49ers’ Katie Sowers intent on helping women find their path in NFL (USA)
As the only full-time female coach in the NFL, 49ers’ Katie Sowers knows she’s a pioneer. At the Women’s Careers in Football Forum that was held prior to the opening of the NFL Scouting Combine, she became a sounding board and mentor for the select women in attendance who are aspiring coaches, trainers and scouts.
Sowers spoke with NBC Sports Bay area after the forum and expressed that she feels blessed to be heading into her third season in Santa Clara. But she added that she will never rest on her laurels. Her drive to help others find their path might even be stronger than ever.
“Just the energy that I feel from being around these women,” Sowers said, “and knowing that I’m opening doors for them, it definitely is something that gives me my ‘why.’”
Sowers’ wish is to have more full-time positions available to women because providing for oneself, let alone a family while being an intern is impossible.
“I want to get to a day,” Sowers said, “where I’m not hearing women asking how many internships do I have to do because I can’t provide for my family.”
That day may be a little bit closer. After the forum, Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians reported that he will create a full-time coaching position designated for a woman.
“I don’t know that I feel a responsibility,” Sowers said. “I just feel a passion, and that’s not just for women. It’s for anyone who has has a dream — and that can kind of sound like a Miss America answer — but anyone that has a dream and feels like there’s a barrier because of the societal blinders that we put on.”
Sowers’ advice to aspiring women is not only to find their ‘why’, but to also make themselves irreplaceable.
“Truly find out your ‘why’ because it’s going to be tiring and draining,” Sowers said. “If your ‘why’ doesn’t line up with the path you’re on, it’s not going to feel worth it.
“Don’t try to do everything, find out what you’re good at, and what you’re going to do to be an asset to the team and you’re going to be someone that cannot be replaced.”
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