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Gender of coaches


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Does the gender of the coach matter in female sport?

Published in: Sports, Health & Medicine
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Gender of coaches

  1. 1. Exploring female athletesmotives for participation:Does the gender of the coach really matter? Stefanie A. Latham, Ph.D. Oklahoma City University
  2. 2. Introduction• Title IX and increasing numbers of female athletes• Only 41.4% of women’s teams (and less than 2% of men’s teams) were led by a female head coach — the lowest level of representation ever, down from more than 90% when Title IX was enacted. (Acosta & Carpenter, 2009).
  3. 3. Percentage of Womens Teams Coached by Females100.0% 90% PLUS 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 58% 60.0% 54% 47% 46% 44% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 1972 1978 1984 1990 2000 2002 Acosta & Carpenter, 2002
  4. 4. Increasing Female Sport Participation ContinuesSince 1975 there has been an 875%increase in female high school athleticparticipation435% increase in college (including, all4-year, post-high school, and 2-yearinstitutions)
  5. 5. Quote from latest research data• You know how girls can hate their female coach, but they probably wouldnt ever hate their guy coach like they would their girl coach? He could be as rude as hell and well be like, "its just his personality", but if it’s a girl coach were like, "Oh she has something against me or she hates me"…Like male coaches can be really rude and mean and we can get over it, but when female coaches are that way, you pretty much just think they are [assholes], and you can’t get over that… My AAU coach [who was male] was kind of like my high school coach was, like I described earlier, but everyone still thought he was a good coach. But my female high school coach who had the same personality, no one thought she was a good coach. They both knew the game really well and knew the skills and stuff and they both had kind of the same personality, but my guy coach was still thought of as being a good coach, I guess we just didnt take his crap so personally. (Michelle)
  6. 6. Problem• Gender bias toward female coaches????? • Hiring practices of athletic directors is well documented • Athletes’ perceptions of their coaches behaviors and gender preferences for coach not explored very well
  7. 7. True or False?―Female coaches arent winning championships. This proves that male coaches are better.‖"Women are less intense. They arent as demanding of their players. They arent strong enough."―Women turn other women off. Its easier to take coaching from a man.‖―You dont have to worry about the coach being a lesbian when you have a male coach.‖
  8. 8. Brief Review of the Literature• Williams and Parkhouse (1986) • High school basketball players • Asked to indicate their preference between a hypothetical male or female coach who was classified as either successful or unsuccessful • Overall, 89% of male athletes and 71% of female athletes preferred a male coach despite success rate….WHAT??? • Rated males as more knowledgeable, more likely to achieve future success, more desirable to play for, and having a greater ability to motivate.
  9. 9. Lit Review• Weinberg, Reveles, and Jackson (1994) • examined both male and female basketball players from JH, HS, and College • Asked to indicate their attitudes and feelings towards hypothetical male and female coaches • Both M & F exhibited more negative attitudes towards female coaches than male coaches • ranked female coaches as superior in coaching qualities of relating well to others and understanding athletes feelings (two
  10. 10. Lit Review• Medwechuk and Crossman (1994) • Male and Female Swimmers preferred male coaches • Both rated hypothetical male coaches with better abilities to motivate and more knowledgeable than hypo female coaches regardless success status (W/L record)
  11. 11. Problem• Old Data…• Quantitative statistical analyses - Not clear• Used hypo scenarios only• Specific Behaviors not identified• Not very many sports (basketball mainly)• Differences bt. Team and individual sports not investigated• No voice given to athletes
  12. 12. Some Hope• CBQ, Martin and Barnes (1999) • Demographic section = athlete’s age, gender, race, educational level, sport most played, years of participation, and asks preferences of the gender and age of the coach • Coaching behaviors section – 12 behavioral categories • R&V missing and or still being investigated
  13. 13. Coaching Behaviors Questionnaire• Coaching behaviors that occur in practice or games • Reinforcement • Non-reinforcement • Mistake contingent encouragement • Mistake contingent technical instruction • Punishment • Punitive technical instruction • Ignoring mistakes • Keeping control • General technical instruction • General encouragement • Organization • General communication
  14. 14. Little-Lit Review• Individual Sport athletes prefer training and instruction more than Team sport athletes• Males prefer more autocratic behavior than females• Females prefer democratic behaviors of coaches –participative in decisions pertaining to goals, methods, and strategies, but not studied very much…female voice is scarce.
  15. 15. Problem continues• CBQ is new and hasn’t been used much• Kravig (2003) quant found female athletes to prefer different coaching behaviors than male athletes particularly regarding general encouragement and communication and females didn’t like to be punished• Preference of gender of the coach not indicated
  16. 16. Purpose• The purpose of my present study is to mix both research methodologies to: • Quantitatively investigate preferred & actual coaching behaviors preferences of collegiate athletes AND whether coaching behaviors differ as a function of the gender of the coach • Sub-questions= type of sport (coactive, interactive, mixed) & level of collegiate play (JUCO, NAIA, NCAA I & II) • Qualitatively obtain a first-person perspective of the females athlete’s experiences of playing for a male vs. female coach AND hear in the words of the athletes themselves the preferred coaching behaviors
  17. 17. Participants• So far…. 298 collegiate female athletes - Caucasian (n=168), African-American (n= 95) Hispanic (n=22), Asian (n=13);18-25 years of age (M = 20.7; s = 2.2); 164 NAIA; 134 NCAA D2• 60 Coactive sports - golf (n=37) and wrestling (n=23) (yes we have female wrestling!!);• 81 Mixed sports - softball (n=55), track and field (n=36);• 157 Interactive sports- basketball (n=53), soccer (n=46), volleyball (n =58).
  18. 18. Instruments• CBQ (R & V) and Interview Guide = • What sport do you play • When were you coached by a male and a female • How many years were you coached by the male and female coach • Which coach did you prefer the most and why • If you had daughters whom would you want them to be coached by? Why? • Differences/similarities bt. male and female coaches in: • Training practices and evaluation of performance • Encouragement/motivation • Helping with personal problem and enjoyment • Coaching methods • Feedback after mistakes and correcting behaviors • In general, what are your thoughts about males and females coaching female athletes
  19. 19. Prelim Quant Results• Means scores on the subscales of the CBQ = DV, gender of coach and type of sport = IVs• 2 X 3 (Gender of coach X Sport Type) MANOVA used to determine if differences exist as of function of the gender of the coach and sport type• Alpha level .01 to decrease error• Follow-up discriminant function analyses and univariate ANOVAs used to id which coaching behaviors maximized differences among the groups
  20. 20. Quant Results Actual• MANOVA produced significant multivariate main effect for the gender of the coach • F(12, 260) = 4.62, p = .0001, eta 2 = .18• Discriminant analyses reveal • Punishment and Keeping Control were not significant • Female coaches were rated higher in Reinforcement, Mistake contingent Encouragement, General Encouragement and General Communication….hummm • Male coaches rated higher in Organization, Punitive Technical Instruction, and MCT Instruction…hummm
  21. 21. Quant results Type of Sport Preferences• MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate main effect for type of sport• Follow-ups analyses indicated that: • Interactive sports preferred reinforcement, punishment, mistake contingent encouragement, general encouragement, general communication, and ignoring mistakes more than coactive and mixed sports • Coactive sports preferred non-reinforcement, mistake contingent technical instruction, and GT Instruction more than interactive and mixed • Mixed sports resembled interactive, but to lesser extent
  22. 22. Qual Results• 11 interviews so far…..• All NAIA, 5 African-Americans, 4 Caucasian, 1 Asian• Basketball (2), Soccer (1), Volleyball (1),• Golf (2), Wrestling (1 who had actually had a female coach….hummm),• Softball (2), Track and Field (2).• These have been transcribed: themes not coded yet but discussion of possibilities are on sticky notes everywhere!!!!!!
  23. 23. Interesting quotes―He was much more together, he knew structure. He knew exactly where we needed to be, what time we needed to start‖―My male coach would sit down before a game and write down every possible thing the other team could do to beat us; and then write down next to it exactly what we could do to defend them‖Referring to her male coach ―drills in practice always had a purpose and were very organized‖―expected more‖ ―no excuses‖
  24. 24. ―With my female coach, she had different stuff everyday. We never knew what to expect out of her mood and it would take her 10 minutes to explain what we’re supposed to do in a drill and then it wouldn’t work well…so we’d just look at each other like…what the heck, she doesn’t know whats going on‖―She never kept score, or held us to a time limit. We always knew we weren’t going to be really disciplined and whatever rules were in place didn’t apply to her favorites‖
  25. 25. • ―My female coaches, I always had more fun with ya know, like they always knew how to relate to us…but then again I think that made it harder to swallow when she got on to us for stuff‖• ―In general, girl coaches are gonna be better at encouraging and motivating just because females are more encouraging than males‖• ―With my male coaches its all about the Xs and O’s. There was no bond. If something was personally bothering me my female coach would pick up on it and sympathize or at least ask whats wrong. My male coach would just punish us for lack of effort and didn’t care about our
  26. 26. Preference for the Gender of the coach• All interviewees prefer a male coach overall • More knowledge • More challenging • Demand more respect• Possible themes • Discipline and Structure • Personal Relationships • Passivity and Aggressiveness
  27. 27. Conclusions for now…• Quantitatively just scratching the surface (more balance in type of sport), level of collegiate play not done yet • Can/Will coaches learn to effectively integrate and blend autocratic and democratic styles despite their own preference? • Are Coaches self-awareness of their behaviors?• Qualitatively – need more, need to hear more from the athletes themselves • Theme Development • Triangulate data
  28. 28. Some Practical Suggestions• Have a positive coaching style• Give constructive feedback• Tell them when they do something right• Yelling at them usually doesn’t work…there is a continuum though• Constant negative/punitive feedback will cause them to tune you out!• Be fair and consistent
  29. 29. • Ask them questions instead of always pointing out their mistakes (esp. team sports)• Know their expectations early• Ask them what motivates them• Ask how they want to be coached
  30. 30. Using video tape as feedback• Know they are very critical of themselves• They know what they did wrong (level)..again ask questions• Only successful when used to point out positives or team results• Show them examples of excellent performances instead
  31. 31. Encourage• Praise them (notice them)• Convince them of what they CAN do• Sell them on themselves• Be the salesperson that helps them perform up to their potential
  32. 32. Let them have a SAY• Ask their opinion• Use their Feedback!!
  33. 33. Pressure Situations• Don’t individualize pressure• Put the pressure on the team not the individual• If she fails she let herself down, the coach, the team…and shes devastated• Others think you are showing favoritism
  34. 34. Competition• Females value effort, friendship, the teamwork, individual improvement and mutual gain• Pitting them against teammates might not work…discuss separating personal feelings for teammates from competition• Teach them to compartmentalize their lives and their feelings for teammates…
  35. 35. Practice• They need to socialize before practice• Let them talk and do social warm up drills• Allow them to gossip during warm-up, stretching, setting up• Don’t take it that they aren’t focused• Explain what you expect from them today• Have incentives to inspire working hard and being competitive• They like and need competitive drills – don’t spend countless hours in skills practice
  36. 36. Chart Results• Verbally appreciate all roles• Post performance charts that grade effort, grades, heart, desire, honor roll, nails and glue, not individual stats• Discuss individual stats privately• Post team stats
  37. 37. Teach them to Forget• They blame themselves and get down on themselves• Coach should help raise self-esteem and get her to forgive herself for poor performance• Coach should tell them why they are pulled from a game, or why they arent getting PT• Help them forget the negative by focusing on what is + (or even past +