University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Women’s Barriers to Becoming and Being a Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coach

Guinan, Jaime, Thomas, Gavin ORCID: and Molnar, Gyozo ORCID: (2018) Women’s Barriers to Becoming and Being a Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coach. In: Eighth Biennial Appearance Matters Conference, 12th - 14th June 2018, The Assembly Rooms, Bath, United Kingdom. (Unpublished)

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Background: Strength and conditioning (S&C) is a key part of athletic development. This has led to an increase in the number of people who seek employment in the field. Sports Coach UK (2013) data reveal that approximately 69% of all coaches are men with the remaining 31% being women, only 18% of which are qualified coaches. Evidently, female coaches are under-represented in S&C, especially at the elite-level. Lack of experience, family conflicts, high expectations and discrimination have been identified as reasons for lack of women in coaching and S&C positions. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been an increase of women in S&C during the last two decades. Despite this upsurge in numbers, there is still a paucity of evidence in regard to women’s experiences of/barriers in advancing in S&C. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore perceptions & attitudes towards becoming a female S&C coach in predominantly male dominated sports and to identify the reasons why female coaches are marginalised in the sector. Methods: To explore this lacuna, we have carried out an exploratory study using one-on-one semi-structured interviews conducted with female S&C coaches in key positions, working in elite sports. A snowball sampling method was used to recruit participants. All participants have had significant S&C experience and have worked with both male and female athletes. Voice data was analysed through thematic coding and key themes identified which form the spine of the discussion. Findings: Participants noted three main challenges that they, as S&C coaches, have faced. Those include: institutional politics, marginalisation and impression management of gender identity. All of these acted as barriers to reaching higher positions of leadership or to secure S&C positions in other sports. Discussion: This study advances knowledge by increasing our understanding of the socio-cultural challenges women in S&C positions encounter and have to overcome to prove to be as competent and effective as their male counterparts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: female S&C coaches, strength and conditioning, barriers, research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gavin Thomas
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 09:09
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 14:05

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