The success of a girls’ sports programme lies in the hands of coaches and their approach to coaching. Coaches are the main source of interaction with girls and can make all of the difference in how the girls experience the programme. Inspiring coaches will not only help girls develop sport skills but also be able to show participants how they can transfer their experience in sport into empowering life skills.
What Makes a Good Coach?
Coaches play a huge role in addressing the barriers that girls face to getting involved and staying engaged with sport. Their coaching approach should take into account the experience, motivations, and challenges of the girls they work with.
A strong life skills and sport coach should be:
- Inspiring and supportive
- Reflective of participants’ community
- Able to make sport fun and accessible for all participants
- Able to connect sport to important life skills
- A strong facilitator who is able to navigate sensitive and complex issues that affect the daily lives of participants
- Knowledgeable of where to find resources on sensitive topics
Recruiting Women Coaches
Woman coaches, trainers, and discussion group facilitators are crucial to ensuring the success of sport programmes aimed at empowering girls. Prioritising women for these roles creates leadership opportunities where such opportunities may otherwise be scarce or non-existent.
Having women coaches can result in both individual impacts on the girls and women you work with, as well as systemic impacts on gender stereotypes. However, across the world we hear from partners that recruiting woman coaches is a challenge. This is due to the disproportionate barriers to accessing and holding coaching positions that women face compared to their male counterparts.
Hear from our partners how they approach the recruitment process for coaches, and why having women coaches is such an important part of their sports programme design.
You can also view this resource as a downloadable PDF here.
Below are several approaches, tools, and resources that your organisation can use to support the continual development of coaches and facilitators.
Although Women Win believes that recruiting and training women in coaching positions should be a top priority, male coaches can be important allies and assets in the empowerment of adolescent girls. Learn more about how to include men as allies in the emopowerment of girls through sport.