I played a lot of sports as a kid, and I was coached by many, many wonderful dads. But I always felt like I connected with my few female coaches in a unique and valuable way. It was an eye-opener to see, first-hand, that not only can girls participate in stuff, they can be THE BOSS OF STUFF TOO. So why don't more moms coach their daughters' sports teams?
Andrea Montalbano wrote a rallying cry for female coaches in the Times yesterday:
I was 4 years old when Title IX was passed. Playing soccer paved the way for my admission to Harvard. It empowered me in my career as a journalist, it helped me handle stress, and it inspires me today, as a writer of books about the sport.
I know the reason I didn't have any female coaches is largely because there was not a generation of women who had played before me — and who had the knowledge and experience to teach me.
Now there is. We are the daughters of Title IX, and this is a plea to you.
We played. We won. We lost. We know how those experiences affected and shaped us. And many of us now are mothers. I'm not just talking about soccer, either. I'm talking about softball, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, etc. There is, at last, a generation of women who have the training and experience to teach their own children and others.
The fact that I had to scroll through a full page of search results before I found a "female coach" stock photo that wasn't a semi-nude model sucking sexually on a whistle is a pretty compelling supporting argument.
I don't know that I'm qualified to coach soccer or softball, but I can run the shit out of some basketball drills. (Note: Does anyone else want to get together and JUST DO BASKETBALL DRILLS? I kind of hate actual games [note: except Bump, obv], because competition gives me stress-hives, but I fucking love drills.) I've always meant to volunteer at the community center. Maybe this year I'll actually do it.
Also, I don't think it'd be a bad idea for boys to grow up with some female coaches too. Or do we only want our girls to feel comfortable with female authority figures?
Image via bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock.