Jill Kochanek—or Coach K as most of her players and students call her—is a teacher, coach, thinker, researcher, and an athlete. She has her master’s in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport psychology and is currently pursuing her PhD at Michigan State University. As a teacher and coach, Jill is passionate about working with young people to help them embrace their own developmental process. She firmly believes that an empowered youth empowers us all.
Jill began her career path as a student-athlete (women’s soccer player) at Amherst College. After graduating, she took a position as a high school teacher and soccer coach at an all-girls’ boarding school. These experiences informed and inspired her decision to deviate from her initial plan to pursue a legal career and instead go to graduate school to systematically study the art of coaching.
She is most passionate about unpacking psychological concepts and applying them to her coaching in order to guide young people towards self-empowerment on and off the field. She has a growing curiosity to understand if, and how, young athletes develop self-awareness and social responsibility through sport—with a particular interest in the role that coaching behaviors and coach-athlete interactions play in youth development. Her other life interests include any combination of swimming, biking, running, and baking. On her “off” days you can find her at the local coffee shop with a freshly brewed cup and a book.