How To Coach Women in Weightlifting
Okay, does anybody want some useful little tidbits about coaching women? I hope so, because I’ve got plenty of them. And before you start flinching, this isn’t designed to be one of my sarcastic funny posts. I’ve actually got legit things to say about this.
First of all, you have to start with the basic outlook that what the ladies are doing is just as important as what the men are doing, and it deserves the same level of respect. I think we all know that sports have historically involved a certain level of male chauvinism, leaving the women pushed to the side and disrespected. Because things have changed so much in our society over the last fifty years, I don’t think there’s any way you can expect to be a successful coach if you’re still hanging on to this mentality. If you want to stay with the old “women need to keep their asses in the kitchen” philosophy, that’s your business. But your days as a coach are probably numbered, because women’s sports are on the rise and I don’t think we’ll ever revert back to the old ways of the past.
Now, this equality concept has to stay consistent in everything you do. Women need to be respected equally as athletes, I firmly believe this. But that also means they need to be pushed equally, with the same discipline and expectations you would have for male athletes. You’re not doing a female athlete any favors by treating her like a little princess. That’s what you’re supposed to do on a prom date, not in the gym. When you’re in the gym, it’s gotta be about hard work and intensity.
However, I think you’ll have more success as a coach if you also remember that there are basic differences between men and women. Most guys can take an ass ripping from a coach, walk away, and get over it pretty quickly. Most women will walk away from an ass ripping thinking that their coach hates them. Hell, I’ve coached women who think I’m mad at them even when I’m not. They read my body language the wrong way and they start to believe that I’m disappointed, ready to give up on them, etc. This often happens when I’m not upset or angry at all.
Most of the women I’ve met in my life are really hard on themselves. They feel failure pretty deeply, and it hurts. When you’re a coach and you’ve got a female athlete who screws up, she’s probably beating herself up inside pretty bad. The last thing she needs is you pounding the crap out of her with some harsh words and criticism, making the whole thing ten times worse. She probably needs some encouragement, something positive that will help her start thinking that it’s not the end of the world. You’ve still got faith in her, you’ll help her get back on the right track, and you care about her.
Are all women like this? No. Are there times when you (the coach) need to give a female athlete an ass ripping? Yes. But knowing when and where this is appropriate is the key to the whole thing. Coaches with talent in this area are worth their weight in gold.
Most girls are pretty concerned with how their bodies look. They don’t want to look like a guy on steroids. The nice part about weightlifting is that it doesn’t make women look like that. Steroid-enhanced bodybuilding does, but weightlifting doesn’t. When women go to weightlifting gyms and competitions, they usually see a lot of gals with bodies they would like to have. The girls look like muscular athletes, not gross dudes. And fortunately, our society has turned a corner over the years because most people think muscular athletes are attractive now. The old anorexic waif thing is pretty much over, thank god. The only guys who like anorexic waifs are pencilnecks who are scared of getting beat up by their girlfriends. Every masculine guy I know likes women with some muscle on them. I know I do.
I love coaching women. When they decide to give you their loyalty, they really give it all. They’re usually very appreciative of a coach who respects them and wants them to be successful, probably because many of them have been around some meathead idiots who thought they should be scrubbing toilets instead of lifting weights. Sometimes these idiots are their dads and brothers, which makes it even harder to deal with. If you’re one of those idiots and you’re reading this post, it’s okay for you to disagree with me. Nobody gives a crap about your opinion anyway.
If you’re a coach, hopefully you can learn how to master the art of working with ladies. If you can’t (or you don’t want to), you’re cutting yourself off from a lot of fun and potential success.
And by the way, they’re gonna cry sometimes. Don’t make a big deal out of it.