The biggest difference I have recognised throughout coaching males & females, is the amount that girls want to learn and the desire to know WHY to almost everything.
I have coached both boys and girls from grassroots to elite & I have continued to notice one big difference in the participation of both genders. The majority of male players just simply do as they are instructed without question whilst on the other hand female players want to know what, why & how.
I recognise players asking questions to be a real positive contribution. It show’s how much they want to learn & develop. Alongside this it highlights the type of environment you have created as a coach; you want the players to feel safe and comfortable in their environment enabling them to ask questions.
To enable me to create this kind of environment I find it is important to incorporate the following factors;
I work with a group of girls and recently I have found myself delivering sessions that are very “command” style. I recognised I was answering numerous questions posed by the players and telling them what to do next. By delivering this way they are not getting the opportunity to figure out things for themselves ultimately creating a set back in their decision making
Over the last few weeks I have been working at varying my coaching style – posing questions to the players, i.e., ‘what would you do in this situation?’ ‘What would you do if the other team did this?’ I’ve also been working on my practice design to set problems within sessions & preparing time within sessions for Q&A and guided discovery to take place (also staying silent during parts of the session!).
I’ve started to see a difference!