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The MVP of Field Hockey

By Shannon O'Connor, communications cooordinator
Coach Jackson builds a field hockey program at LJCDS.
Meet Krista Jackson, a native of San Diego, passionate about field hockey. Fueled by her love for the game, Coach Jackson has been instrumental in cultivating interest in field hockey on the West Coast—a sport more prevalent in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Coach Jackson, who played field hockey in high school and college, founded Myto Field Hockey, a San Diego-based club, in 2019. Since 2017, she has been building a robust field hockey program at La Jolla Country Day School. 

Coach Jackson’s dedication to the sport is evident in how she has brought field hockey into the LJCDS Middle School PE program, starting in Grade 5. “I want to give back to a sport that really was formative in my life,” she shares. “There are a lot of girls who are really excited about it. That’s why I started the club, and now we offer it in Grades 5–6 and 7–8.” 

Coach Jackson is the varsity field hockey coach, assistant varsity women’s lacrosse coach, and a full-time physical education teacher for Lower and Middle School students. In Grades 5–6 PE, eight full-time coaches rotate and teach four three-week sports each trimester. Coach Jackson leads the field hockey unit in the fall. “These fifth and sixth graders get to learn from the varsity coaches of those sports and build connections with those coaches in fifth and sixth grade. It’s incredible,” she says.  

Under her leadership, the field hockey program has flourished due to her dedication to fostering a strong team culture. She believes in building connections and relationships with her players. She assigns each player a “hype” partner to ensure they receive personalized motivation and support on competition days.

Coach Jackson credits her mentor, Assistant Director of Athletics and Physical Education Robert Grasso, with helping to build a unified team ethos. “He helps with leadership development for all LJCDS high school sports teams,” she explains. “He meets regularly with coaches and captains to discuss how our program is going and what improvements need to be made. I rely heavily on my returning players to help teach the younger players, and Coach Grasso helped instill this culture.”

For Coach Jackson, the most rewarding part of coaching is seeing her players improve and succeed on the field. She believes that the mental component of field hockey is just as important as the physical component, and hopes her players will take the mental toughness and positive attitude they learn from the program and apply it to their lives outside LJCDS.

“Growing up, I was always part of a team,” she shares. “And here I am, part of one of the best teams that I could ask for. I’m so fortunate to have found our PE team and our athletic department. It is just incredible.”

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