As women continue to fight for equality in today’s world, we still face many challenges. The world of sports is no different.
Thanks to laws and regulations such as Title IX, there has been progression and growth when it comes to female athletics – both from a pure number standpoint and a popularity standpoint.
Despite this, there are still many challenges that coaches in women’s athletics face on an everyday basis.
TGCA / Women’s Coaches Survey
In an effort to learn more about the growth of female athletics, BSN SPORTS and the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) surveyed thousands of coaches on a variety of topics.
One of the questions asked coaches to rank the top challenges they face on a daily basis. Here were the results:
1. Funding and budget
Unfortunately, women’s teams and organizations don’t always receive equal funding compared to their counterparts in men’s athletics. This can make it difficult to not only compete at a high level, but to simply run a consistent program.
While it’s important to continue the fight for equal funding and support, it’s unlikely immediate changes will occur. Because of this, many coaches are focused to think outside the box – for necessary apparel and equipment for their team, and for personal development.
If you’re looking for ways to help raise money, try various fundraising events such as a My Team Shop GoFundMe campaign from BSN SPORTS, working with local businesses, or various events like raffles or auctions that can help raise money.
If you’re looking for low-budget personal development options, BSN SPORTS also offers FREE coaching clinics for customers, led by brand ambassadors who are experts in various sports. Some of our brand ambassadors include:
- Juliann Faucette-Johnson, Volleyball: Former All-American and Team USA member
- Jessica Hardy, Swimming: All-American, Olympian, World Record Holder
- Shanice Stephens, Basketball: 20+ years of playing and coaching in Division 1
- and much more!
Want to learn more about coaching clinics? Visit the BSN SPORTS Clinics page here.
2. Psychological and emotional issues
As if dealing with the X’s and O’s of weekly game plans isn’t enough already, coaches are also finding it difficult to deal with psychological and emotional issues among players.
The results of the women’s coaches survey made it clear this is common.
One of the questions asked coaches to rate how challenging various issues are for them on a least-to-most scale with varying options. The voting breakdown for “Psychological and Emotional Issues Among Players” was as follows:
- Not Challenging at All: 9%
- Somewhat Challenging: 52%
- Fairly Challenging: 28%
- Extremely Challenging: 11%
The big takeaway for me was that just 9% of respondents said they found it to be “Not Challenging at All.”
Unfortunately for some, medication can be needed to help control and manage these issues. If it’s clear a player is not dealing with a disorder or illness that requires medical attention, however, consider additional tactics to help your team gain mental toughness.
Want to read more about mental strength and how you can potentially help your players? Here’s one of my recent articles for BSN SPORTS:
3. Uniforms, apparel, equipment, fanwear, etc.
Coaches have so much to think about when it comes to daily planning. Because of this, focusing on uniforms and equipment is often an afterthought, or an additional burden that can be difficult to address.
Thankfully, companies like BSN SPORTS offer assistance in this area, with technology and local reps that help with all teamwear and equipment needs.
Learn more about the My Team Shop program from BSN SPORTS, as well as additional ways they can help.
4. Fans and community support
While the men’s football or basketball team may be dealing with over-populated crowds and weekly sellouts, many women’s sports coaches find themselves facing the opposite problems. Unfortunately, fan support and crowds are typically lacking for most female sports teams.
In an effort to help fix this problem, BSN SPORTS and Varsity Brands have launched the Believe In You Challenge, which encourages athletes, students, and anyone else in the community to attend various school events.
Learn more about the Believe in You Challenge here.
“Our goal for this program is for every student in America to have someone who believes in them,” said Kevin Atlas, the inspirational face behind the campaign. “We are beginning a coast-to-coast movement to bring our Believe In You message to campuses across the country, because I’ve been at schools where this exists, and it’s beautiful.”
Added Atlas: “Young people today need to feel that support and love. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I know it will make a profound difference.”
5. Parents and family
Sometimes fan support goes too far – and many coaches of women’s sports teams struggle with parents or other family members who involve themselves a bit too much, as they wonder why their daughter or loved one isn’t getting enough playing time.
“If you want to have a great relationship with parents you have to be transparent with them upfront,” Lieberman says, while suggesting the following tips:
- Have a meeting before the season starts with all parents
- Set the expectation of what you need from the parents as far as having their kids are responsible and ready to practice as well as their equipment needs
- Clearly share with the parent what your guidelines are for playing time – some schools believe in equal minutes, some do not – either way, you have to make the parent know that no matter how many minutes they play that you’re always praising their hard work and make them understand that they’re very important part of this team
- If a parent is busy and cannot get to a lot of the games, make sure you ask them to support their kids by praising them for their hard work, being on the team and giving effort. This communication can help the players with their self-confidence
BSN SPORTS Women
At BSN SPORTS, we realized there was a clear need to elevate women’s sports at all levels.
From providing more support to coaches of female athletes, to connecting women working in the sports industry, we’re committed to doing our part. Because of this, we’ve made it a priority to uplift and empower women in sports through our key partnerships, programs and content.
Learn more about the other BSN SPORTS women’s initiatives here.