Vote for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week: Week 5

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Great coaches can instill a lifelong love of the game

Coaches teach young athletes about hard work, passion and good sportsmanship — skills that are just as important off the field — and they can instill a lifelong love of the game.

All summer long, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta Braves are teaming up to honor the youth baseball and softball coaches who are making a difference on the field and in their communities.

“We would like to recognize the outstanding coaches in Georgia providing our young athletes with exceptional playing experience. The most important thing to know is the fundamentals, but there is so much more than that,” the Braves said in a statement.

This week’s nominees have all demonstrated outstanding dedication to providing youth athletes with exceptional playing experiences. Check out their profiles and vote for your favorite. The winning coaches will be profiled in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and each will receive a $100 Kroger gift card and a baseball signed by a Braves player.

Vote for your favorite coach

Voting is open through Sunday. Winners will be announced on Monday afternoon on the Braves Coach of the Week page.

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Nicole Black is nominated to be the Braves Softball Coach of the Week. Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Credit: Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Nicole Black is nominated to be the Braves Softball Coach of the Week.
Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Credit: Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Combined ShapeCaption
Nicole Black is nominated to be the Braves Softball Coach of the Week. Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Credit: Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Credit: Photo courtesy of Nicole Black

Nicole Black

Nicole Black believes in her girls 100%, Kaitlin Head wrote in her nomination of the coach.

“She knows their potential and how to coach each and every one,” Head said. “She encourages and hypes them up. She’s a tough coach with a heart of gold who prays over them and loves them like her own!”

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Jessica Johnson is nominated for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week. Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson is nominated for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week.
Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Combined ShapeCaption
Jessica Johnson is nominated for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week. Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson volunteers her time to coach both recreation league teams and a 12U travel softball team. “She believes in her players, pushes them to reach their potential and holds them accountable,” Pam Smart wrote in her nomination of Johnson. “She is truly touching lives, and “her girls " would do anything in the world for her!

In addition, Smart wrote: “Coach Jessica pours her heart and soul into her girls! She celebrates every accomplishment, big and small. She pushes them to reach their potential and holds them accountable. She coaches both a 12U travel softball team (that began with mostly 10-year-olds) and volunteers as Rec ball coach, all for the love of the game and HER girls.”

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Chris Stewart is nominated for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week. Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Credit: Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart is nominated for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week.
Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Credit: Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Combined ShapeCaption
Chris Stewart is nominated for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week. Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Credit: Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Credit: Photo courtesy of Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart epitomizes the definition of a coach, Chris Marxmiller wrote in his nomination of Stewart.

“He coached our girl’s softball team 12U this past spring at Sandy Plains,” Marxmiller wrote. “He helped the girls tremendously throughout the season, and each girl was far better than when the season first started. We could only wish that there were more coaches like him out there!”

Previous Braves Softball Coaches of the Week

Week 1: Wes Ward

Week 2: Jackey Felker

Week 3: Emily Barnard

Week 4: Tony Maldonado