The Power of Sport: Values Education for Social Capacity

Teaching Values Through Sport: A Systems Perspective from Women Coaches

Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching September 2012, Vol. 12, No. 4

By Jennifer Walinga

In tackling the troubling, puzzling issue of declining participation in sport in Canada, Jennifer Walinga suggests that clues for its reversal may be found in how women coach. As readers familiar with the Journal will know, we have been steadfast proponents of the valuable skills and methodologies women bring to coaching and have consistently urged their greater utilization. Walinga goes further, urging “a stronger feminine voice overall within the realm of sport.”

Playing like a Girl: What we can learn from the feminine approach to sport and competition

Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching  2014, Vol. 13, No. 4

By Jennifer Walinga

The word “compete” means to strive or vie for something for which others are also contending. Without others, competition does not occur. Research studies of gender differences highlight ways that girls and boys differ in their approach to learning and competing in sport. Competition is described as a “learned” social process that is influenced by the social environment. Patterns of play result from the influence of socializing agents and institutions. Family, friends, teachers, and role models are socializing agents; institutions of socialization include education, government, religion, the media, and sport. Studies have shown that “girls typically interact in a cooperative and caring way within a competitive sport environment whereas boys tend to
interact in an individualized and egocentric way.” At the same time, masculine traits can be seen as more valuable than feminine traits in competitive sport, and female athletes are typically valued more highly as athletes, by themselves and others, when they “demonstrate masculine traits.”

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