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Work hard, have fun – Meet Julie 45 of 52 Phenomenal Women

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Meet Julie –

In her own words…

“Most of the time, I’m referred to as “Mom” or “Attorney.” But during basketball season, I’m referred to as Coach Workman. In my little corner of the world, I’m trying to instill confidence and passion in the girls I coach, both on and off the basketball court.

I was a college athlete (basketball and softball) and have always been passionate about sports. After college, I played recreational softball until I was eight weeks pregnant with my first daughter. When she turned five, I started coaching her through our local YMCA basketball program; ten years later, I’m still coaching. Eventually, I coached my older daughter’s travel team, and then my younger daughter’s YMCA teams and travel team.

My coaching philosophy is simple.

Work hard, have fun and don’t take the easy way out.

Girls benefit from being athletes in countless ways. Sports teach discipline, time management and a powerful work ethic. Sports teach girls to be competitive, proud and strong. Sports give girls tremendous self-esteem. The girls I’ve been fortunate enough to coach develop confidence and passion; they are hard-working and energetic. They stand up to bullies. They may not win all of their games, but they learn from their defeats. Every minute on the court makes them better players and better people who are equipped to challenge the status quo.

I am inspired by our United States Women’s National Soccer Team and their fight for equality in pay. I don’t buy the argument that ‘the women’s team does not deserve equal pay because they do not generate the same revenue that men’s teams generate.’ Women’s teams have been sidelined by society for generations and therefore have not had a meaningful opportunity to generate a fan base until now. Having strong women on the world stage who are willing to risk everything for equal treatment may be just what the world needs for female athletes to get the attention and opportunities to which they are entitled. If we can inspire our girls to pursue their passions, they and their fans will demand equal court time, equal media attention and equal opportunities well beyond their grade school travel ball days. Like the USWNT, girls who work hard and push back will change the world.

I have no doubt that having been a college athlete gave me the confidence to graduate from Northwestern University School of Law, to embark on a successful career in the male-dominated commercial real estate industry and to have the self-awareness and discipline to prioritize coaching alongside my challenging work schedule and wonderful, crazy family life. I hope that my passion filters through to my teams and that, through the work ethic and competitiveness they absorb, they will pursue their dreams and refuse to take “no” for an answer. I am grateful for the opportunity I had and for what it taught me, and I hope to show that gratitude by instilling my love of sports in the next generation of female athletes.”

*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Julie. This year for my birthday, I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 45 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!**

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