Ever wonder what it would be like to coach an SEC team? How about an SEC team that has won multiple championships? Well, Jessica Braswell, assistant coach for Auburn University's Equestrian team, knows what it's like.
"This is my second season coaching for Auburn," Braswell said.
Braswell began riding horses when she was 4-years-old.
"I started competing when I was about 8 or so," Braswell said. "I don't get a chance to ride a lot anymore, but I'm around the horses every day, so it works out."
Braswell had the opportunity to ride for Auburn's Equestrian team when she was a student, and said one of her favorite things about coaching at Auburn was having the opportunity to come back to the program she was used to.
"I love to recruit because I am selling a program and university that I really believe in," Braswell said. "I have appreciated seeing the progress the program has made since I was a freshman."
Being a coach for a team that has such a great reputation has big challenges and rewards.
"The hardest part for me has been knowing that when I send one of my kids in the ring, at that point, it is totally out of my hands," Braswell said. "As a coach, you have to trust that the preparation and practice you have been through with your athletes will result in wins."
Braswell said her biggest reward from coaching is working with the athletes.
"We want to empower young women to be successful after their time at Auburn," Braswell said. "Seeing the athletes grow and develop leadership skills throughout their careers here is great."
This weekend Auburn will host the SEC Championship and the competition will be tough, but Braswell believes Auburn will do well.
"We will go into the championship with the number one seed and will have to ride our best against three other very good teams," Braswell said. " We are going to focus on the things we can control, and put ourselves in the best possible position to win."
According to Braswell, historically the SEC has been a very tough conference and currently has the top two teams in the country (Georgia, 1; Auburn 2) according to the NCEA coaches poll.
"Texas A&M is the defending national champion, Georgia is the current number one team and South Carolina held that number one seed for many weeks earlier in the season," Braswell said.
One thing about Auburn's team, according to Braswell, is that its strength is that they are all well rounded and balanced.
"We have the fewest losses of any team in the country and probably played one of the toughest schedules," Braswell said. "I think each team poses a little bit of a different challenge, but we will be prepared for all three."
However Auburn does this weekend, Braswell is sure Auburn will continue to grow.
"Auburn is a great place to coach because we will continuously compete for SEC and national championships," Braswell said.