he regularly interacts with some of the top hockey talent in the world, some of his fondest memories on the job come from interacting with Minnesota youth.
“The things that we are exposed to [in the professional sports industry], a lot of people, especially kids, would die for,” he said. “If I can invite a kid to a game or give a kid an autographed puck or meet Nordy or something like that, it means a lot. To see their faces and how happy the family is, it’s stuff like that that doesn’t take much effort but it goes a long way.”
Joining the Positive Coaching Alliance Minnesota Chapter Board means Petersen and the Wild can make even greater contributions to the community. “Educating coaches and parents is so important,” Petersen said. “Youth sports are so different now than when I was a kid. There’s so much pressure on these kids. There’s so much specialization.
“I look forward to the day when it’s almost mandated or a given, whether you’re in Stillwater or Eden Prairie, whether you’re playing baseball or lacrosse, there’s going to be training involved prior to every season starting for both parents and coaches, and perhaps even for kids. When that day happens, it’s going to be a great day for all concerned.”