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Women in Coaching

It’s Friday!!! Title IX Trailblazer Video Series with NACWAA: University of Texas’s Jody Conradt

While Friday does not signify the end of the week for most of us, it’s still great to take a few minutes out of our busy days and connect with a few of the women in NACWAA‘s Title IX Trailblazer Video Series.  Brief clips with loads of inspiration!

This week: University of Texas’s Jody Conradt

It’s Friday!!! Title IX Trailblazer Video Series with NACWAA: Princeton University’s Chris Sailer

Princeton University



It’s Friday!!! Title IX Trailblazer Video Series with NACWAA: University of Dayton’s Ann Meyers

University of Dayton NACWAA Tribute to Title IX Trailblazers



Condoleezza Rice, Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chávez: “Let’s Ban Bossy”

03-09-Cover-Power-Women-ftrThis weekend, Parade Magazine published an article focusing on women in leadership positions and the need for more women in leadership roles.  Condoleezza Rice, Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chávez – all accomplished leaders, discuss the unfortunate term “bossy.”  How many coaches out there have been called “bossy” or something similar with a negative context?  The exerpt below  between the author and Sheryl Sandberg illustrates the often disconnect between how we envision our daughters who exhibit leadership skills and how we envision our sons with the same skill set:

So, you were bossy?
CR: Yes, I was. But in a good way. The word has a bad connotation.

SS: I tell parents, instead of saying, “My daughter is bossy,” try, “My daughter has executive leadership skills.” I’ve never had anyone say that without laughing. Now say it for a boy: “My son has executive leadership skills.” There’s no humor in that sentence, which reveals the difference in our expectations. Women still represent only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. And more worrisome is that the number has been stagnant for a decade. What hasn’t changed fast enough is our acceptance and encouragement of female leadership. That’s goes for all of us—parents, teachers, managers, society, everyone.

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Coach Dawn Staley Remembers Athletic Director Dave O’Brien

OBrien, Dave photoIt is with a deep sadness that we are processing the passing of our Program Director of Sport Management at Drexel University, Dave O’Brien.  As a former Athletic Director at Long Beach State University, Northeastern University, and Temple University, Dave’s network is vast.  Every student that walks in to our offices carries the look of concern for us as a faculty and feels this loss in their own personal way.  Dave always joked with me that coaches and athletic directors rarely get along or sustain long-term relationships – each feeling as if the others’ values are not in line with their own. :)   He loved having this conversation with me – AD to coach.  But, the thing is, Dave, missed one key component, he wasn’t just any Athletic Director.  He was a kind soul who cared about people and relationships and as a result coaches will remember him and have valued their interactions with him.  I miss you Dave, and apparently, South Carolina Head Coach, Dawn Staley agrees.

Check out today’s Inquirer article:

Gender Equity At the High School Level

By Ellen J. Staurowsky and Michael Proska


Dear Women in Coaching Blog Readers:


The growth of girls and women’s sport would not be possible without the efforts of women working in relative anonymity across the American landscape fighting the good fight every day in their local schools and communities.  We were reminded of this recently after coming upon an article entitled Female Pioneers in State High School AssociationsFor those of you interested in learning more about the development of girls high school sports and some of the women who were instrumental in advocating on behalf of girls at the state level, we highly recommend this inspiring homage to their work and legacy.


In reading about the lives of these women, we also were struck by how important it is to have a historical perspective in putting into context how far women have come.  If not for the tireless advocacy of women like Ola Bundy, “known by many in the Midwest as the ‘First Lady of America’s Girls Interscholastic Athletics” and so many others, we would not be at a point where girls have more opportunities to play in the nation’s schools as never before.


Still, for all of their efforts, the work goes in.  As we were doing research on the representation of women in leadership positions in the high school sport workplace, it is clear that women remain in the minority.  The work of Nicole LaVoi and Cindra Kamphoff, documented in a Women in Coaching Blog post last March, revealed that women make up less than 40% of coaches working with female athletes, 7.5% of coaches working with male athletes, and 27.5% of all head coaches at the high school level.  In terms of the representation of women as athletic directors, that figure has fluctuated between 13% and 17% for more than two decades.  Associate executive director for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Mike Blackburn reported that figures from a 2010 survey indicated that the percent of women working as high school athletic directors nationally was 15 percent.  Executive director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association (PSADA), Bob Buckanavage, estimated that 10% of high schools in that state employed women who served as athletic directors. Continue reading

If Mama Ain’t Happy

Summer recruiting. Those two words simultaneously engender feelings of excitement and resignation. There is excitement at the prospect of getting new players who will improve your program and resignation that your free time is gone for now. In July coaches from schools across the country will watch countless kids perform to determine who best fits their program needs. Scouts, sporting their school’s gear, will jockey for position under a basketball goal or sideline attempting to make sure recruits know they are present.

When I think about this evaluation period I remember something my mom used to say when I was younger; “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” This old saying still rings true in the 21st century. It means that if the family matriarch isn’t doing well (literally and figuratively speaking) then the entire household is off balance. (Of course this applies to male coaches as well.) One of the hardest things to do in coaching is to find a sense of balance in your life. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you are constantly traveling to the next game. That may sound selfish, but it’s really quite logical. You are no good to others if you aren’t mentally and physically healthy yourself.

There are several things coaches should pay attention to during summer recruiting (or for that matter, the entire season).

Eat Healthy.

Try to eat healthy. When we’re on the road recruiting there are so many games to see that we do one of two things–we eat crap or we don’t eat at all. Many times we drown our sorrows late at night in junk food because we lost an important recruit. And when our call list is expanded, a McDonald’s quarter pounder meal (with two apple pies for a mere dollar) tastes great and makes us feel better. We know it’s bad but our eagerness to be successful in recruiting overrides common sense.

Have breakfast in a calm, quiet environment. If you start the day stressed, the rest of your day will continue that way too. When on the road buy healthy snacks from the grocery store with your meal money. That way you keep from going hungry until you have time to eat a decent meal versus eating at concession stands.


Find an exercise you enjoy and commit to working out at least three days a week. A short, simple workout is sufficient. Most of us want to get a few extra minutes of sleep, but if you get your body moving in the morning before you begin evaluations you will find you feel much better during the day. While traveling, select a hotel with a decent exercise room.

Manage Stress.

Manage your stress level. Find five to 20 minutes a day to just be still and quiet. Incorporate it in your daily game schedule if necessary. During summer recruiting your travel plans and schedule will be altered. Try to be proactive to minimize these occurrences. The small things can make a difference. Be efficient with your time by accessing game schedules and other pertinent information prior to traveling. When you fly, take direct flights. If you can’t avoid connections, try to route your trips through hubs that don’t affect the rest of the country when flights are cancelled (e.g., Chicago and Atlanta).  Leave plenty of time between your flights to get a meal in case you have to go directly to a game when you arrive. And it’s best to take the first flight out because the later in the day you wait, the delays get worse.

Make Time for Family and Be Appreciative.

Remember not to neglect your family. They are the ones who love you for you and don’t want anything but your love and attention. Use technology to your advantage. With smartphones, laptops and iPads there is no excuse for not reminding them every day that you are thinking of them.

Finally, appreciate what a cool job you have. So few people get paid to do what they enjoy.  Remember we are still at war in this country, and people all over the world struggle with oppression and poverty. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are. Try not to lose perspective

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