The coaching certification course instructor led a discussion on the difference between coaching boys and girls – males and females.
Hours later, the discussion led to another topic…
Nothing like gender differences to get people talking.
So, are boys and girls different?
The Journal of Sport Science and Medicine published a study The “Views of Adolescent Female Youth on Physical Activity During Early Adolescence” that was sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Sport Participation Research Initiative. It was done in conjunction with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board.
The study offers ringette coaches a window to the female ringette athlete:
- For starters, coaches should work hard to understand the female athlete point of view;
- Females place great value on how well they perform the activity;
- They want to share the experience with friends;
- They want to have fun while participating;
- They want to feel good about themselves during and after an activity; and
- They will be sensitive to peer feedback on self-evaluation.
Implications for the hard working and ever diligent ringette coach:
- Create practices to build confidence and skill at the same time;
- Use learning partners on and off the ice, encouraging sharing and dialogue among ringette athletes;
- Do partner on-ice drills to encourage interaction, and to teach team play;
- Strive for inclusivity, rather than exclusivity – don’t play favourites;
- Don’t centre someone out in front of the team – leading to humiliation and embarrassment – the athlete may not return;
- Create socials to discuss team business and to build friendships, team cohesion, and fun;
- Create challenges, drills and games of chance to create fun;
- Thoughtfully, recognize good performance in front of the group – players will appreciate the recognition and that they will enjoy supporting the recognition of others.
- Celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the female athlete. If you fight it – well, you are on your own….