Seattle, WA- Change starts with doing the unthinkable, unknown, and taking risks in order to achieve success. The New York Jets’ Defensive Backs intern coach Collette V. Smith has broken barriers that few people know of. She is the first woman of color to become a coach for the New York Jets, as well as the entire NFL and has attracted many fans around the league, as well as inspired many people. “I tell people to follow their dreams. It may be hard, but it is worth it. You have to listen, learn, and love what you do. It does not happen overnight, so you have to be committed and motivated to pursue something you deeply desire.
Coaching has been one of Collette’s passion and was noticed this summer by the coaching staff for the New York Jets Organization. They saw her talent, how committed she was and told her to come out and coach. She did a great job with the opportunity but is expanding her talents and sprinkling it to her community. “I mean I love coaching and everything that comes with it. The perks of coaching are seeing these players grow before your eyes and just seeing how successful that they become is a blessing. I am thankful that I can impact these players on the field, but off the field, I want to encourage and inspire our youth. I have always felt passionate about changing our communities, giving them hope, inspiration, and motivation to go out there and be great, be special, and impact the world in a positive way.”
As many have seen there are not that many female refs nor females coaching in the league and now with Collette Smith and Jennifer Welter becoming coaches, both of them have broken barriers in the league. “As a female in general, we have to do more than just the average. We are competing in a male-driven occupation, so we have to bring our A-game each and every time we can. You never know who is watching, so everything has to be flawless. You can not come into this field and expect handouts. You have to work day in and day out and know your worth, because as all jobs it can get to you, but remember why you are coaching.”
With everything that is going on and off the field with many protests, a lot of athletes such as Colin Kaepernick, Brandon Marshall, Marshawn Lynch, and others have protested the injustice of America by not standing for the National Anthem and Collette agrees that players should stand for what they believe. ” I think that they are brave. I mean to lose everything from endorsements to your dreams to empower the community, children and others is simply amazing.”
With Collette leading the way in a positive way, there can be more hidden figures that can change the dynamics of breaking chains and accepting change inequality in pro sports.
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