6 reasons why women make good coaches

By Janis Meredith | Posted 5/20/2015

According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, the number of women coaching in youth sports is at 20 percent, while at scholastic and college level it’s fewer than 50 percent.

Many people believe women are incapable of effectively coaching boys or men at any level because they will struggle getting players to respect them. As it stands, fewer than 3 percent of male teams have a female head coach. 

SEE ALSO: U.S. Women’s National Team alumni coaching boys football

But there are some valid reasons that women make good youth sports coaches:

  • Women can be emotionally tough. I’ve met some pretty strong women who’ve put up with a lot in their marriages and with their kids. Women get a bad rap for being emotional. But being emotional doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. It just means you have to channel and control your emotions.
  • Women are nurturing. This is especially good for younger athletes but can still be important for older players as well. They are more likely than a man coach to be sensitive to children who are struggling emotionally or who may be dealing with problems at home. 
  • Women tend to be organized. This may not be true across the board, but as a whole women tend to hold things together.
  • Women are better at finding a balance between competition and character-building. This is not saying that women are less competitive. It’s that their natural nurturing abilities enable them to see the importance of character development in the world of competition.
  • Women coaches make good role models for young female athletes. When they prove that they can do just as good a job as a man, they pave the way for female athletes who want to pursue coaching.
  • Women are usually good teachers. This is seen in the teaching numbers. From nursery school through the primary grades, women make up 90 to 97 percent of the teaching force. In secondary school, they are still more than 50 percent, and in college it evens out. There’s a reason why so many women are teaching our kids. They are good at what they do.

Of course, not all women make good coaches, but neither do all men. Being the type of coach that knows how to make youth sports a positive, learning experience for kids has nothing to do with gender.

If a coach is qualified, knowledgeable, caring, and respected, the important character lessons of youth sport will be taught, regardless of whether the coach is a man or woman.

What are your feelings about women coaching both genders of youth athletes?

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach's wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks. She authored the Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series and has recently launched a podcasting series for sports parents. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.