Jen Welter is the first female NFL coach. Over here at The Tomboy Mommy, that’s big stuff.
How many of us grew up playing football with the boys, only to be jettisoned from the number one pick in middle school?
Jen Welter has played professional women’s football and is now coaching professional male athletes. What I love most about this is that she was hired because she was capable, not just because she was a female.
Bruce Arians, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals recently stated when asked about women coaching in the NFL,
The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired,
I loved this response. As tomboys, as a women, we don’t want special treatment, in fact, we often have to go above and beyond what the men do to get even a little respect. When playing football with the guys, a minor mistake on our part is blown out of proportion as a failure, and reflective of our right to be there, whereas the men can make the same mistake and move on.
Here is Arians’ response to actually having hired a woman.
Coaching is nothing more than teaching. One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man, I’ll listen.’ I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for her.
No, not just doors for her, but doors for other women who are qualified by knowledge and ability to make others better.
Jen Welter will face many challenges as a pioneer for women coaching in the NFL, much like her counterpart, coaching with the San Antonio Spurs, Becky Hammon. They will have to be above reproach as they “prove” they deserve to coach the men. But I’m sure these women aren’t here to prove anything. They merely want to do their jobs and do them well, because that’s what they do.
I’m just so damn excited about women coaching men on the highest level. Athletes just want to perform to the best of their abilities. On the oldest coaching staff in the NFL, Jen Welter is more capable then the male coaches at actually playing the game. Indeed, she’s coming off 14 seasons as a professional linebacker.
Including women on professional sports coaching staffs should be less about diversity, and more about putting the best people on staff that will improve athlete performance. If there are women like Jen Welter and Becky Hammon that fit that bill, then bring on the diversity!
Tomboys everywhere rejoice!
Here is a link to the Arizona Cardinals website with the story.