Title IX opened the door for millions of girls to participate in scholastic sports. Perhaps many thought that since more females were playing sports, more of them would end up coaching. However, according to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, the number of women coaching in youth sports is at 20%, while at scholastic and college level it’s less than 50%. The problem lies in the fact that many believe women are incapable of effectively coaching males at any level because they will struggle getting players to respect them. In fact, less than 3% of men's or boys' teams have a female head coach. Let’s take a look at the facts of why women would make good youth sports coaches:
- Women can be just as emotionally tough as men.
I’ve met some pretty strong women who’ve put up with a lot in their marriages and with their kids. Women get a bad rap for being emotional. But being emotional doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. It just means you have to channel and control your emotions.
- Women are more nurturing. This is especially helpful in the younger years, but can still be important for older kids as well. They are more likely to sense when something isbothering a player. MomsTeam.com says that “Because they (women) tend to be more emotionally open and have good communication skills, mothers are able to motivate and relate well to players, which is essential if a child is to have an enjoyable sports experience.”
- Women are usually more organized. I realize this may not be true across the board, but as a whole, women tend to be better at holding things together.
- Women are better at find a balance between competition and character-building. This is not saying that women are less competitive; it’s that their natural nurturing abilities enable them to see the importance of character development in the world of competition.
- Women coaches make good role models for young female athletes. When they prove that they can do just as good a job as a man, they pave the way for female athletes who want to pursue coaching.
- Women are usually good teachers. This is seen in the teaching numbers. From nursery school through the primary grades, women make up 90-97% of the teaching force. In secondary school, they are still over 50% and in college it evens out. There’s a reason why so many women are teaching our kids; they are good at what they do.
I will be the first to say that not all women make good coaches, but neither do all men! Being the type of coach that knows how to make youth sports a positive, learning experience for kids has nothing to do with gender. If a coach is qualified, knowledgeable, caring, and respected, the important character lessons of youth sport will be taught, regardless of whether the coach is a man or woman. What are your feelings about women coaching both genders of youth athletes?