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Division I Athletes' Attitudes Toward and Preferences for Male and Female Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Magnusen, Marshall J1; Rhea, Deborah J2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - pp 1084-1090
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318199d8c4
Original Research

Magnusen, MJ and Rhea, DJ. Division I athletes' attitudes toward and preferences for male and female strength and conditioning coaches. J Strength Cond Res 23(4): 1084-1090, 2009-The purpose of this study was to examine whether male and female Division I team sport athletes prefer same-sex or opposite-sex strength and conditioning coaches. Participants included 476 (male = 275, female = 201) National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I collegiate football, soccer, and volleyball athletes; the men were from football programs and the women were from soccer and volleyball programs. The Attitudes of Athletes toward Male versus Female Coaches Questionnaire was used to assess the attitudes and feelings of male and female athletes toward the gender of their strength coach (29). The results of a 2 × 2 multivariate analysis of variance (athlete gender × coach gender) revealed that the male athletes (all football players) were less comfortable with a female strength coach in all regards and preferred to have a male strength coach (p < 0.05). Female athletes did not have a gender preference, nor did they have any negative attitudes toward a strength coach. The women would be productive training with any qualified strength coach, whereas the men would prefer working with a male strength coach no matter how qualified the female coach might be. As a result of this study, one suggestion is for male athletes to be exposed to female strength coaches much earlier in their sport experience. This might help reduce gender bias later in their athletic careers.

1Department of Sport Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida; and 2Department of Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas

Address correspondence to Marshall J. Magnusen,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association