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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24367

Title: Life Histories of Women in Coaching
Authors: McCharles, Beth Lynne
Advisor: Kerr, Gretchen
Department: Exercise Sciences
Keywords: Women in Coaching
Life Span Development
Coaching Behaviours
Leadership
Issue Date: 21-Apr-2010
Abstract: The Canadian sport system is challenged by the lack of representation of female leaders and coaches. This is, in spite of statistics showing that female athletes account for almost half of all participants in sport, a number that is still growing (Sport Canada, 1999). Women have acquired equity in many areas of life and are accepted in leadership roles, however in the area of sport, women have yet to gain the full credibility and professional respect equal to their male counterparts. Previous research indicates that women who pursue a career in coaching face many adversities and struggle to attain a level of leadership where they can achieve their highest potential (Acosta & Carpenter, 2002). The purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of elite female coaches, using Erikson’s (1950) theory of psychosocial development. In this study, the qualitative method of life history was used to learn about the experiences of female coaches, specifically the process of becoming and being elite coaches. Five elite Canadian coaches were interviewed. The major themes that developed through the analysis of the interviews were: (a) Support, (b) Overcoming Obstacles, (c) Personal Qualities and (d) The Bigger Picture. The study noted the importance of various support systems through one’s lifespan and some of the challenges a female athlete and coach must overcome to become a successful athlete, coach and mother. The study shares insight into the five women’s personal qualities that helped them grow into elite coaches. Finally, the participants described the process by which they came to find a leadership style with which they were comfortable, as coaches and as women.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24367
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Graduate Department of Exercise Sciences - Doctoral theses

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