Monday, March 14, 2011

The Advantages Of Having A Female Coach

It is funny because until this year, I had been coached by all males. I didn't know what it was like to be coached by a woman, I had only heard of the "horror stories" and myths surrounding a girl being coached by a woman. There are so many misconceptions of a woman coach that I want to address.

Misconception #1: "Women are less intense. They aren't as demanding of their players. They aren't strong enough." In actuality, it is the complete opposite. Women are harder on their players I think. I know it also has to do with coaching styles and all that stuff, but because we are the same sex, we know what each other are physically capable of, thus making it harder on the player to play for a woman coach. The bar is set above average because my coach knows that physically we are both capable of doing the equivalent of one another. This leaves no room for excuses or bad behavior in the eyes of a female coach. I think that also, a female coach pays more attention to attitude and the way her players conduct themselves on the court.Because women naturally are supposed to carry themselves well and with certain etiquette, I believe this factor is stressed even  more so than developing skill or talent. Without Coach Borelli setting that high standard for me as a player, I don't think I would be able to evolve as a player. I would not possess the mental toughness and proper attitude that is supposed to be displayed on  the court. I am thankful when she pushes me to the limit when I am tired because I know that is more-so like a game situation. Anyone can shoot free throws in a gym all day, one after another, but other coaches enforce that sprinting in between free throws is very effective, and I can attest to that.
I can definitely prove that women coaches are less intense as a fallacy. They are the most intense! Take for example Pat Summit, you can't get more intense than her. Her facial expressions, her demeanor, her attitude all reveal how passionate she is about the game of basketball. Although, when most of us get an image in our mind of her it is of her screaming. This particular image is not bad, it just so happens to be one of the many ways that females communicate with one another (haha). Another reason why female coaches are more intense is because they can communicate well with their eyes. It is just the one "look" that catches you in your tracks. She doesn't even have to say anything to you, you just know that you did something wrong, it is understood, and you move on. I just find female coaches a little more passionate. They get all worked-up and stomp their feet on the ground throughout the whole game, and you think for what? why? Well, I don't really know and in the moment you are very intimidated and thinking "what is wrong with this crazy woman?" But after the game, I begin to realize that amount of love possessed by this coach is immeasurable. All the yelling and screaming is just a testament to that.

Misconception #2: "Look at the records. Female coaches aren't winning championships. This proves that male coaches are better."
NOOO WAY! Last time I checked Pat Summit had 7 National Championships. This is just absurd. And if anyone can say that claim was true, you'd better have your facts straight.

Misconception #3: "Women coaches are manly." This is a funny one, but it is common. Everyone thinks the woman coach is going to have a short hair-cut with a deeper voice. Even if this is the case, they are still very much feminine. I love how people automatically put a stereotype on women who love and appreciate sports more or just as much as men do. It seems that people never want to give credit where credit is due, and once a woman coach starts to gain stature and importance in her desired sport, there has to be something wrong with her. A successful, pretty, feminine coach is normal!

What is most important anyway is for athletes to understand that there is no one right way to coach or teach. It is our responsibility as athletes to take the instruction and make good use of it on and off the court. All in all, I have to say I appreciate the relationship you receive when you are coached by the same sex. It almost resembles a mother-daughter relationship, but in a different context. There is a certain expectation from a coach, just like a mom, and that is for the player to put all of her effort into her sport. Just like a mom expects you to do certain chores during the week, a coach expects you to practice hard and work hard toward individual and team goals. You can see why a girl can relate to a female counterpart more because there is just that much more similarity and continuity between them. Within the female coach-female player relationship comes great responsibility. Many female coaches have been players in their day, so they know exactly what it takes to be the best player you can be. Therefore, the expect out of you what their coaches expected out of them. There is no real excuse you can give to not being strong enough or quick enough. The hormones are circulating on both ends, and again there are no time for excuses. I am not saying that I think one sex is better to coach a female player, but there is definitely certain advantages in having a female coach. It is just a totally different dynamic and I am sure many can agree with me.

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