Coach Jessica Chatellier A Keynote Speaker at Empower 2022

Jessica Chatellier PortraitAt Empower 2022 – Women Empowering Women, Mrs. Jessica Chatellier, Head Volleyball Coach at St. Mary’s Dominican High School, was one of the keynote speakers. The event featured inspirational and successful leaders from a variety of industries in the community and their efforts to support and empower women. In her talk, “Pushing Outside Your Comfort Zone,” Coach Chatellier shared insights from her experience as an athlete, coach, and educator.

Entering her 16th year as Dominican’s Head Volleyball Coach, she has a record of 432 wins, two state championships, two state runner-up finishes, and 15 playoff appearances. Her daughter Camryn is a member of the Dominican Volleyball team and has been on the court with her mom for both state championships. In 2021, Coach Chatellier was selected by the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association (LVCA) as the Division I Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year. At the close of the 2021 season, she was awarded the Region Four Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and recognized at the convention hosted alongside the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s national championships. She has served on the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association as a board member holding the position of secretary and has completed two terms as the East Coordinator. She has had the honor to be both the Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the LVCA All Star game. Currently, she is Department Chair of the Health and Physical Education (PE) Department at Dominican where she had taught Senior Physical Education for 19 years.

From a very young age, her parents saw the importance that she and her brother participate in sports. She was a six-sport athlete and graduate of Ridgewood Preparatory High School in Metairie where she was a member of two state championship basketball teams and two state runner-up volleyball teams. She also was a state runner up and state champion in High Jump. On a full athletic scholarship, she attended the University of New Orleans and was a four-year starter for the Privateers, earning All-Conference honors her junior and senior year, and named Outstanding Intercollegiate Athlete for Volleyball in 2000 by the Louisiana Athletic Director Association.  “Being an athlete has taught me many things along the way,” she said, “but I’m going to go into my pregame mode and use a quote to describe one of the most important lessons it has ever taught me. ‘A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.’ Growth is necessary in all aspects of life. To grow as an athlete, a professional, as a person, we must constantly push ourselves past that point of fear to see what we can actually achieve.”

Among the one percent who have taken their athletic career to the college level, she said, “It wasn’t until I got to that level, that I started to realize the impact of what being an athlete has truly had on me.  I was asked to speak about the body and how it relates to re-emerging as your best self. I have been able to build a career on teaching our youth how to use their bodies to the best of their ability to participate and compete in a game that I hold so dear to my heart because of how it has changed me as a person.”

“Being a part of a team teaches you that when you push to do something new, yes, it’s difficult and failure is a real fear, but if you know you have coaches and teammates that will not only celebrate your success when you achieve those goals you have been pushing for, but they will be the first ones there to pick you up, dust you off, and push you to keep trying when you don’t succeed on the first try.”

“The bond that this game creates and the support for each other even long after you put that ball down and walk away from it, nothing could ever match it. I can say that being an athlete, having the opportunity to push myself to the limits physically, has truly pushed me to be a better person. I can also say that I have coached so many athletes, so many that I actual struggle to even figure out how many it has been over the years, but to see them go forward and take on this world with the confidence and people skills that volleyball has helped them gain, is why I do what I do every day. I leave you with one last thing. Eleanor Roosevelt said – ‘Do one thing every day that scares you.’ I leave you today with that challenge.”