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Cajun Rush

Girls Leadership Academy

The Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy focuses on two overlapping components:  sports and leadership.  Our message remains clear. JFSLA students are leaders on the field, and leaders in life.  We believe that leadership is personal, not position. To lead in life our students resist fitting into a predetermined leadership mold.  Instead they find their own personal style, their own voice, and their own way to choose to matter.

Leadership comes to life with JFSLA’s partnership with Cajun Rush utilizing a variety of teaching methods: on the field training, team building, public speaking, mentorship, guest-speakers, small group discussions and collaboration, community service, competitions, journaling, personal leadership projects, and just about any other method we can employ to help students-athletes grow by encouraging them to move out of their comfort zone.

The leadership curriculum has 5 areas of focus:

1 - Players and coaches are provided fun, hands on monthly activities that put leadership concepts into action.  In addition, teams get an opportunity to debrief the activities and discover that leadership is personal and everyone does not have to fit into a leadership mold.

2 – Parents are sent strategies to help keep their child’s soccer experience in perspective.  Topics include talking points on the car ride home, helping your child deal with failure, tryouts, etc.

3 – High School aged players are the target of the college program which includes insight into selecting a school and soccer program that is the best fit for their needs.  JFSLA gathers first hand knowledge by speaking to current coaches and student athletes about aspects of the college selection process that cannot be found in a college recruiting manual.

4 – Captains’ meetings provide activities and discussion points for captains to reflect on their leadership style and better serve their teammates throughout the year.

5 – Choose to Matter book study takes a deeper look at Julie Foudy’s best selling book for young women, Choose to Matter.  The book study gives players an opportunity to discuss the book and share personal stories of how they demonstrate leadership in all areas of their life, not just the soccer field. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to have older club players mentor younger players during the book study “sock talks”.

And most important to everyone in our program: laughter is permitted. J  Laughter (and quite possibly lots of bad singing and dancing) is the glue that brings the programming together.  As Julie often says, the #1 reason for the US Women’s National Team’s success was laughter.  And because the US Team enjoyed what they were doing, they worked incredibly hard to get better.

- Julie Foudy

“JFSLA and Cajun Rush will continue to share the same vision of unlocking the potential of every young woman to make a difference in the world.  We both believe the soccer environment offers the perfect opportunity to teach leadership and character development concepts that these young women will carry with them for life. “

– Jaime Pagliarulo, JFSLA Senior Staff

“The energy and focus of Cajun Rush inspired us to build even better programming. Our site visit and clinic enabled us to tailor and refine our work with coaches, players and parents to produce a holistic, impactful program in a condensed timeframe. “

- Carolyn Conforti Browse, JFSLA Senior Staff

Cajun Rush Leadership Award


200 Sonny Roy Lane 
Lafayette, Louisiana 70507

Phone: 337-261-5425


Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday 9:00-3:00 Friday 9:00-12:00
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