Male Coaches in Female Sports

By Madeline Crowley

Having played sports all of my life, I have experienced it all. From swim teams, to soccer, to softball, and more, For each sport, each coaching experience differs greatly. Looking back on the variety of teams I have been a part of, the thing that most prominently sticks out to me about each team is the coach I had. I have had certain coaches I have hated and plenty that I really like. Some have made me question whether I even like the sport and some that have taught me such valuable lessons about the game and life. Despite how good of a coach they may be, there is always a factor that I really favor in my coaches; them being female. 

I prefer this trait in all of my coaches for various reasons. They understand girl problems, they have better chemistry with the team, and they just are not guys. When playing an all girls sport it only makes sense that a girl would be coaching you, yet for some reason most of my coaches have been male. This has given me a greater consciousness about the fact that I prefer women coaches. With male coaches, you will naturally feel less connected to both the sport and team. The way a male coach feels the need to assert his dominance over your team creates a boundary that separates players from one another. With a woman coach, I have found that most are more enthused with getting to know each individual player and create mutual respect rather than asserting any kind of dominance. The difference between these two kinds of coaches has an immense impact on the culture of the team. Understandably so, they just understand the minds of young women better. Specifically, the more testosterone boosted coaches have made me feel like I’m playing solely for them rather than playing a sport for the sake of my teammates and fun. The toxic masculinity male coaches posses, overall ruins the vibe of the team because of their mentality that they are a master teaching everyone lesser than them. Furthermore, I have grown to hate “mansplaining.” A word for when a man is explaining something to a woman in a tone that implies he believes that woman lacks a common knowledge that he is the expert on. This “mansplaining” seems to happen quite often with my male coaches as they attempt to explain a new strategy or skill for the game. After a while of this, the irritation grows as I realize how much easier it is when a woman tries to teach you something. 

All that being said, I have certainly had some great male coaches throughout my life, some have been better than others. Still, I will forever favor the qualities found within my female coaches and the special environments they create.