One of my primary areas of research pertains to the many layers of barriers that influences the scarcity of female coaches at all levels. I find blog inspiration comes in waves, as did the following two today.
1. A great piece on espn.com covered the implications of homophobia and negative recruiting that plague women’s athletics and particularly women’s basketball. I thought this piece was very well done and lays out the complexities of the issue and how it may detract females from entering and staying in coaching, as I had wrote about in a previous blog.
2. The second is a job in the NCAA Job Market posted by Rhodes College for a “Assistant Football Coach & Assistant Softball Coach”. While this is a somewhat unusual combination, what is more unusual and ridiculous is the job description which states, “Bachelor’s Degree required. Must have served as a high school and/or college football coach, and be able to (learn and) coach softball.” LEARN softball?! It is a college coaching position! How would you like to be the women on that softball team? Would a job posting ever read like this, “Bachelor’s Degree required. Must have served as a high school and/or college softball coach, and be able to (learn and) coach football”? This example highlights how certain sports (in this case football) are valued over others on this particular campus, but reflects the sentiment on many others.
There are many things novice and expert coaches can learn, and the stories above outline that often times coaches and those in positions of power in sport learn patterns of behavior that perpetuate and reproduce inequalities.