WOMEN COACHES IN SPORT
By Rewa Gonzalez-Granda Inder
To explore and understand females participation in
Examine the factors affecting females participation
To explore and understand the lack of female
coaches in sport.
Examine the factors affecting female coaches.
If women participate in sport, people assume that it
is their hobby
Males sexual orientation is hardly ever questioned
because of their interest and participation in
sports, and the media reaction to them multi-tasking
parenthood or marriage alongside a career is a big
Women on the other hand have to fight for a
picture of them sweating on the field as opposed to
twiddling the ball in high heels for portraits
Women's sexual preferences are constantly under
attack, especially if they are rising athletes. They
are also never commended for managing a full-time
career and their personal relationships.
It is expected that if a woman steps into sports, she
has to work twice as hard to maintain her familial
Femininity has been characterized by certain
qualities, such as sensitivity, fragility, dependence
on men and slim (Coakley, 2001).
Masculinity has been characterized as
aggression, tough, independent, strength and
power (Cassidy, Jones and Potrac, 2004).
Hegemony (masculinity) refers to the dominance of
one form of masculinity over others (Connell, 1995).
“No person in the
United States shall, on
the basis of sex, be
participation in, be
denied the benefits
of, or be subjected to
program or activity
(Coakley, 2007. p235).
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
concentrated on the rights of all
individuals, regardless of sex, to join in educational
programs or activities that receive federal financial
Title IX required that both boys and girls have equal
opportunities to participate in sports and derive the
benefits of participation.
Title IX have been overshadowed by the losses
women have suffered despite their supposed
protection under Title VII.
Since the passing of Title IX there was a rise in
female participants in sport, including 90% of
female coaches (Knoppers, 1994).
Nevertheless, females coaches gradually
decreased in numbers and by 1985 there was a
32% decrease (True, 1986) as cited by Weiss &
Stevens (1993). The reasoning for this decline can
be explained by their high-pressured working
schedules, lack of female role models and family
life (Weiss & Stevens, 1993).
FACTORS AFFECTING FEMALES IN SPORT
“Media stories and
for the majority of
Sports media associate male athleticism with
strength, courage and competence, whilst at the
same time relating female athleticism with sexual
appeal, femininity and so-called limited physical
This stereotypical coverage represents a common
sports culture in which men have the power and
women do not (Duncan & Hasbrook, 1988).
Kane & Lenskyj, (1998)
Male Sports Illustrated Female Sports Illustrated
Wilson (2002) stated that the „upper‟ class are more
likely to involved in sports, however, only certain
sports , which are not associated with the „lower‟
Upper class more likely to be spectators and
participants in sport (Coakley, 1998; Nixon &
Frey, 1996; Scholsberg, 1987).
Social Class in sport is a paradox, which can be
explained by Pierre Bourdiu‟s concept of cultural
According to Bourdieu all cultural
consumption, including sports
consumption, requires the appropriate preferences
and tastes as well as skills and knowledge, which
he terms cultural capital (Wilson, 2002).
As women usually do not earn as much as
men, they might not be able to afford to participate
in certain or desired sports.
HOMOPHOBIA AND RACE IN SPORT
Although opportunities and involvement have
increased, many significant differences have been
exacerbated by racial barriers (Theberge &
Many factors affecting female participation and
female coaching are Heterosexism and/or
Homophobia (Coakley, 2007). Many females do not
want to be perceived as lesbians and participating
or coaching in sport could stereotype and
generalize their role (Coakley, 2007).
WHERE ARE ALL THE WOMEN COACHES?
“ Coaching remains
one of the most
prestigious areas of
sport which embodies
grossly unequal gender
WHERE ARE ALL THE WOMEN COACHES?
Evidence shows that there is a lack of female
coaches (Fasting & Pfister, 2000)
The institution of sport and it‟s many sub-cultures
clearly implying a male domination in sport.
Sports council shows evidence that demonstrates a
general trend toward fewer women coaches, as the
level of coaching awards increase.
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN COACHES BY LEVEL
OF COACHING AWARD
Level of Gymnastics Badminton Volleyball Tennis
5 24 0 8 21
4 39 19 - 20
3 55 22 13 31
2 70 24 16 24
1 78 36 35 22
Sports Council, 1993
TYPE OF NGB AWARD BY GENDER
Award Male (%) Female (%)
Advanced 13.7 4.2
Senior 41.3 16.7
Intermediate 34.8 62.5
Elementary/ 10.0 16.7
Sports Council, 1993
PERCENTAGES OF FEMALE COACHES IN THE
UK SUMMER OLYMPIC SQUADS
Year Male Coach (%) Female Coach
1976 96 4
1980 91 9
1984 96 4
1988 90 10
1992 92 8
Sports Council, 1993
FACTORS AFFECTING FEMALE COACHES IN
Limited scale of performance sport
Absence of social support
Patterns of recruitment
Lack of social flexibility
lack of expectations
Failure of social
Lack of motive
LIMITED SCALE OF PERFORMANCE SPORT
Recruitment avenue straight from performance
Scale of women participants is much less than
males, decreasing the chance for females to carry
on coaching their sport
It can be exacerbated by two factors:
The age range of popular female sports such as
gymnastics and swimming may negatively influence the
transition to becoming a coach
Fewer rewards in females sports have resulted in less
ABSENCE OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
Due to the domination of males in sport it is evident
that there is a lack of social networks and support
The lack in females coaches, influence, power and
authority, and the failure to provide formal support
structures are likely to
affect, recruitment, maintenance and retention.
PATTERNS OF RECRUITMENT
Initiation Development Maintenance
Motives Ladders of
Stages in Performance
Personal professional coaches
Education and practice
Relative status and standing of the sport
LACK OF SOCIAL FLEXIBILITY
Society often make the assumption that females will
take responsibility of the children and domestic
This restricts a females social freedom and
Factors such as lack of financial resources and
early exit from performance sport may also
influence recruitment and progress in coaching
Title IX has caused much controversy, receiving a
great deal of resistance when it came to promoting
sport. Previously men had dominated sports
departments and the notion of sharing their
equipment with females seemed unreasonable
Hasbrook et al. (1990) indicate that a coach needs
to be aggressive, competitive and firm and women
are perceived as soft, feminine and yielding.
The fact that there is a large number of women
participation coaches should not be overlooked.
Females in performance coaches are greatly under-
Coaching is perceived to be more male orientated
and early socialisation into coaching roles is not an
expectation for women performers
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