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Phoebe Schecter living out a dream and paving the way for younger girls

Posted at 9:25 PM, Oct 29, 2018

"You have to believe. That's the biggest thing, you have to believe."

Phoebe Schecter has come a long way. It all started when she moved to the United Kingdom a few years ago and took a chance.

"A couple months after moving, I saw an ad for American football and I thought it'd be a really great way to meet people and get a bit of American culture," Schecter said. "From the first time I started playing, I haven't looked back."

Schecter is a linebacker for the national team in Great Britain but isn't overseas playing at the moment.

"I just wanted to keep developing myself and learning more about the sport," she said.

So Schecter attended a seminar where she expressed interest in coaching and was later placed with the Buffalo Bills. She became a training camp intern and began to learn more about the coaching side of the sport.

"What you look for with young coaches is the eagerness to learn and the openness to learn and having no or little ego in your approach," said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. "That stood out very early in the process with Phoebe."

Schecter's experience went well and she was invited back to this year's training camp, making an impression on the coaches with her drive and personality.

"It was early on in training camp where I remember she was working with the tight end position and we were doing a red zone drill and one of our tight ends scored a touchdown in practice and all the tight ends including our tight end coach and Phoebe sprinted across the field and celebrated and danced in the endzone," McDermott recalled. "I thought to myself, okay she's fitting in quite nicely here".

Which is why as camp was coming to a close, little did Schecter know that another opportunity, the chance to intern for a while longer, was a possibility.

"Coach McDermott had a word with me about it and kind of put it on my radar and I think I just sat there buzzing really," Schecter laughed.

Shortly after, the Bills offered her the chance to be a coaching intern for the 2018 season, giving her at least sixteen weeks of additional experience at the pro level.

"The fact that I come here for work every single day and am surrounded by such motivated people and people who want to get better all the time," said Schecter.

"You could see that her confidence this year, her relating to our players and just an eagerness to learn and be a part of a team throughout a whole year, there's certainly a passion and excitement about her," said Kim Pegula, co-owner of the Bills.

Schecter primarily works with the tight ends and is learning the ins and outs of the position. She's developed into a person the players go to for direction and is taking advantage of this new and exciting opportunity.

"I've got access to elite coaches everyday and they are the most amazing staff and they answer any questions I have," Schecter said. "They help me, the players help me which is great, they ask me questions and I can ask them questions, and we both check each other for understanding."

Schecter isn't the first woman to be given an opportunity with the Buffalo Bills. Back in January of 2016, the team hired the league's first full-time assistant coach. This season, Schecter is one of several women involved in some aspect with the team.

"I think that the men that we have on our team have seen the benefits that what these women can bring to the team," Pegula said. "The more women that they see in roles where they can help them become a better player, become a better teammate and a person, that just makes it more normal. It's an area that I think is gonna be growing and I'm hoping to see a lot more women in."

Women like Schecter who are becoming trailblazers for those who aspire to one day coach.

"Coach McDermott always says we come from different ships but we're all on the same boat now and it's so true," she said. "The different stories people have to get here, nobody's come here on an easy ride, everyone's had to work to get here and I think this really makes this even more special."

Schecter isn't sure what her future holds but knows that eventually, coaching is something she'd like to pursue full-time.

"I know what I want to do is be involved in football and coaching and I've set that bar high for myself," she said. "If I keep working hard, I think that I can achieve whatever it is I want to achieve."

 

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