SPOTLIGHT: Coach Leigh Jakes

Profile: Coach Leigh Jakes
Hometown: McDonough, Georgia
Professional Experience: Chicago Red Stars, Kokkola, NiceFutis
College Experience: Northwestern University
Misc: BODYARMOR SuperDrink Representative

Coach Leigh’s take on the spring soccer season thus far:

“Our first game was a good test for the Coretta Scott King girls. We have worked a lot on passing and dribbling, but we’ve also focused on what it looks like to work as a team and how to resolve conflicts. I noticed some of the girls from the fall season step up and remind their teammates that the way we carry ourselves in not dependent on the way other teams or other people treat us. Not only are these girls becoming leaders, they’ve also elevated their game with some impressive combination play from time to time!

In terms of life lessons, one of the biggest things we’ve emphasized is not everything requires a reaction. Put your energy in things that will make you better, not those that bring out the worst in you. I’m always so proud when girls come up to me before practice and tell me about the ways they avoided conflict in school.

It’s also been a joy working with the middle and high school girls at Coretta Scott King. These girls are thirsty for knowledge and show a real interest in improving their soccer skills. I’ve even had girls ask to stay after practice to work on technique and different skills we introduced that day!

When working with these young women, I constantly tell them to remember the joy of getting something new “right.” Every day, every practice, every touch on the ball is a chance to improve and feel that same joy.”

* Coach Leigh is with Soccer in the Streets since September 2016.