First Tee Coach Patrick Mullins knows how The First Tee Schools Program makes a difference. As a teacher at Star Lake Elementary School in Federal Way, Coach Patrick has introduced hundreds of students to the game of golf and its inherent life lessons through lessons he teaches in his school gym. We asked Coach Patrick to share his perspective on The First Tee as a coach and educator. Here is what he had to say:
How long have your been a teacher?
I have been a teacher with the Federal Way School District for 10 years.
What made you decide to coach for The First Tee?
About 5 years ago I was able to have a First Tee Coach come into my gym and teach the in-school program. I loved the curriculum and my students were engaged right from the start. Being a golf nut, I knew this would be a great way to help grow the game and be a positive role model for my community at the same time.
As one who has brought The First Tee curriculum into your classroom, how do you see it making a difference?
I’ve really seen a difference on the playground during recess. Students are using the core values to be safe, kind and productive during games like 4 square, wall ball and tether ball. There are less arguments and the players are not only being more physically active but they’re are having a lot of fun.
What do you enjoy most about coaching at The First Tee?
I think I’ve enjoyed watching the players move through the program. It’s been fun seeing them grow on and off the golf course. I have many students who are now volunteer coaches, interns, and assistant coaches. A few have moved on to play college golf as well.
What is one interesting fact about your others may be surprised to learn?
One perk of the job is that I get opportunities to play lots of great courses with participants and fellow coaches. I’ve become an avid collector (my wife would say ‘hoarder’) of headcovers and at this point have at least 75 in my collection. Some have even been gifted by First Tee participants.