The Blog

Why don’t we hand MOM the playbook and whistle?

Team sports and other athletic activities can be fun for the whole family to watch and enjoy. But what about parent participation? Moms can pack a team snack for half time, make cheering signs for the game, give a warm hug to make a sprained ankle feel better, but it’s not likely that she’ll be on the sidelines in the middle of the team huddle calling plays. A blog post entitled, “Why Don’t More Moms Coach?” on The New York Time’s blog “Motherlode, Adventures in Parenting”  stated that only about 4% of young boys’ teams have women coaches, and only about 10% of girls’ teams.

Most women are strong, organized, and smart leaders of their families in their home and in the workplace, so why don’t they take on coaching positions?


Well, if you look at a couple famous women coaches, they will tell you the career move was not an easy one. An article in Time Magazine, “Where Are the Women Coaches?” noted stories of Karen Tessmer, women’s basketball head coach at Massachusetts’ Worcester State College, who ran practice while carrying her baby daughter on her back. Dena Evans, who coached Stanford’s cross-country team, would meander the sidelines of meets in chilly Midwestern towns and breast-feed her baby beneath a tree. She’d then worry about her child’s crying affecting her runners’ concentration.

Though women have made huge strides in the athletic world decades after the institution of Title IX, the leadership in this arena still lags.


How do you think this community can become more accepting and inviting to women as coaches? There could certainly be benefits with having a mother’s touch involved the physical and emotional aspects of the game, but how can we alter our organizations, schools and communities to incorporate these benefits with a female in a leadership position?

We would love to hear your opinions and comments below.

Photos: hug, team