As I regale the tales of me working in sports, let me share another one from when I worked for a Division I University. I overheard something in the hallway at my office that piqued my interest.
"I believe that female athletes excel when they are coached by men." Uttered a woman in the administration at my work.
"The athlete competes for the coach, as opposed to feeling like they're competing with the coach."
Before asking her for qualitative data for that statement, I immediately felt the urge to write-which is how I can refer to this incident now. Now, as a former athlete myself, I scourged my personal experience for the validity of this statement. Frankly, I was a headstrong, but albeit talented, player. Coaching me (and occasionally, managing me in the workplace today) could, and can, be difficult. I stand by what I believe is right. There are coaches that I adored, and coaches that I loathed, but gender had nothing to do with it.
I can go into the "what makes a good coach" debate, but I'm sure that googling that phrase would provide more than adequate fodder for that conversation. What surprised me the most was how gender roles, and the belief that women cannot work cohesively together, permeated the ideology of those in power of a Division 1 organization.
Does anyone else have feelings about this? If you were an athlete, do you honestly believe that the gender of your coach made a difference in your performance? I think that this statement is extremely disconcerting, does anybody else feel that way?