Women in a man’s world: Coaching women in elite sport

Journal article

Levi, Hannah, Wadey, Ross, Bunsell, Tanya, Day, Melissa, Hays, Kate and Lampard, Pete 2022. Women in a man’s world: Coaching women in elite sport. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2022.2051643
AuthorsLevi, Hannah, Wadey, Ross, Bunsell, Tanya, Day, Melissa, Hays, Kate and Lampard, Pete

Underpinned by critical feminist psychology and in response to repeated calls to explore how the dynamics of gender inform coaching practices, this study aimed to explore the experiences of men and women coaches to better understand the role of gendered expectations in elite sports environments and how these are reproduced within a Western European country’s elite sport system. Data were collected over 18 months via fieldwork observations and semi-structured interviews with 10 elite coaches, from five Olympic and professional sports. Data were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. Using the concept of hegemony as a theoretical lens to interpret the data, macro (i.e., wider socio-cultural norms), meso (i.e., organizational practices), and micro (i.e., coaches experiences working with women athletes) levels were identified. The findings demonstrate that each level plays a role in actively producing and reproducing the broader power relations between genders within and beyond the sporting environment. ‘Moments of intervention’ are offered to coaches and sports personnel to create more inclusive environments to provide optimal support for women athletes.

 Lay summary: Over an 18-month period of observations and interviews, this research explores elite coaches’ perceptions of working with world-class women athletes across a range of sports. Underpinned by critical feminist psychology, the importance of using a holistic approach to understand how multi-level factors impact the support elite women athletes receive was identified.

KeywordsWomen; Gender; Elite sport; Coaching
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2022.2051643
Official URLhttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10413200.2022.2051643
Publication dates
Online22 Apr 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Mar 2022
Deposited04 May 2022
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Permalink -


Download files

Publisher's version
  • 50
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 9
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as