Getting to know Texas Soccer assistant Jaimel Johnson
Feb. 1, 2012
What is one of the greatest lessons you learned while coaching at Iowa? I had a great relationship with the head coach and the other assistant coach. They really mentored me. They helped me to develop my coaching philosophy. Being able to look at my experiences, what I have learned, and also watch other coaches and then to communicate effectively with the players and let them take it and apply it to themselves -- that was the biggest thing for me, was being able to form that. It is always evolving, even today, and I am continuously trying to learn things, especially being under Angela (Kelly) who knows a ton about the game.
How would you describe playing for Coach Kelly? What would you say the team is about to experience under her leadership? Angela is a great coach. She knows the game very well, she believes in you and she has a lot of passion. So, the girls are going to experience a coach who is going to push them mentally, physically and psychologically. She is going to challenge them to reach that peak, to be able to do things that they did not think they were able to do. I think she is great in that sense, being able to tap into that mental game where you can push. It was great for me, especially when we went into those overtime games, we knew that we would push that much further.
How does the experience of succeeding in Coach Kelly’s system help you and fellow assistant Keeley Dowling as you form the team? That is the cool thing about our staff -- we have all worked together and both played together under Angela. We have that connection. When we see a player, it’s easy to determine if she has that unique or special characteristic about her that we would love to have, and that would work here. We are also able to bounce ideas off of each other, knowing how each other works.
What made you want to come to UT and coach here? The University of Texas at Austin is an incredible institution, and working for Angela, I will have the ability to learn the game, not necessarily from a goalkeeper standpoint but as an overall coach. She has done a ton of coaching, she has been overseas and watched international practices, and she understands every facet of the game, which is something I am going to learn in every area that I can. And also I loved playing at Tennessee under Angela, so it is exciting to work with people who you know.
What do you see your role being in the locker room? I think my role will be to help to encourage the girls and to keep them working hard and to let them know that we are here to make them better. Whatever way that we can help to make them a better person, student, and soccer player, we will do. Whatever Angela asks of me is what I will do. The girls have been so excited to start the spring, so hopefully they buy into what we are telling them. We look forward to what the future holds -- we have a big future in front of us. We are excited.
Can you still play, do you have some game left? Angela is working me into practices, so I will definitely work out with the girls. I love to play, and it will be fun to jump in with the girls and play a little bit. I like to try to keep the rust off.