The Plight of Female Coaches

Strong’s article, Coaches Confident that more Gender Barriers will Fall in the Future published in The Globe and Mail Newspaper, illustrates some of the key factors restricting women from applying for coaching positions. The CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada, Lorraine Lafreniere said that the main reason for the low numbers of women coaches can be attributed to the unfavorable environmental conditions (Strong, 2016). The gender barrier issue has blossomed to the extent that women have to be convinced to consider coaching at all.

The North American males’ specialized sport has had a history of male coaches. Most of the women who have worked in these organizations take up front-office positions. The first female coach the NFL has had over the years is Kathryn Smith appointed by the Buffalo Bills in January 2016 (Strong, 2016). Smith will be in charge of special teams on Rex Ryan’s workforce. This new development is serving as the first among many to come, as mentioned by Lafreniere, appointing female coaches is the starting point of breaking gender barriers in sports.

There are several challenges in taking up a coaching lifestyle irrespective of gender. The position calls for longer working hours, a lot of traveling, as well as low start up pay. All these factors translate to time away from family along with adjusting to fit in the new schedule and meagre pay. However, all these sacrifices are worthwhile. Women are called upon to put themselves in the field to fairly compete for these positions. Brenda Willis, the Queen’s University male’s volleyball coach recalls a point back in time when her former school was in need of a women’s volleyball coach, only 5% of the applicants were female (Strong, 2016).

Several concerned citizens have put recommendations to aid in increasing awareness among women in place. According to Strong (2016), generating mentorship programs along with women coaching schools can help in encouraging women to consider coaching as a worthwhile occupation. The established growth is currently slow, nonetheless, there is hope that the winds of change will blow and the sky will be the limit for female coaches.

Relationship between the Article and the Course Study

The connection between sports and gender is distinctly highlighted in the article. Strong (2016) displays in detail some of the dynamics that are taking part in the sports industry with respect to gender. The communal belief on coaching advocates for men. Cultural logic portrays that men make better coaches compared to females. The binary model expressed in the society portrays a coaching industry that is male dominated.

The quest for equality in the Canadian sports fraternity is on the rise. Individuals who are directly involved in sports are encouraging women to compete for coaching positions. This campaign goes against societal norm in Canada. To achieve equity as well as receive fair competing grounds, women are urged by female pioneers in the field to go the extra mile. Strong (1993) articulates that women are capable of assuming coaching positions due to their skill as well as performance over the years.

Evidence and Reason for the Argument

The reasons for the argument stem from opinions demonstrated in the article. The head coach and general manger of the Canadian Football league’s B.C. Lions, Wally Buono stated that the beliefs in the current society are changing, this statement offers hope that the gender barriers existing in the sport industry are about to be broken as well as forgotten.

Challenges experienced in the coaching lifestyle are tough for both genders; therefore, women are not disadvantaged in any way (Strong, 2016). Women are only encouraged to put in more effort to reach the standards that men have established over the years. Evidence of few women in the coaching industry is shown by the interviewee responses in the article. For instance, the Canadian Intrauniversity Sport has had quite a number of female coach assistants, however, female coach heads are almost non-existent (Strong, 2016).

The article highlights on several opinions to demonstrate gender based ideology prevailing in sports. Brenda Willis talks about the dismal number of women who applied for a head coach position advertised in her school some years back (Strong, 2016). Her statement is a true reflection of the societal culture that puts men at a better position of performing sport related activities. Olga Hrycak is optimistic about having a female NBA coach in the near future, though the pace is slower than the expected (Strong, 2016).

Course Theories as used in the Article

According to Strong (2016), “But only a handful have served as head coaches and even fewer have coached men’s team.” Hegemonic masculinity is demonstrated in the Canadian society. The society portrays a man as a sporty being, that very ideology hinders women from exploiting opportunities in the sport industry. Nevertheless, the current society has evolved and violation of gender norms is not as disparaging as it was in the earlier years.

There are prospects of establishing equity in the sports business; individuals who have this passion at heart are coming up with feasible ways to support such possibilities. According to Strong (2016), forming coach practice programs and institutions will help in preparing women adequately for coaching tasks; hence, equality is achieved.

Gender ideologies in the society restrict the performance of women in games. The number of women involved in sports is wanting, Chris Critelli remarks, “We have to get more women into coaching, they have to want to coach, there’s not enough of us that really want to dedicate our lives-like the men do- to coaching” (Strong, 2016). Gender binary model excludes women from participating in athletics; therefore, for a woman to perform as well as men, a lot of effort has to be put in place.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Article

The article postulates gender ideologies with relevant facts. The views of individuals expressed demonstrate real life observations in Canada together with recommendations that will aid in developing a gender equitable sports industry. Gender based stereotypes have been thoroughly addressed informing the reader with all the relevant facts. Insight conveyed by Strong (2016) forms a great foundation for implementing change as well as changing the perception of women on taking up athletic leadership postions.

However, Strong (2016) does not adequately display the primary reasons for gender disparity in Canadian sports. He mentions several instances that substantiate lack of gender equality without stating the causes of the perceived results.

The article has not tackled illustration on the need for more females in coaching positions. The significance of women involvement in athletics is not discussed; this leaves the reader with incomplete inferences. Violating communal norms and beliefs should be backed up with reliable proof and sound reasoning. The article aims to persuade the target audience and that requires a commanding language with solid evidence.


Strong, G. (2016). Coaches confident that more gender barriers will fall in the future.         Retrieved from     that-more-gender-barriers-will-fall-in-the-future/article28340812