1st female coach describes 'unique pressures' of NFL

Jen Welter, author of "Play Big" and a coach for the Arizona Cardinals, discusses what it was like to break the glass ceiling for women in professional football.
3:51 | 10/04/17

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Transcript for 1st female coach describes 'unique pressures' of NFL
Who knew I'd be sitting here with a woman who made history in 2015 by becoming the first female to coach in the NFL. Dr. Jen welter's inspiring book "Play big" about breaking stereotypes and playing professional football against men and earning her ph.d. And Dr. Welter, welcome. Welcome. You have had an absolutely incredible, incredible life. But I want to take you back to the big moment when you got the coaching job of the inside linebacker coach for the Arizona cardinals. What was it like? Were the players skeptical. I have to give a lot of credit to the guys. They were so excited. They were actually like, you know, they'd come up and be like coach Jen, I checked out your highlight reel. You were a beast off the edge. As lath lets that's kind of -- that's the greatest gift we can give is like all right, I'm going to invest and check you out. See what you can do. They knew a lot about me but they didn't know what it was going to be like interpersonally. Those are the trenches. It's something where we spend a lot of time together, got to get down and dirty and the last thing you want is for there to be that kind of first date awkward, right, where everybody is walking around on egg shells and nobody acts like themselves. I've been there. Don't know if we can hold hands yet. We can't joke and so one of the things I wanted them to know is that it was going to be easy and we'll laugh a lot because some things are just different but I would do that and when you're the odd person out you can do that. Before you got the job one question coach aryans did have for you, can you read the guys' eyes? What did he mean when he asked you that. Bruce goes back to his time as a bartender and being able to see people for what they are, what they need, what's different and so reading somebody's eyes realized that not all players react the same, you know, can you look at a guy and see, you know, what that coach might have gotten him a little bit and needs a pat on the back or the next guy, hey, you might need to get fired up and Bruce loves the fact that I had my masters in sports psychology and ph.d. And I honestly think that that was ultimately what gave him the confidence to take that big step. You made history as well. You're the first female to play in a men's pro football league. Indoor football league. As a running back. As a running back. As a running back. There have been kickers before and some other stuff. The physical demands of that, how were you able to -- that's like me hitting you every day. Yep. It was painful. Painful. I bounce well. That's an amazing accomplishment. But while you were playing women's professional football, you also -- you went and got your masters, your ph.d. All that while you were playing. Yeah. What was the driving factor? What drove you so hard to do what you've done as far as getting your ph.d. And masters but also to excel in a sport that's dominated by men. You know, when I made my first football team it was the sport I had loved my whole life probably like you did when you saw it -- these are the heroes but didn't have the opportunity to play. When I made that first team, the promise I made is that I would step up to every challenge. No matter what it was. Now I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I made that promise. Right? But what I saw is because there wasn't really a place for women on the field that I could take that practical experience from playing and get my masters and my ph.d. So I'd have the theoretical knowledge to go with it so be kind of like a unique combination of somebody who could help players such as yourself because it's a different world and a lot of people don't understand those unique pressures. I tell you right now you understand it. You've done it. You've proven you're original, one of a kind.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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