FEARLESS COACH PART 5; What advice would you give to female coaches in the NCAA?
Meet Becky Carlson, the “Fearless Coach”
Becky has been in NCAA college coaching (USA) for more than a decade and is passionate about not only Women’s NCAA Rugby, but is also an advocate for the health and welfare of our coaching population. As a public speaker, equality advocate and coach, Becky has grown tired of the abundance of resources for sport specific technical skill building and sitting at endless seminars only to be left with no solutions on how to survive in the profession of coaching with this generation.
Becky believes our athletes are losing their ability to communicate with each other and therefore, with us, the coaches. Becky is interested in connecting and assisting other coaches who are challenged daily through this profession with today’s generation.
“Athletics / sports remains a staple in a long line of vehicles used to create social change. I am a firm believer that if we have truthful conversations with the next generation, both male and female about equity and treatment, we can solve unfair hiring and ethical practices in athletics / sports. Ultimately this will lead us to a healthier society with both women and men having equal representation in law making, policy development and in the workforce. If you are having trouble as a coach finding your voice and asking for more, please connect with me. We can all learn from one another.”
Becky Carlson – Fearless Coach
As “Fearless Coach”, Becky is often the first to stand up for female coaches alike and share stories and examples of women being mistreated and discriminated against within the US NCAA System. We wanted to find out from Becky where her passion for equality advocacy began and how she thinks the coaching profession can be improved for all.
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing videos and blogs created by Becky, but first, we will be sharing with you our interview…if you missed PART 1 CLICK HERE
Q: What advice would you give to a female coach just started in the NCAA and what advice would you give to a female coach already in the NCAA and starting to experience discrimination?
A: I would say to the newer coaches; ask questions and find out more about the previous experience of who was in the position before themprior to taking a job. Understand that if you are 24 years old and you just replaced a coach who has been there 30 years that you need to start asking questions about how that program is resourced, how much it is supported, what the expectations are and what the long term plan looks like for you as a coach.
The reason for this is – women are exiting the profession quietly and being replaced with submissive coaches who are younger and have enough accurate informationtakearm themselves inthe system. Now I feel this is happening a lot; rather than going out there and finding the best coach for the job, the institutions are looking for younger female coaches with less experience and just doing everything the administrations asks them to do without asking any questions. Becareful – sometimes the situation that looks like your big shot, is likely the fight of the previous coach that didn’t get what her team deserved.
For a coach already in a role experiencing discrimination – connect with other coaches, ask questions, educate yourself on what your rights areand really do your homework on Title IX. Open your eyes. Take some of the power back, and be brave in small spaces. That’s not easy to do. Question the system in a thoughtful wayand remember if you fear being looked at as aggressive or too direct in your profession in order to be successful that men get exactly what they want precisely by acting this way.
I don’t foresee there will be some major revolution such as #MeToo of the sports world soon, because that would take a collection of women working together and there is just too much divisiveness in sports. I would love to be wrong about that. A lot of the bigger names who do have political pull don’t talk enough. Once in a while you hear someone bang the drum for equality because it’s a safe space and pay grade for them, but that’s about it. Collective effort is the only cure for helping the silent coaches speak and the fearful coaches become braver.
If you are a coach in the NCAA…share your thoughts and experiences below (anonymously if you wish) and visit Becky’s twitter page for more information @TFCoachCarlson