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Why PCA is so Important to Northwestern Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald


"When I learned of it and I saw the programming that was in place, especially for me at the youth level. Youth sports changed my opportunities in life. If it wasn’t for sports, I would not be where I am today. I think back to all of the positive coaches that I had and then there’s about a handful that if they had PCA training; wow, it would have been a lot better, my life would have been a lot better at the youth level. That’s where it starts and ends.

"Obviously when it moves up into the high school and the collegiate ranks, it’s different. You’ve got a lot of participants at the youth and high school level. They want to be a part of a team; they want to be a part of a community. They know they might not ever play but they just want to be a part of it. When you start to get up to our level and then our game on Sunday, you get picked to be a participant. You get recruited to play in college. We all have our great walk on programs…that group of guys are unbelievable in our world, but we hand selected those 85 scholarship players. We have an NFL draft, there’s 255 guys who get drafted. Once you get out of the high school level, it really comes down to talent and either you have the talent, or you do not. Once you get there, what do you do with it?

"But at the grades school and high school level, PCA plays such a critical role coaching our coaches and learning how to have a positive impact on the day to day, moment to moment interactions because that power of influence you have as a youth and high school coach can be a difference maker in a young person’s life. It can completely change their trajectory and that’s what happened to me. That’s why I feel so strongly in the mission of PCA and why I’ll do everything I can to try to help because I think it’s making a difference in youth sports which means that is making a difference in our country.

"We need to get young people the proper tools to be successful mentally, emotionally, and physically as they move forward in their life to be able to be successful their lives, along with their education. This is part of the fabric of our country and we just got to continue to be relentless and develop."

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