“Coaching Girls”: A Content Analysis of Best-Selling Popular Press Coaching Books

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport University of Minnesota
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Given the lack of nationalized and required coach education programs for those involved with youth sports, self-help coaching books are a common source of knowledge. With the exception of critiques of young adult sports fiction (Kane, 1998; Kreigh & Kane, 1997), sport media research has lacked investigation of mediums that impact non-elite youth athletes and adolescent girls, and youth coaches and parents of young female athletes. The purpose of this study is to examine ‘coaching girls’ books–specifically how differences between female and male athletes are constructed. A content analysis was performed on selective chapters within a criterion sampling of six best-selling, self-help ‘coaching girls’ books. Results indicate coaching girls books are written from a perspective of inflated gender difference, and represent a simplified, stereo-typed account of coaching girls. Four first-order themes emerged from analysis: Problematizing Coaching Girls, Girls Constructed As “Other,” Ambivalence, and Sustaining the Gender Binary. Implications of these themes are discussed.

Nicole M. LaVoi School of Kinesiology University of Minnesota Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport 204 Cooke Hall 1900 University Ave Minneapolis, MN 55455 Phone: (612) 626-6055 Email: nmlavoi@umn.edu Website: www.tuckercenter.org

Correspondence for this paper should be directed to Nicole LaVoi, nmlavoi@umn.edu, www.tuckercenter.org
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