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Coach like a girl

Now that I’m gearing up to coach soccer, I’m realizing how outnumbered women are in the coaching field.

Women have their fair share of sports, but fewer women seem to go on to coach the sport they love than men. I wonder why that is.

I can understand why there are fewer women coaching men’s sports, but why are there not more women coaching women’s sports? Women may have less of an opportunity to get a hands-on experience with certain sports, such as football, but the same goes for men in sports such as volleyball. Both men and women can still get that hands-on experience though women’s football or men’s volleyball teams, or they can develop enough of an interest in the sport that they learn the science and technique behind it without ever joining an organized team.

I had never really thought about the under-representation of females in coaching positions until I saw on ESPN that the Arizona Cardinals have recently hired a female coaching intern for their training camp and preseason practices. Dr. Jen Welter is believed to be the first woman hired in a coaching position of any kind by the NFL.

Welter coached linebackers and special teams for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League and was a running back for the same team in 2014. She also won two gold medals with Team USA in the IFAF Women’s Wold Championship.

Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians said he hired her because he thought she would make the team better. He said he didn’t care who his hires were as long as they could contribute to the team, which is the way I think it should be.

I’m not a feminist, but I think capable women should be utilized in any role they would be beneficial in, whether that’s on a football field, in a hospital, running a business or as a baby sitter.

Joy Haynes is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.