Rachel Sandler, Assistant Coach of Cross Country and Track & Field at Bryn Mawr College, writes on Women in Coaching – the blog about how to become a coach. As women coaches, we can become resources for each other and for other women looking to pursue coaching as a career. What are we doing to make ourselves available for networking and mentorship?
Click here to read her original article, excerpt from the article below:
Published March 4, 2013
1) Follow your passion. I was a math major in college and then went on to work at various consulting firms, crunching numbers in Excel at all hours of the day and putting together PowerPoint presentations. While this path followed my skills, it certainly wasn’t the road to my passion for running, being outside, and engaging with and helping others. Coaching, on the other hand, certainly fulfills these desires.
2) Update your resume. By the time I was 27 (which was the time I started looking for a coaching job), my resume was full of phrases like “Trusted advisor on employer health and welfare programs” and “Assisted biotech and pharmaceutical companies in defining, creating, and executing commercial development strategies.” These have nothing to do with coaching cross country or track, right? So I revamped my resume to bring in as much as I could about my experience as a runner, running camp counselor, team captain, student athletic trainer…anything I could to show my experience and potential skills to become a coach.
3) Contact potential employers and be enthusiastic! I e-mailed approximately 80 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area, high schools, and neighborhood track clubs asking for assistant coaching positions, paid or volunteer! I heard back from many head coaches who, even though they didn’t have a need for a coach at the time, were impressed with my passion and enthusiasm and said they would hold onto my resume (and I have actually received e-mails from them throughout the past couple of years asking if I am still available)! I was lucky enough to hear a response from Bryn Mawr College and have been working there as the Cross Country and Track & Field assistant ever since. It has been an unbelievably great fit for me, and while I was hired due to the timing of the team’s needs (the new head coach was looking for a new assistant), I also know that my background in the sport and passion for wanting to become a coach had something to do with it as well
4) Create a network. Join every LinkedIn group you can that has something to do with your sport, the coaches and administrators in it, and the skills behind it. “Like” the same organizations on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Go to clinics and conventions and meet people (I even had my own business cards made up for this purpose). E-mail these contacts every few months, even if just to say hello.
The 2013 Women in Coaching Clinic held at Stanford University has opened registration and announced the speaking line up for this spring’s clinic. Headlining the 2013 clinic will be Rachel Stratton-Mills of Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics (AGUA). In the summer of 2012, Rachel was one of only three female coaches to put an athlete on the US Olympic Team and the only female coach to have a swimmer on both the US National Team and the US National Youth Team. Rachel has created a history of excellence including being named to the US National Team staff in 2011 and receiving the Certificate of Excellence for outstanding coaching in the US in 2010 and 2011.
Joining Rachel will be former PASA coach Stefanie Fryberg, who is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona as well as the Director of Cultural Competency and Learning Improvement. Stefanie will be presenting on the psychology of motivation and mindsets as made popular in Carol Dweck’s research and publications.
Dr. Susan Wood a former lacrosse coach who has blazed a path through the male dominated field of technical research and development. She has two sons that currently compete with PASA and is a mentor creating paths and opportunities for women moving up in the R&D field.
Tara Kirk Sell a 2004 Olympian who has been coached by some of the greatest legends in coaching and found success under both male and female coaches. Tara will be speaking on make the transition from high school to college and then from a college athlete to a professional athlete and how that affected what she looked for from her coaches. She will also comment on how those coaches helped her find her voice as an athlete.
Other presentations will include Glenn Mills of goswim.com demonstrating the growing use of technology in our sport and how we can use these new technologies in our programs to improve our coaching and our swimmer’s performances. The clinic participants will also be invited to swim with the Stanford Master’s program Friday through Sunday, observe a Stanford Women’s Team workout and participate in or observe an hour long Pilates work out where the instructor, who works with PEAK Aquatics, will speak on and demonstrate how to incorporate these skills into age group dryland programs.
What sets this clinic apart is the format. Unlike most where speakers are simply speaking at the participants, our format includes discussion groups where all of our participants are encouraged to share their experiences and help find solutions to problems that we all face. This clinic is in its second year and has been organized by a group of Californian coaches including Dana Kirk (PASA), Laura Mitchell (PASA), Abi Liu (PEAK) and Tisha Stiemle (PASA).
Click here to register:
We are excited to be posting our 2013 Women in Coaching Clinic Registration information!
We encourage coaching staffs to register together ($10 discount per coach) and to send in your forms before March 1st during our “Early Bird” registration period.
Looking forward to the clinic!
Why are there so few female head coaches?
She was the head coach of the U.S. women's Olympic team. A group that delivered the finest performance of any women's swim team in U.S. Olympic history. She's the coach of the defending NCAA champion Cal Bears. She just signed Missy Franklin, the greatest recruit in the history of college swimming. It's been a good year for Teri McKeever.
Featuring Rachel Stratton Mills
April 12th – 13th, 2013
The Women in Coaching Clinic is a conference and forum for those who think about, talk about, and are invested in the development of swimming as a sport and career for women and girls.
Following our first Women in Coaching Clinic in 2012, we again invite women coaches, professionals, and their allies to continue the conversation by participating in WICC 2013. We hope to attract people of all genders who are interested in a deeper understanding of gender in coaching.
Our clinic is a celebration of women in coaching, a time to educate and empower coaches through developing support networks and facilitating dialogue. We acknowledge that sexism exists in this community and worldwide. We believe that through thought-provoking workshops, dynamic conversations, resource sharing, and community building, we can support each others’ professional and personal aspirations and work towards greater gender equity in all levels of professional swim coaching.
Our workshops will look at the messages that we send our athletes of all genders and discuss how we can work to empower and support all athletes and coaches to reach their highest potential. Our 2013 conference aims to explore how we grow, build, nurture, and align coaches at all levels interested in learning, teaching, connecting, and building community geared towards social change.
We know that community and mentorship relationships are an invaluable resource for women coaches and hope that this conference will serve as a launching point for an ongoing conversation.
Contact us at: email@example.com