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Coaching Qualities, Gender, and Role Modeling

Susan M. Molstad

Male (N=121) and female (N=135) high school girls’ basketball coaches responded to three forced-choice questions related to gender and role modeling. Both genders said they preferred coaching girls to boys. Male coaches thought female athletes preferred a male coach, female coaches thought they preferred a female coach. Coaches of each gender perceived themselves as equal or better role models than their counterparts. Coaches were then asked to rank order the importance of six coaching qualities previously identified as either expressive or instrumental. First they ranked the qualities in importance as they perceived them, then in the order they thought players would rank them. Coaches differed significantly by gender on the rankings of the qualities, as well as their perceptions of how athletes might rank the same qualities. Implications for modeling and young female athletes are discussed in relation to gender differences in these perceptions.