About Me

IMG_20170620_170059_726For the past 17 years I have been Senior Lecturer in the area of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and a leader in the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, where I am currently the second-ever Director. The Tucker Center, established in 1993, was the first and only research center of its kind in the world solely devoted to the academic study of girls and women in sport, and is known as a global leader in establishing standards of excellence with respect to scholarly inquiry, graduate education and community outreach and public service.

I am a “Double Gopher” earning both my MA (’95) and PhD (’02) in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and my BA (’91) at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Prior to coming back to the University of Minnesota in 2005, I was a Research Associate at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethical Education where I helped develop the Play Like a Champion Educational Series—which includes the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Parents And Coaches Together (PACT™) program. I’ve taught as a USPTA professional and coached tennis at all levels—most notably I was the Head Coach at Wellesley College (’94-’98) and Assistant Coach at Carleton College (’91-’93). I played four years (1987-’91) of NCAA D-III tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College where I was a 2-time Academic All-American. Our team won the National Championship in 1990—one of my most cherished memories—and also placed second (’91) and fourth (’89) during my career. Currently, I enjoy doing all things active—except swimming. My goal and passion, is to make a difference in the lives of individuals and their families in and through sport and physical activity—especially for girls and women. Read more about my passion for gender and sport in this piece “A Champion for Coaches”.

Service:  I currently serve on the Board of Directors for WeCOACH, espnW (college committee), the Sports Advisory Network for the Women’s Sport Foundation, and Gustavus Women in Leadership (GWiL) Advisory Boards for Gustavus Adolphus College.

Research: Through multidisciplinary research I answer critical questions that can make a difference in the lives of sport stakeholders—particularly girls and women. I’ve published over 100 book chapters, research reports and peer-reviewed articles across multiple disciplines focused on the relational qualities of the coach-athlete relationship, the effect of adult behaviors (parents and coaches) on children and youth, the emotional experiences of youth sport parents, the physical activity of underserved girls, and media representations of girls and women in sport. My seminal research includes the annual Women in College Coaching Report Card™ which is aimed at retaining and increasing the number of women in the coaching profession, an award winning book Women in Sports Coaching (2016) that was named a 2017 Outstanding Academic Title by Routledge. For a list of my publications click here.

Documentaries: Embodying the value of making research accessible, I have co-produced three Emmy-nominated documentaries with tptMNGame ON: Women Can Coach! (2018), Concussions & Female Athletes  (2011) and Media Coverage & Female Athletes, Women Play Sports, Just Not in the Media (2013) which won a regional Emmy for best sports documentary.

Podcast: I recently started hosting a bi-weekly podcast on current research done by women scholars, about girls and women in sport, Tucker Center Talks

Speaking & Educational Outreach: I give workshops and lectures to coaches, athletes, sport administrators, boards, sport parents, educators, scholars and other stakeholders on various aspects of my work. For more information click on the Presentations & Workshops Tab.

Media: LaVoi, as a worldwide leader has been quoted in The Washington Post, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Atlantic, the New York Times, the LA Times, and appears regularly on NPR and local TV news outlets. See the list here.

Performance Training: I have worked as a mental performance coach with individuals, coaches and teams on various aspects of teaching the cognitive and emotional tools needed for mental toughness and increasing the likelihood of optimal performance.

About This Blog: One Sport Voice This blog reflects my evolving critical perspective and voice on all things sport (see the “critical” link to find out more about this perspective). A critical perspective is not the same as being critical. The name choice for this blog is personal and intentional—LaVoi means “the voice” in French. Therefore I am literally and figuratively—One Sport Voice. I am a critical thinker, scholar, and researcher and advocate of girls & women in sport, youth sport, and coach & sport parent educator.

My goal is to help readers see the issues I write about with a different perspective (not necessarily one that you agree with) and to provide those who have a similar perspective a place or find a kindred spirit. It is a place for me to explore ideas. Although I am one voice, many of the ideas in this blog begin with conversations with colleagues, friends, undergraduate and graduate students, and family, or an observation that usually starts with “Can you believe that…?” or “Really? Again!” or “Did you see…?” This blog is also about disseminating research information in a more timely and accessible way.

Views expressed in this blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the U of M, my graduate students, or the Tucker Center. If you would like to re-post material in this blog, please include the link and ©2009-2019 N.M. LaVoi. I started this blog in January of 2009.

Contact me at nmlavoi@gmail.com or 612.626.6055. You can also follow me on Twitter or view my U of MN faculty webpage. Head shot on this page courtesy of LÖLE Twin Cities.