Feeling Second Best: Elite Women Coaches’ Experiences

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This study centers upon accounts of master women coaches in the UK, connecting the participants’ experiences of the structural practices within the coaching profession to their feelings of being undervalued and marginalized. By going beyond previous positivist and interpretive approaches to the issue of women coaches’ underrepresentation, I locate the participants’ narratives and their oppression within the wider sociocultural context of sport. The strength of patriarchy within sport and coaching is revealed in the private lives of the coaches. Consequently, the findings provoke methodological and theoretical implications for an alternative approach to understanding women’s long standing minority status within sports leadership.

The author is with the Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education, Leeds Metropolitan University, Headingley Campus, Leeds, United Kingdom.

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