Katie Sowers is an anomaly on the field.
Only seven women have ever coached in the NFL, and Sowers is one of them. She’s also, technically speaking, the most successful of them all.
Earlier this year, the 33-year-old became the first female (and first openly gay) coach to make the Super Bowl, as an offensive assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
Sowers and the 49ers lost the game, but the coach isn’t spending the offseason sulking. Instead, she’s using her platform to inspire young girls who may someday follow in her footsteps.
And there was plenty of inspiration present at #WeKeepPlaying, a first-of-its-kind live event presented by Yahoo Sports and the Women’s Sports Foundation. Sowers spoke at the April 11 event — which featured sports superstars from Carli Lloyd to Billie Jean King — and offered advice for how young women could achieve their own goals.
“I truly believe that the more we allow people to be themselves, the more success we find as a community,” Sowers said during the livestream, which aired on Yahoo Sports.
Sowers emphasized her own journey as an example of why it’s important for people to follow their passions — no matter what obstacles are in their way. It’s advice she’s followed throughout her life, starting with a letter she wrote as a young kid.
“I hope, someday, I will be on a real football team,” Sowers wrote.
And she was right. Sowers now competes at the highest level of her sport — all because she insisted on pursuing what she loved.
“You can love something, and regardless of what society says is normal, you can reach for it,” Sowers said during #WeKeepPlaying. “The more that I can show that to younger generations, that’s my ‘why’ — that’s what keeps me going.”
You can watch the full video Sowers telling her story and giving advice on Yahoo Sports.
If you liked this story, check out another video from #WeKeepPlaying, in which soccer star Carli Lloyd explains why she’s considering an NFL kicking career.
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