This study aimed to examine gender differences in sources of competence information and the resultant perceptions of competence among male and female interscholastic coaches. Participants (102 female and 138 male coaches of girls’ sports) completed self-report measures that assessed preferences for sources of coaching competence information, perceptions of general and specific coaching competence, and potential reasons for withdrawal from coaching. Multivariate analyses revealed significant gender differences among sources of competence information, with women showing greater preference for athletes’ improvement and for improvement of their own coaching skills. Gender differences between coaching competence perceptions were also found. Males and females were similar in most self-perceptions, but women perceived themselves to be more competent at teaching sport skills. Contrary to theoretical predictions, canonical correlations between sources and perceptions of competence did not indicate a strong link between these two constructs for male or female coaches.
Heather Barber is with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Hall, Durham, NH 03824.