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Female Representation In The Coaching World

Written By: Jamie Bloom

It is no secret that women are underrepresented in athletic coaching positions. Commonly this is often defined by how men see women and also because of societal perceptions of sports and gender, i.e.; how society expects women to look and behave. Although there have been several women who have recently been hired into coaching positions in some sports (NBA, MLB, NFL) the sport of swimming still remains largely a man’s world when it comes to the coaching positions at the “top.”

Women are a largely untapped resource in coaching and when you consider that as athletes we make up ½ of our national teams, we are losing valuable expertise if we don’t encourage women to coach. Recently the corporate world has started to capitalize on the fact that women have different life and leadership experiences and are hiring and promoting women into upper level, major decision-making, and leadership roles.

So, how do we get more women into coaching? There are many strategies and in my opinion these are a few of the best:

  • Ask and invite women in!

  • Include female coaching mentors

  • Develop support networks

  • Promote athletes from their playing careers into coaching positions

Athletes (female and male) benefit from inspiring female coaches who are confident, competitive and strong leaders. Girls and young women who see and are coached by female coaches are more likely to think about coaching as their career choice. Research notes that when boys and men “experience women as competent leaders in a context that matters greatly to them (i.e. sport) they are more likely to respect women.” (Nicole M. La Voi, PhD). Sport is one of the most visible and powerful social institutions in the world. It’s time to promote and hire more women as head coaches in our sport!

Women's Leadership Director

at Streamline Teams

Head Senior/National Team Coach YOTA Swim Team, Raleigh NC

Associate Head Coach, Director of Operations William Peace University,

Raleigh NC

2005-2015 Head Coach/Director of Aquatics, Westfield YMCA, Westfield MA

2000-2005 Assistant Women’s Swim Coach, University of Tennessee

1982-2000 Head Coach James Buchanan HS/Mercersburg Area Swim Club,

Mercersburg PA.

1980-1982 Head Coach Slippery Rock Eels Swim Team, Slippery Rock PA


Slippery Rock State College 1982, BS-HPERD, Specialty in Aquatics

Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) 1986 MS Athletic


Committees, Team, Camps:

Secretary-North Carolina Swimming Board of Directors

Member- YMCA Swimming Operations Council

USA Swimming Chair- Convention Education Committee

Head Coach- National Diversity Select Camp, rescheduled for May 2021

Head Manager- National Diversity Select Camp, May 2019

Head Manager- FINA World Jr. Championships, Indianapolis August 2017

Assistant Manager- FINA World Jr Championships, Singapore August 2015

Assistant Manager- Duel in the Pool, Scotland, December 2103

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