Tucker Center Newsletter - 2009 Spring
Spring 2009 Distinguished Lecture:
“You Gotta Be Tough”:
Challenges & Strategies of Female Coaches
in Youth Sports
About the Lecture: Over the past 30 years, girls’ increasing participation in youth sports has been nothing short of revolutionary. Yet during this same time period, few women have become head coaches in youth sports and when they do volunteer, they are often relegated to the position of “team mom.” To address this “leadership gap,” sport scholar Michael Messner examined a Southern California community’s youth soccer, baseball, and softball leagues. His research asks the following questions: What are the barriers preventing women from coaching youth sports? What challenges are faced by the few women who do coach? What strategies do these women develop to survive—and thrive—as youth sports coaches? And what can we learn from their particular strategies and insights? Messner explores these critical questions and outlines why recruiting and supporting female coaches is so important for our families, our communities, and our children.
About the Speaker: Michael A. Messner is Professor of Sociology & Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and currently serves as President-elect of the Pacific Sociological Association. He is a past President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), and a two-time winner of the NASSS book award. He has also served as a consultant to the California Women’s Law Center related to his work on Title IX. Professor Messner is author or editor of 11 books, including Taking the Field: Women, Men and Sports (2002) and Out of Play: Critical Essays on Gender and Sport (2007). His newest book, It’s All for the Kids: Gender, Families and Youth Sports (2009), conducted over the years that his sons were playing youth sports, provides provocative and important insights into the current culture of youth sports and will be the focus of his presentation on April 22.
To learn more about the event, click here to go to our Distinguished Lecture site.