She is five feet, two inches tall and weighs 130 pounds…and Jen Welter has been hired to coach the inside linebackers of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, and it’s about time.
2015 will have a number of big stories to talk about, good bad or ugly, but in the good category is the year of the woman in pro sports that were once the sole domain of men.
Welter has been a women’s professional football player and a rugby player, so she has some street cred that way. But Welter also has something that many of her male contemporaries don’t have; a great education.
Welter holds a Master’s degree in sports psychology and a PhD in psychology. She knows the mental mechanics of sports and more importantly instead of being some egghead geek with a pair of degrees, she knows how to parlay that onto the field.
Welter can teach.
Head Coach Bruce Arians of the Cards says it in the team’s press release yesterday:
‘Coaching is nothing more than teaching.’
Arians may be right, but a good teacher is one that can relate to the students and still get the curriculum delivered. A good teacher inspires you to do great things. Welter has shown Arians enough to give her the opportunity, and now it is on the players, all men, to pick up what Welter is putting down.
With the hiring of Jen Welter in the NFL coaching ranks, the recent Summer League Championship of San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, who led the summer league team, Lauren Holtkamp becoming the third female full time official in the NBA and Sarah Thomas hired on as a full time official in the NFL, it is about time that women are recognized for their abilities not just in women’s sports, but in all sports.
Sport knows no gender…maybe the people who run them are finally starting to figure that out.