Coach Brooke Gustafson
Detroit PAL’s volunteers are the number one reason that PAL is able to serve more than 12,000 kids throughout the city of Detroit. Our volunteer coaches spend so much of their free time working with kids and helping them to be successful in their sport and learn important life lessons. Somehow, our coaches are able to keep up with their busy personal schedules while still making a huge difference in these kids’ lives.
Brooke Gustafson is not only a volunteer coach for t-ball’s Tiny Tigers, basketball’s Little Hoopers and soccer’s Little Kickers, but she is also a third year medical student at Wayne State University.
“During my first year of medical school at Wayne State I was looking for an organization to volunteer with and I thought it would be great if I could combine things I’m really passionate about; working with kids and sports,” said Brooke, “The people who come in and volunteer their time to help coach and work with Detroit’s youth through PAL are some of the best people I’ve met during my time in the city!”
Brooke says that the kids she coaches help to keep her balanced and focus on her schooling. They provide a small break from her studying and allow her to pass along her knowledge and advice to a new generation. “The kids serve as a constant reminder to me about how important it is to try your hardest with everything you do,” Brooke stated, “Also, working with the kids is just so much fun!”
Even though most of her athletes are young, between the ages of 4 and 6, she still thinks it’s important to teach them about respect for each other and respect for your coaches. She also makes sure to emphasize the importance of them always working together to achieve their goals. More than anything, she wants to make sure that she keeps the game fun for her athletes. “The more fun the kids have, the more excited they are to come play, and the more likely they are to continue to play as they get older,” Brooke explained.
Detroit PAL has some of the greatest coaches around. They sacrifice so much to be able to mentor the kids in Detroit. Brooke Gustafson is a great example of this; coaching multiple teams while completing medical school! Thank you Brooke, for all of your hard work and dedication to the kids PAL serves!