It’s Different for Girls – the Psychology of Coaching Girls

The psychology of coaching girls is different than coaching boys. Seems logical, right? After all, biologically and socially, there are differences – it only seems logical that the way they experience coaching is also different.

Psychology of Coaching Girls
Psychology of Coaching Girls – Cathy Yeulet ©

This brief article is mostly concerned with sports coaching, and is based on my experience as a youth coach and on what I have read on the subject.

Recognizing That the Psychology of Coaching Girls is Different

Recognizing that coaching girls is different than coaching boys is the first step to being a better girls’ coach. Breaking it down into several different categories is the next step, and will help you become better at coaching girls – giving them a better chance for success on the athletic field and providing more opportunity for important life lessons.

Knowing the five C’s will improve your coaching with boy boys and girls. It’s all about psychology and biology!


Girls are more coachable – especially at a younger age. Females tend to be more open to coaching and to be more accepting of new ways of doing things. Individually, boys will try new things, but in a team setting, it seems that females are more open to changes.


Girls seem a bit more emotional about criticism. You have to walk on eggshells a bit more when offering either individual or team criticism. This may be because girls tend to internalize and personalize criticism, even when it is directed at the team as a whole – boys tend to view the team criticism as being someone else’s fault. Understanding how criticism works on different genders, individually and collectively, is crucial to the psychology of coaching girls in an effective manner.


Boys have more, women have less. Boys tend to have more swagger and are often taught at an early age to exude confidence, toughness, and a hard external shell. However, their confidence can often be a façade, and internally, they may lack real confidence. With nurturing and time, girls can develop the same level of confidence as boys.


Chemistry is similar for both sexes, but the social aspect of a team seems to be more important for girls, especially at the younger ages. Understanding the psychology of coaching girls and how chemistry affects their athletic endeavors is crucial for coaching success. Girls will go out on the field and compete like their lives depend on it, and as soon as the game is over, win or lose, it’s all about friends and other social concerns. This changes as the girls age and they get more competitive, but the younger ages are definitely about chemistry and social time.


Both sexes are competitive – boys are more competitive at a younger age, and wear their competitiveness on their sleeves. Girls take more time to become competitive, and are usually more reticent to exhibit the emotions associated with competitive sports. It’s important to understand the psyche – coaching girls is different than coaching boys!

Having an understanding of psychology can be very useful when coaching children of both sexes. The psychology of coaching girls is different. Makes sense, right? Girls and boys have many differences – it’s matter of biology…and psychology!

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you!

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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