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Anything you can coach I can coach better

Drastic gap between the number of men and women coaches

By: Tuneel Speech

A coach is a qualified individual who works with clients to improve their performance and effectiveness.

In sports, they namely focus on physical aspects such as endurance and spotting an opponent’s weakness as well as mental aspects like concentration and setting goals for the client.

If coaching is all about improving one’s ability using methods that are similar to a regular teachers.

Then why is the scrutiny of female coaches in sports such a big deal?

On June 23, 1972 the Title IX law was passed for the equality of all individuals regardless of gender within an educational program.

The law played a major part for women to be able to compete in athletic competitions.

Since Title IX was passed many have seen the law benefit women competing in athletes, but the same cannot be said for women coaching the athletes.

There is a significant difference in the amount of jobs held by women in college sports compared to men.

According to a study done by Acosta and Carpenter on women in intercollegiate sports reported by Dana Benbow of USA Today Sports, in 1972 when Title IX was passed 90 percent of women’s teams were coached by women.

Forty-three years later in 2015, the number of female coaches in women’s sports has declined drastically to 40 percent.

According to the Race and Gender Institute database for the NCAA, only four percent of men’s teams are coached by women.

In GPC’s athletic department, there are 20 coaches that represent the Jaguars in eight sports this academic year.

Out of those 20 coaches, only three them are women, and none of them are have head coaching positions.

The Gatorade commercial in the 1990s starring Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm featured both world class athletes competing against each other in a series of athletic competition while the song “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” played in the background.

The commercial was part of a theme in the media during the 90s to promote a new message that a woman could do anything just as well if not better than a man could.

One can argue that in 2015 the message may have not translated well for the state of women’s coaching.

There have also been cries demanding fair play amongst both genders in athletic coaching.
“There is a stigma that females are not as good as or as strong of coaches as their male counterparts,” said Indiana State head women’s soccer coach Erika True when she was interviewed by Benbow. “Male coaches are viewed as more profitable than their counterpart.”
On average, women are paid 78 cents to every dollar a man makes in the United States.

When the Title IX law passed, an increase in potential earnings for women’s coaching was installed.
Once men saw the earning potentials, they began to pursue those new positions.

The demand and attention on male coaches grew so high, fewer women began to be hired these same coaching jobs.
There are undeniably many successful female coaches in college sports such as Pat Summit the former head women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee.

Summit was the first coach in college basketball to reach 1,000 wins, and still holds the record for most wins by any college basketball head coach (both men and women).
Hall of fame player and coach Dawn Staley was a three-time gold medalist for the U.S. women’s basketball team.

C.Vivian Stringer, head coach at Rutgers University and another all of famer led three different schools to Final Four appearances.
As long as women keep their hold in the world of sports, there will always be opportunities for them, whether it be as an athlete, reporter, or coach.

Men appear to be the dominant gender in sports.

With assertiveness and continued success and support, women can certainly close the gap of the gender imbalance in coaching.

About Farhin Lilywala

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