Women in Sports Coaching: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women in Sports Coaching

1st Edition

Edited by Nicole M. LaVoi


270 pages

CHOICE 2018 Outstanding Academic Title Award Winner
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Women in many Westernized countries encounter a wider variety of career opportunities than afforded in previous decades, and the percentage of women leaders in nearly every sector is on the rise. Sport coaching, however, remains a domain where gender equity has declined or stalled, despite increasing female sport participation. The percentage of women who coach women are in the minority in most sports, and there is a near absence of women coaching men. This important new book examines why. Drawing on original multi-disciplinary research from across the globe, including first-hand accounts from practicing coaches, the book illuminates and examines the status of women in coaching, explores the complex issues they face in pursuing their careers, and suggests solutions for eliminating the barriers that impede women in coaching.

Developing an innovative model of intersectionality and power constructs through which to guide research, the book covers issues including sexual identity, race, motherhood, cross-gender coaching and media coverage to give voice to women coaches from around the world. As such, Women in Sports Coaching is essential reading for serious students and scholars of sports coaching, sport sociology or anyone with an interest in gender and sport.


"In the first book dedicated to a comprehensive examination of this topic, LaVoi investigates the opportunities, barriers, and experiences of women in the coaching profession and examines why sports coaching is still not gender equal. The work is thematically organized, beginning with the guiding theoretical model, followed by a focus on specific identities of women coaches (e.g., lesbians, mothers, women of color), issues surrounding the research of this particular topic, and finally, practical approaches for social change. Each chapter begins with an effective review of existing research concerning the chapter topic, applies the aforementioned model to the original work, and concludes with suggestions for future directions in research. Overall, the work is extensively researched and maintains a consistent narrative thread. A highlight is the wide-ranging interviews with women coaches, which offer a global perspective. Another strong contribution is the focus on the complex “intersectionality” of identities, power, and multiple variables besides gender that can contribute to the underrepresentation of women in coaching. This title is strongly recommended for any individual interested in sport or gender studies. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers." - A. Curtis, Lake Erie College, CHOICE (January 2017)

Table of Contents


Part 1: Underlying Theoretical Framework

[Nicole M. LaVoi]

1. A Framework to Understand Experiences of Women Coaches Around the Globe: The Ecological-Intersectional Model

[Nicole M. LaVoi]

2. A Socio-cultural Examination of a Lack of Women Coaches in Sport Leadership Positions

[Mary Jo Kane]

3. An Ecological/Multisystem Approach to Understanding and Examining Women Coaches

[Laura J. Burton and Nicole M. LaVoi]

Part 2: Women Coaches and Other Intersectional Identities

4. Lesbian Coaches and Homophobia

[Leanne Norman]

5. Women Coaches of Color: Examining the Effects of Intersectionality

[Akilah R. Carter-Francique and Joyce Olushola]

6. Coaching and Motherhood

[Jennifer E. Bruening, Marlene A. Dixon and Christianne M. Eason]

7. Cross-Gender Coaching: Women Coaching Men

[Nefertiti Walker]

8. Female Athletes Conceptions of Leadership: Coaching and Gender Implications

[Vicki D. Schull]

9. Female Assistant Coaches: Planting Seeds and Growing Roots

[Janelle E. Wells]

Part 3: Seeing, Listening to and Researching Women Coaches

10. Women in the Sport Media: Where are the Coaches?

[Nicole M. LaVoi and Austin Stair Calhoun]

11. Hear Their Voices: Suggestions for Developing and Supporting Women Coaches from Around the World

[Shelia Robertson]

12. Women in Coaching: Theoretical Underpinnings among Quantitative Analyses

[George B. Cunningham]

13. Women in Coaching: Theoretical Underpinnings among Qualitative Research

[Brian T. Gearity, Joseph P. Mills and Bettina Callary]

Part 4: Strategies for Change

Concluding Thoughts: Creating Change for Women Coaches

[Nicole M. LaVoi]

About the Editor

Nicole M. LaVoi is a Senior Lecturer in Kinesiology and Co-Director of the Tucker Center for Girls & Women at the University of Minnesota, USA, and former collegiate tennis coach and USPTA tennis teaching professional. Her research pertains to gender and coaching, and media portrayals of women in sport. She is the primary author of the longitudinal Women in College Coaching and Report Card research series.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sports Coaching

The Routledge Research in Sports Coaching series provides a platform for leading experts and emerging academics in this important discipline to present ground-breaking work on the history, theory, practice and contemporary issues of sports coaching. The series sets a new benchmark for research in sports coaching, and offers a valuable contribution to the wider sphere of sports studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports