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Posted in: General

The difference between coaching boys and girls.

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  • LawrieOK

    I recently came across this article on my Twitter account:- https://t.co/MaUfmR2ZMf

    I empathise with the Author's comments concerning the coacing of Girls, as I coach them from age 11 to 18 at a School in West London 5 or 6 days a week in Season. Her observations are also relevant with adult players in the same sport genre imho.

    What are Members' views and experiences on this subject?

  • pippaglen

    Great article lawrie,  myself coaching children from 4 upwards in primary schools I have seen a difference in the way boys learn to girls, however I have never had to change the way I coach as I feel doing fun games specific to that sports tends to help girls become more confident in sport, I have seen many young girls become very competitive and I think this depends on how much sports is done throughout school.  What I don't understand is when children are at primary school boys and girls  PE lessons aren't separated while in secondary they are parted throughout PE.  Many girls I have coached have said they love playing against the boys because they enjoying trying to win them.   Aren't we taking the confidence away by parting them instead boys can actually help girls in sports as can girls with helping boys.  What we have to remember as coaches is all children whether boy or girl have different learning abilities and learn at different speeds.  

  • ElthamWasp

    I coach rugby union with a wide range of age groups, abilities, both male and female. I 100% agree that girls concentrate/listen better than boys / men. The major difference for me is intensity/accuracy at training. Girls / women typically lack the intensity and accuracy at training but when it comes to match day there is a magic switch in their brains when the intensity and focus really shifts into gear.

    I have had several conversions with coaches at the senior womens end of the game and this issue pervades even at the top level.

    As a consequence I try to keep womens / girls sessions even more games orientated than I would if it were boys / mens.

  • Blake

    A great question Lawrie and I am glad you 'put it out there.' I am fascinated by this topic and hope it gets a few more replies as I intend to write an article on this in the near future.

    There is a common theme in all the interviews I have conducted where the subject of coaching girls and women has cropped up, and that is 'lack of confidence'. It seems to be the major barrier to participation and also progress and I look forward to exploring this, and the myriad other differences between coaching boys and girls, in more detail.

  • garyfowler

    Hi Lawrie. 

    Having coached a lot of girls soccer in the US, this was an area that really frustrated me at times. Why don't girls do this, that and the other, I would ask myself. I tried coaching them as players but with predominantly male experience, it was pretty poor at times!

    Then I read a book by Anson Dorrance, head coach at University of North Carolina and ex US womens coach. Lightbulb!! He explained it so simply - 

    Tell a dressing room of guys they're playing like **** and the majority think the coach is talking about one of their team-mates. Tell a dressing room or girls and the majority take it personally and feel they're letting the coach and team mates down.

    Psychologically there are enourmous differences between the two. Once I realised this, it hugely affected how I put my message across to players. I feel you can be much more general to a team of males, but females need a more personal approach. 

    In his book he also talks about the stories his ex-players share, world cup winners like Mia Hamm for example. He noticed the stories they shared we rarely game-specific, whereas guys remember goals, matches etc and discuss them more.

    The first high school team I coaches still (10 yrs later) tell after our first rocky few weeks how much fun they had on that team and they always remember when I took them for a team lunch after training one day. Nothing to do with soccer, but it stuck with me as it backed up what I had read.

    This highlighted to me how much more important the chemistry of a team was in female sport than male. In the guys game there are many examples of players who don't get along personally (Cole/Sheringham for example) but on the pitch it doesn't matter. My experience of girls soccer was this aspect weas hugely important in relation to on-field chemistry.

    In my U17 boys team at the moment many of them are not close pals away from the team, but at training and on match day, it doesn't show. 

    I found this article - www.championshipcoachesnetwork.com/public/375.cfm which further explores these differences


  • LawrieOK

    Thank you for this Gary Fowler - great addition to the conversation. I also appreciate the article link you posted. I have looked on Amazon for the Anson Dorrance book, and there are several so it would be appreciated if you could point me in the correct direction on this lead; many thanks.

  • garyfowler

    Anson Dorrance BooksLawrie - here's the 2 book I have, The biography I read first, followed by 'the vision'. 2 great books and provide a great insight to the feale game. 

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