18 Oct An Open Letter to Female Coaches
Dear Female Coach,
You are more than just a role model.
You are a coach – one who is competent, confident and capable.
You are someone who can speak intelligently about the game.
You can run intense practices.
You can write a year-round training plan with ease.
You can be meticulous with work-to-rest ratios and recovery.
You can think critically when it comes to load monitoring.
You understand exercise physiology, motor skill learning and adaptation.
You can speak about tactical periodization eloquently.
You can be hard on your players, all while receiving respect.
You can name the muscles of the rotator cuff.
You can tweak a 4-3-3 to a 4-5-1 formation when it’s needed.
You can connect with a new team of 8-year-olds when you first meet them.
You can be the mother figure, and the teacher.
You are hard working, passionate, educated, knowledgable, and so much more.
And any time someone hires you just because you’re a “role model,” cool. That’s great, but…
Show them you can coach the crap out of athletes, too.
Because you can.
Female coach, of course it is a blessing to be the role model to young female athletes – to inspire them to love themselves, follow their dreams, hone their passions, and to be kind and work hard as a women on this Earth.
But by just playing the part “role model” like everyone wants you to, you’re doing your athletes a disservice.
Be more than the quiet label they give you.
You’re meant to spread your coaching wings and help your athletes in every way you can – tactically, technically, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Be all of that to them.
Gender aside, be a coach.
And be relentlessly confident in your abilities to serve as many athletes as you can, even male athletes.
And be tenacious when studying the game and mentoring others.
And be someone who wants to push sports forward with creativity and innovation.
All while looking like a downright boss.
You’re not a pushover.
You’re not a doormat.
You have high expectations like every other coach out there.
You have boundaries with colleagues and parents and players.
You are tough.
You are strict.
You are smart.
You want the best for your players and their development and have the ability to also wear the “tough love” hat when you need to.
It’s tough out there for a female coach, but as long as you live your truth to help athletes and push the envelope in the industry, you’re crushing it.
Alas, the only way to keep the momentum is to weave a strong web of community as female coaches.
Don’t undermine each other.
Don’t allow jealousy to creep in.
We need more female coaches banding together, who exchange ideas, inspire and support each other, and cheer each other on for their achievements.
The message we want to send to our young athletes is the same.
So let’s do it for each other.
Remember, you are more than a role model. You are a coach.
All coaches, male or female, can inspire their players and teach the game. Coaching is coaching, after all.