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There must be something better than "Man up!" | Inclusive Coaching

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Posted in: Coaching Women

There must be something better than "Man up!"

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  • Colin

    A challenge to you all and something I would like to debate - when coaching a women or girls football, hockey, rugby, or any invasion based team sport can we come up with a better term than "Man up!" when a player may come under pressure?
    I think the term has to be two words, each word one syllable in length (for speed of saying it) but surely we are bright enough to have a better word then "Man" in a women's/girl's setting?
    Let the debate begin.........

  • LizBurkinshaw

    I hate 'man up' #cringe

    Surely its about making decisions under pressure so something like

    'decision time'

    or maybe we could not shout at players at all when theyre playing the game... #controversial

  • Sbentall

    Interesting debate Colin. I think it's about what is acceptable is society and particular cultures. For instance, I use the term 'guys' to describe a group of people regardless of their gender - no one has ever challenged this, but everytime I find myself using it I do always have a moment of questioning 'correctness'...

  • Colin

    I'm with you on the cringe of hearing it said but in a team game where a team mate will come under pressure and not realise it then a fellow team mate (not the coach) has to warn them. So agree with not shouting at players during a game - all the coaches' work should have been done at training - but talking is such a part of the game that we need something.

  • Colin

    I likewise use "guys" in any group setting BUT was challenged last season by a player who said we are not guys we are girls. But we encourage the girls to speak up on anything that is not socially acceptable so more than happy to realise my coaching works on many different levels.

  • pippaglen

    I've only ever used the term Man up but like everyone else it's really insinuating that when in a girls environment you should be like a man,  look up the word Man up for different definitions it quite surprising how people define the word Man up.  Urban dictionary is a good place to look. 

    Maybe use the word " Be Strong 💪 " .This makes players feel powerful when they hear the word.  Strong. 

    I also use the word warrior with primary school children as children  see vikings as strong whilst in the battle field. They love the word warrior.

  • PaulT

    If by 'Man Up' you mean 'Man On' where a player from the other team is closing down a team mate (must be a North/South thing). I have always challenged players to give more usful information making the use of the word 'Man' non existent.

    I would encourage my players to say 'left shoulder', 'rigth shoulder', 'tight behind' etc..  allowing a player to know they have applying pressure on that sidein a certain way allowing them to make a more educated decsion on what to do.

    I find the term 'Man On' normally just causes panic and poor decsuon making

  • mcannon

    Colin I think you opened up a Pandora's Box! 

    Many of the phrases I can think of will have both a negative and positive slant depending on the perception of listener. Even innocent phrases such as "come on" or "keep going" can encourage sustaining effort and performance whilst also it can also maybe suggesting they are not performing to the required level. How do you overcome this?

    My challenge to any coach is to say nothing! Do we need to say anything, and if we remain silent could it encourage some creativity to get themselves out of the pressurised situation?

  • Colin

    I agree from a coaching stance that we should remain as quiet as possible - coaching should be done at training and not pitch/track side - but what I'm looking for is a phrase that I can coach my players to say when they are on the pitch. So a team mate comes under pressure what do the other girls call out to warn her? That's my challenge to you all as I agree a player should be encouraged to have creativity in themselves to get out of situations - but how do the other players warn them they're in that situation!

  • beachvolleyballinc

    Hi Colin, I guess If I need to use the phrase ‘man up’ when coaching girls when assuming you mean face up to the opposition don’t put yourself off from doing battle or taking on the challenge then I would use the phrase “woman up” as a  reminder that women can also face up to the challenges equally. This also makes them realise their own ability to face challenges and tackle things head on. Right now. Don’t let anything stop you going into battle right now and others have said finding your inner warrior! Empowering women to realise their own strengths is what I guess you are looking for here? “ You’ve got this” “why not you” “feel the fear and do it anyway” “think of what it’s going to feel like in 20 mins if we have lost let’s rewrite that future” trying to find that apt phrase that taps into their inner strength. Pulling those people men or women together at that moment ...that’s the Magic of a good coaching moment   I am sure you will have lots of those :) 

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