Gender in Coaching

Often you will see males coaching female teams, but you do not often see a female coaching a male team. Students in our Principles of Coaching course commented on this issue with their thoughts. Here are a few examples.

By: Erica Hayworth

I feel female coaches could have success at coaching male professional athletes. Unfortunately, I feel there is a rare chance of us ever finding out. “Male players won’t want to play for women. They won’t respect them. They won’t take orders from them. Women are too soft, too emotional, too fragile. Even if they played the sport, they can’t possibly understand it as well as their male counterparts do. And, of course, women don’t belong in the men’s locker room.” (USA) This stereotypical statement is why women will have a difficult time breaking through that female coaching males professionally wall. If ever.

Female coaches have more working against them than with them. These female coaches are constantly having to prove themselves and take critical abuse that male coaches don’t always receive. Sports are seen as masculine and male dominated, but why?It is often said that men don’t understand women yet we see majority male coaches coaching females. It has also been said that females are far superior when it comes to communication than males, so to say a female wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively with male athletes is an inaccurate statement.

There are many female coaches who’s knowledge, skill level, and experience surpass their male counterparts. Take the late Pat Summit. Did she ever try to coach males professionally? No. Could she? Yes, and she would have done very well for herself. Pat put to shame the stereotypes of being too soft and fragile. Plus her hall of fame/legendary career at Tennessee speaks for itself.

So why can’t female Pat’s of the world be successful at coaching male professional athletes? Simply put, there is a lack of respect and no GM’s willing to take a risk to find out. They want to stick with what they know. If us female coaches are lucky, maybe a handful of us will get the opportunity to change the game and do the unthinkable. There are a few women who are currently trying to do so!

By: Samuel Tate


I strongly believe that women can coach men on a professional level. Their are some women out their that knows the game just as well as men whether its football , basketball, baseball/softball or soccer. Most women are great speakers and are able to motive others very well. Most people don’t give women enough credit when it comes to coaching. Most female coaches that have coached basketball are former players this makes them more credible then the female coaches that never played. Some people say that women cant coach football because football is a man sport, but however their are some women out their that have played football or have been around football their whole lives that they understanding the game better than some men.

A main reason why their aren’t enough women that coach men’s professional sport because some of the players probably would take a female coach seriously. When coaching men’s professional sports you have to deal with all of the different egos and attitudes. Not all women can coach a professional men’s sport. They need to be ready mentally for conflicts. There are a select few women that are successful at coaching men like Becky Hammon and Jen Welter. These two women are special they understand the game and they know how to respond to most situations.

Women can be great at reading body language. Most women have the abilities to communicate well with others. This means that some women can motivate other very well. Some women have the power to influence most men. This is why I strongly believe that women can be successful coaching men’s professional sports.

By: Emily Bondar

I absolutely believe that women are fully capable of coaching men’s/boy’s teams. Within the past few weeks we have learned about different coaching skills on and off the field/court, and we have learned about leadership skills along with communication. There are several aspects of coaching that can either lead to success if executed correctly, or they can lead to failure if not followed ethically. Men and women coaches may have an extreme difference in how they coach, but that does mean that one is less effective than the other. This goes for men coaches as well; one male coach could have a completely different coaching style than another male coach and they could both be successful. In my opinion, if a woman has the credentials, skill level/knowledge, and capability of coaching a men’s team, then she absolutely should coach them, but my thought process is not necessarily the popular vote among other people. Many people suggest that women cannot coach men’s teams because they do not have the skill knowledge, or they cannot handle dealing with guys that are much bigger, stronger, and louder than her. Another issue that is seen with women coaching men’s teams is that the men do not respect her as a coach because she is a female. In the near future, I think women coaches will slowly start to make a bigger appearance as head coaches for men’s teams. The change of coaching style would take getting used to for the players as well as the female coach. Most often we see male coaches as having more of a command coaching style where as females have more of a cooperative style. Both coaching styles can work, but generally athletes are also used to being coached with these specific styles (male football players are used to command, where women’s volleyball is used to cooperative), and the female coach will most likely have to work her way up to gaining respect from players, other coaches, and all of the people sitting in the stands.


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