Womens Football Player – Jennifer Kadlitz
I’ve covered womens football in previous articles. I’m not talking lingerie football…I’m talking professional tackle football, complete with pads and helmets. I have discovered the women I’ve interviewed in the pro leagues are gracious and good-hearted women from all lifestyles and occupations. They just love playing football.
One such woman is Jennifer Kadlitz, Wide Receiver/Tight End and Captain of Houston Power Football, Houston’s Women’s Professional Football Team. I saw Jennifer’s profile on LinkedIn and wanted to share her story with sportsnetworker.com readers. Sometimes educating ourselves in a new sports genre can give us a new appreciation of that sport. Jennifer was gracious enough to share what brought her to the sport of football and how it has influenced her life.
Interview On Womens Football
Michelle: When did your original interest in playing football begin?
Jennifer: I became interested in professional football seven years ago when I started playing flag football. I found out there was a women’s professional tackle team in Houston and I’ve been playing ever since.
Michelle: Who has been your primary mentor for your sports career and why?
Jennifer: I base my play on watching professional athletes, both in person and on television. I don’t have any brothers or sisters so I learned to play on my own. I consistently strive to become better and better. My parents have always been supportive of me playing sports and they attended every volleyball, basketball and softball game I played in high school. I continued playing slo-pitch softball when I graduated and that was the first sport I joined when I moved from Detroit to Houston 15 years ago. While playing softball I was asked to join a flag football team and I’ve continued playing flag ever since.
Michelle: How do you respond when people automatically think you play lingerie football?
Jennifer: I just laugh and explain to them that this isn’t the lingerie league. These women don’t care how cute they look on the field. They just want to hit somebody!
Michelle: If you could communicate one important point to a major sports broadcasting network, what would it be?
Jennifer: I would like them to attend some games and maybe help us out on getting some exposure. Many people in my area don’t even know we have a women’s professional team here in Houston.
Michelle: In what ways do you nurture other women who are just entering the world of women’s professional sports?
Jennifer: I am a middle school teacher and coach so I have always enjoyed teaching anyone who is willing to learn how to become the best at what they do. I offer encouragement and guidance to all young women who want to learn.
Michelle: Share some of your future goals, both personal and sports.
Jennifer: My future goals are to try to get the league noticed more and to help women’s football take off. I also want to continue to coach and mentor all young athletes to excel in any sport they enjoy.
Michelle: What challenges have you faced along the way?
Jennifer: I have gone through many coaching changes along the way and it’s difficult to learn different offenses every year. It’s also hard to go from coaching until 5:30 p.m., drive 45 minutes to practice, practice for 2 hours, and then get home at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings when you have to work the next day. This goes on from January until July.
Michelle: People tend to generalize – what would you say to a person who thinks all women who play pro football are “manly” or lesbian?
Jennifer: I think that the generalizations are about ½ correct. There are many lesbians in the league but there are also many heterosexual women who play as well, some of them married.
Michelle: What advice would you give to a young woman who’s considering going professional in her sport?
Jennifer: My advice to any young women entering the professional field would be to work hard, stick to a plan, and don’t let other people affect how you think or play. If you love the sport, there should be nothing stopping you from playing or excelling to your full potential.
To find out more about Jennifer Kadlitz and Houston Power Football, visit: www.houstonpowerfootball.com