Gender Differences in sport

Gender differences in sport are something that has been discussed, as long as there have been women in sports. To me, there is nothing to be argued especially in youth sports. There is no difference from a man and a woman playing sports except they play in different leagues. Statistics can show that the amount of girls playing youth sports now is vastly different from the past. This is a great sign for the future of women's sports and I hope as a sports fan that it continues to grow. There is nothing bad that can come from it and anyone who says differently is wrong. Sports are a great part of life and everyone should be able to enjoy them.

Like everything in life there are some differences between men and women in sports. The readings we were assigned talked a lot about these small differences and I agree with most of them. DeBoer (2004) for example talks about the differences in the competitive aspect of sport. They say the male ability to live "life as a contest" mentally is something I agree with to a point. I feel most male athletes do live like this but I do believe a good amount of females also live this way, at least to an extent. For women, relationships are ongoing and primary (DoBoer, 2004) and can trump the competitiveness of women. Another difference often discussed is the difference between coaching men and women. Differences in coaching girls and boys may exist, but it is premature and naïve to make and perpetuate sweeping claims of difference without empirical evidence within the context of sports (LaVoi, Becker, and Maxwell, 2007). I agree with this statement completely and could not think of a better way to put it. I have talked to coaches previously about the differences and the biggest thing I got from them is just how they listen and are more fundamental in practice. They told me that they are much more coachable in most situations but also more emotional with other situations.

One change I see necessary for changing how people see gender differences is talked about in the article "Mentoring Women to Advance Within Leadership Positions as International Physical Educators (LaVoi, 2009). This article talks about the importance of having women in power positions in sports. I agree with this completely and believe it is the best way to eliminate some of the last differences in sports dealing with gender. I think women should get more of an opportunity to not only coach, but also be powerful influences in the front office of professional teams. A breakthrough would be for a woman to coach a men's team and make them successful. The best scenario I could come up with is having Pat Summit, someone who everyone respects already, make a move to men's college basketball and see how it impacts the league. I believe she would be a great coach and could be very successful. If this were to happen, women would get more opportunities in the future for similar positions.

-Trevor Maring

Works Cited:

DeBoer, Kathleen J. (2004). Gender and Competition.

LaVoi, Nicole M., Erin Becker & Heather D. Maxwell (2007).'Coaching girls': A content analysis of best‐selling popular press coaching books.

LaVoi, N.M. (2009). "Occupational sex segregation in a youth soccer organization: Females in Positions of Power." Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal.18 (2), 25-37.