Teenage football coach is hitting her goals
When Jaylen Bean first joined Bermuda’s Brazilian Football School three years ago she frequently heard how football was for boys.
No-one is questioning her skills now.
The 17-year-old was recently nominated for Teen Services’ Teen of the Year Sports Award and is now a trainee coach with BBFS.
BBFS is an eight-week after-school programme that allows middle schoolers to play football safely and learn valuable life skills.
Teachers select students with good academic standing and behaviour to be part of it. They don’t have to be fantastic football players to join, they just have to have to enjoy the game.
“I am working with students ages five to 12 years old,” said Jaylen. “I like working with the little ones the best. They do look up to me. With coaching, the hardest thing to learn was dealing with different attitudes. When I was little I am sure I had my moments when I didn’t listen, but trying to deal with them sometimes you [wonder], ‘Why don’t you just keep still and listen?’ But you have to deal with them because you can’t get mad. I have had to learn patience. At home, I am an only child, so this is my first real exposure to little children.”
These days there are a lot more girls signing up for the programme. Jaylen works with 11 girls on Mondays.
“I think that is why [BBFS] coach Cal [Blankendal] first got me involved because there were a lot of male coaches,” she said. “Now when the girls say ‘I can’t do this or that because I’m a girl’ they can see me doing it and know that they can do it too. The number of girls in the programme is getting better. I think the ones that are there go back and tell their friends about it and more come.”
She started playing football because she wanted to be just like her father, Terrance Bean, who plays for Somerset Eagles.
“When I turned eight years old I started playing for PHC and when I turned 13 years old I started playing for Dandy Town and I still do,” she said. “When I was younger my father used to coach me, but not so much anymore.”
Jaylen is in her last year at CedarBridge Academy and is in the process of applying for colleges. She hopes to one day be a forensic investigator. She hoped that being a football coach with BBFS would look good on her college application.
“I was inspired to look at forensic investigation as a career by watching television programmes like ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘Law & Order’,” she said. “I think it is really interesting and I love biology at school. I am still waiting to hear back from the colleges I have applied to.”
In terms of female football players, Jaylen really admires American professional soccer player Natasha Kai, a forward for Philadelphia Independence.
She used to play for Sky Blue Football Club in Washington DC as a left midfielder.
“My position now is centre midfield and my favourite male player is Argentinian Lionel Messi who plays in La Liga for football club Barcelona. He is left footed and wears number ten, just like me,” said Jaylen. “I think what I have gotten out of BBFS is a lot of exposure to different opportunities.”
Two years ago she went with BBFS to England for training and stayed at the West Ham match ground. They trained and watched West Ham play.
Last summer she played for the United Soccer League under-17 super Y-League. Selection was through the Bermuda Football Association youth academy programme. To take part she went overseas and stayed with a host family in Virginia. As an international transfer, she played with the top-rated Northern Virginia Majestics football club.
Useful website: www.bermudabfs.com.
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