Female football coaches; a touchdown?

AnnMarie Kent

Since the establishment of professional sports there has been the attitude that men don’t want women in “their territory.”re-AnnMarie

The 1992 film “A League of Their Own” has a lot to do about most men taking it as a joke when an all-women’s baseball team is started. Even though the team is started to stop Major League Baseball from going under during World War II, men still mock the women trying to make it in the sport.

The Women’s National Basketball League doesn’t get nearly as much coverage as the men’s league and average salaries don’t even reach six figures.

There is an obvious imbalance of men-to-women in professional sports.

It was a huge step for women when Jen Welter was given a position as “assistant coaching intern” for the Arizona Cardinals. Welter is the first woman to ever coach within the NFL.

Just five weeks after Welter’s internship began, it ended.

Welter was brought on as an intern, coaching through the first three preseason games, with the option for the Cardinals to pick her up as a full time coach.

Welter wasn’t offered a position, just like every coaching intern this year.

The fact that Welter wasn’t offered a coaching position isn’t what upsets me, it’s that as women we offer a very unique and effective perspective to sports but are written off because we’re not men.

When sports are male dominated they are told to push, always push past any pain, emotional or physical.

Women can be emotional beings, but it’s an advantage when it comes to playing and coaching sports.

When a problem occurs, women recognize the problem and find healthy ways to deal with it, instead of ignoring it and letting more problems bottle up.

In an interview with Fortune.com Welter talks about the first interaction she had with Cardinal safety Ty Mathieu.

Mathieu wasn’t happy about his previous season, as he frequently struggled with injuries.

Welter sat down with Mathieu and broke down the psychology of injury in athletes.

Welter then quoted Mathieu saying, “Nobody has ever brought that up to me.”

Women bring a fresh perspective to sports.

We will do things in a way that wouldn’t even occur to men because of how differently we are wired.

Welter takes the time to get to know the guys on the team as people instead of just players.

Showing compassion for players is an incredible way to lead a team, whereas  male coaches are known for getting in players’ faces and yelling.

This is only an effective teaching method for so long, until everyone gets burned out from all the yelling.

If screaming was an effective teaching method than you would see kindergarten teachers yelling as students get their ABC’s wrong.

Players from the Cardinals came out to the media telling stories of some of Welter’s coaching as well. Before the preseason games Welter coached with the Cardinals she hand-wrote notes for each player and put them in their lockers.

The notes were simple, just reminders of what they’ve talked about in practice, but specific to each player—reminding the smaller guys to rely on their speed, or the bigger guys to use their size to their advantage

I’m not trying to say that coaching sports should be all about emotions and feel-good stuff, but there is a place in athletics for backing away from a situation and assessing every aspect of it and treating players like they are more than their statistics.

Women are just as useful in coaching as men, and I believe if Jen Welter isn’t the woman to prove it then another woman will soon.