Male vs. Female coaches, who's best for women footballers?
2022 saw the Lionesses of England claim victory at the Women’s European Championships, a moment that drew in eyes from all around the globe
The game continues to go from strength to strength, yet it still falls short of their male counterparts in terms of popularity, financial strength, and media perceived quality on the turf.
It could be argued the game’s form straight after Leah Williamson lifted the trophy was more suited for men, than women.
Comparing the two maybe one of the reasons the women’s game has been held back from its natural progression.
Whilst looking to address this, football4football spoke to flowcess expert, Colin Stevenson about the rise of the women’s game.
He explained how the women’s game should stop striving to be like the men’s game, but to embrace it as its own.
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Comparisons distract from flow
For a professional footballer to play at their optimum level they need to be fully focused, blocking out any noise and sticking to the task in hand.
Any belittle-ling of women’s football could be a factor to female professionals not tapping into their full flow.
Throughout the game’s history, males have filled the most prominent coaching roles. The majority of these appointments could be questioned considering not all have played at the top level of the game.
Across the span of the women’s game, many have had stellar careers which begs the question, why haven’t more of them gone into management?
Females and males have extremely different thought processes and brains which adds even more differentiation to the uniqueness of individual players. Not being able to manage this “uniqueness” may go onto have a detrimental effect on a player’s performance and the overall team.
Women’s teams who have a male in the dugout may be at a disadvantage due to this. Having someone who understands you and thinks like you can only work in your favour in a pressured, high-performance based environment.
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Ensuring women achieve
Women’s football has the potential to be better than men’s and the Euros victory is an early sign of what can be achieved when a team is in full flow, beating Gareth Southgate’s men’s side to silverware.
Having a dressing room and a manager on the same wavelength is critical to any football team’s success.
It poses the question as to whether the English FA were ahead of the curve when appointing Sarina Wiegman, however regardless of the reason why it is certain it is one of the reasons why she has been so successful with her Lioness squad.
With her being a woman, it allows her to be able to relate to her players in a way her former, Phil Neville, would have not done to the same level.
According to Stevenson from Flow Sport, along with Wiegman’s ability to be on the same wavelength of her players, she also had another advantage over Neville or any other male coach.
Flow Sports’ Stevenson stated: “a man has one thought, and a woman can have up to five”
Colin Stevenson of Flow Sport spoke of how women can have up to five thoughts in the time a man processes just one. Translating this ability on to the pitch could not only increase the quality of the women’s game but could allow it to surpass the quality of the men’s.
These high-level decisions can be benefitted by having a female player coached by a female with the pair thinking and feeling in similar ways it allows the team to achieve flow state.
Appreciating the differences
If women players focus too much on living up to men’s players, they are massively holding back their own game.
More women coaches are needed to coach women players and by understanding the flowcess method too would bring out the best performances in players possible.
Some say the continued success across the women’s game would allow it to stand alone on its own two feet as a separate sport entirely.
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Would this arguably help combat sexism on the terraces and beyond, with the men’s and women’s games being recognised as separate entities entirely with different levels of performances?
The lack of comparability would reduce the conversation between the two and allow the respective games to shine. Now, Flowsports are not saying that coaching roles in both games should be gender specific. However, they do feel in order for those who do lead to make a positive impact, then tools for flow must be in place for appropriate environments and recipients.