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Attracting women to coaching | Coaching Adults

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Posted in: Attracting Adult Participants

Attracting women to coaching

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  • alpedro

    I have been coaching for  a few years now at level 2  and working towards level 3.

    of all the imponderables is... How to attract ladies into coaching?  What success have others had in getting women interested and how did you do it?

  • Coach_Browning

    Hi Coach

    This is something we are looking at now with regards to women coaching in American Football. I am currently looking at how we might do this specifically within the flag football environment

    At the moment, a lot of what is being done is with the current players as the sport is still essentially in its infancy. Things include:

    1) getting players to undertake coaching qualifications whilst they are still playing

    For me this serves the added bonus of having players with an increased awareness of the game. They can understand it better and can also help to develop rookies

    2) getting players to help out on wider development days

    Senior players play a role in the coaching aspect of national development days. These are all qualified in their own right, but it also helps reinforce the coaching side and give them confidence to later take it on full time once their playing days are over

    3) integrating players into decision making

    Rather than have a divide between coach and players with regards to the plans and structure, seek to integrate players (at least the senior players) into that. Again it gives them that exposure and confidence to go on and do it themselves.

  • LouiseCapicotto

    Everything that you're doing sounds great Simon laughing I don't know much about American football but it would definitely be great if more females got involved with the sport (both playing and coaching).

    For myself it took me so long to start acquiring coaching qualifications due to the costs of attaining them. I currently hold level one coaching qualifications in athletics (England Athletics) and weightlifting (British Weight Lifting). As a coach that does not coach at an athletics club but rather at a local school voluntarily, I was unable to receive funds towards earning my coaching qualifications (which usually come from the athletics club for most athletics coaches). I am hoping to book onto my Level 2 athletics coaching course within the next month or two.

    I think for coaches that want to be to coach on a more flexible basis (and in multiple areas), rather than being linked with a certain club, it can be quite difficult to afford the qualifications. I know the Level 2 for British Weight Lifting is just under £500 which is definitely a lot for myself as a student.

    I may be talking nonsense here and there may be lots of young female coaches who are accessing funding and raising the money to coach but I just thought I'd share my experience laughing

    Louise x

  • Hi Louise,

    i would definitely support your opinion.  I would love to do my next level of tennis coaching, but as a part time coach I would never get the payback on approx £450 outlay plus childcare for three weekends away to do the course.  There are no bursaries as far as I am aware.

  • KateHP

    Hi Alan,

    I am a passionate female coach. Every time I do some sort of coach education in my sport of hockey I am really disappointed at the numbers of female coaches at the sessions. Hockey is a sport that has a 50:50 female/male participation ratio and a high profile women's team so in theory we should have more female coaches but we don't. It is always something that bugs me! Currently I am encouraging the girls I coach to become young leaders and help with coaching some of the younger players in the hopes that they will have the desire and confidence to coach once they are older. I think governing bodies of all sports should probably be required to increase the number of female coaches in order to gain funding. Then we are likely to see an increase in female coaches. If it is left to women themselves then I can see it remaining fairly static. If anyone comes up with any bright ideas let me know! Personally I would love to support anyone through their coaching journey but even more so if they were female!

  • Coach_Browning

    The helping of younger age ranges is a great way to start. Just thinking aloud...rather than leaving it up to them to decide to be coaches, I am looking to put them in the situations within their current team (I dont have younger age ranges to utilise) with the aim to set them up to become a coach when they finish playing.

    So for example:

    1) you have a senior player that you have full confidence in...maybe get them to take a drill every now and again within the team. Gradually increase it if it seems to be working.

    I have this in my current club. I have a senior player that is confident and I trust. It means that I can break things down a bit more and take a small group off to do something while she leads with another group.

    2) let the players decide on some aspects of the coaching

    This kinda leads on from the above, but if you have someone that you trust then let them input in and come up with drills to work skills. When I was with a different team I was approached by a senior player who had an idea about a particular warm up drill he wanted to run. It was a good idea and so that is what they did. He led the warm ups from then on incorporating his drill into it.

    3) involve them in the planning

    When looking at what you are going to be covering involve those senior payers that you are looking to develop into the next generation of coaches. Let them see the planning process and input into it. that way they are used to it and the transition is easier for them.

  • BarbAugustin

    In my opinion there are a number of factors:

    • Women typically are involved in looking after children/parents etc. All the same issues the prevent women from participating in extra-curricular activities of any sort apply here. Coaching itself, as well as attending courses, cuts into family time.
    • Coaching can be demanding outside of coaching hours (e.g. athletes ringing up, dropping in). Some families are OK with this, others are not.
    • Women typically earn less than men, if working. Many women do not work, so have no income "of their own" to spend on coaching qualifications
    • Confidence - this is a very interesting one. I had a man say to me once that his daughter was lacking in confidence because she was stressing that she wasn't getting "straight A"s at school. I think men and women see confidence very differently. I would put the daughter's stress down to taking pride in her work, rather than lacking in confidence. Apparently, in men, confidence is seen as a proxy for competence - so many "average" men put on a confident front and get selected for promotions, etc. Many women see that as empty posturing. For many women, confidence = quiet, self-assuredness. To the extent that men think that quiet women are timid and therefore don't select them for leadership roles, this could be a factor in the lower number of female coaches.
    • A related point is the "they're only asking me because they need a bunny". There are cases where a woman is chosen for a job that men don't want to do. When this happens often, women begin to think that any job they're invited to apply for must have something wrong with it. It's not necessarily that the woman thinks that she personally is no good, it's just that "if the job was any good, a man would have taken it by now", so she is wary about what rubbish job she'll be stuck with.
    • If, after all that, you can manage to get a woman to coach, she will find it very rewarding as you all know.
  • ebaart

    Hi all,

    Interesting topic and not one with an easy solution.
    The FIH - international hockey federation - just published an interesting read about the topic on hand. The FIH Academy courses are trying to help inspire the next generation of female coaches :


    Worth the read ;) 

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