Why would I want to stick out MORE by being the best?”
....Said no man EVER (okay I’m exaggerating).
But if you coach women, you know what I’m talking about. Your female athletes don’t necessarily say this out loud, but their subconscious brain is SCREAMING it at them daily.
You see it in their performance; they play down to their teammates, don't take the last shot even though they are most likely to make it (is it fear of failure or fear of success?), don't score ‘too much’, play a great game or great half and then self-sabotage by playing down to a lower level of performance.
I know a little bit about this. I always wanted to be the best. And yet even I felt at a very young age the social COST of being the best. And it made me change my performance.
I stuck out on my high school team, I was from a different part of town, I was higher socioeconomically than many of my teammates, I was the arguably the best player as a...
In my opinion, one of the great joys of playing sports is that I can let out my inner bitch without apologizing. (and please don’t email me about using the word bitch… it’s the word that resonates with me.)
But it is an interesting thing isn’t it... when you really think about it?
We are allowed to be rough and aggressive and competitive in a way that isn’t necessarily socially acceptable in everyday life (and dare I say for women in particular). Sports is this pure area that allows us to be free from being ‘nice’, even as we teach sportsmanship and leadership and all those other great attributes.
I get that. YOU get that. But do your ATHLETES get that?
Often times women still pay a price for being aggressive on the playing field, or they perceive that there will be a cost.
So many don’t take advantage of this safe space to let it all go. Whether it’s because they are nice ‘Christian girls’ (as one coach told...
If only I had a nickel for every time I heard that from a coach when they were asked, “What’s the difference between coaching men and coaching women?”
Which brings me to a question that has literally been nagging me for years:
This question is really tough for me because I have this knee-jerk emotional reaction that screams ‘Of course NOT!’
But then a quieter voice asks, ‘Hmm. Do we? And, if so, what can we DO about it?’
In my work with male and female athletes of all ages, I will say there are clear differences between the two. And two things stick out for me: Men somehow know that appearing confident is beneficial, even if it’s just a façade, and the ‘fake it till you make it’ principle really does work in regards to confidence.
But, that’s just my opinion.
We did what...