Call for Papers Reminder | “Women in Sports Coaching: New Directions in Education, Research, and Advocacy” | Special Issue of Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. Call ends November 1, 2018

Editor: Lori A. Gano-Overway, PhD

Guest editors:

  • Leslee A. Fisher, PhD 
  • Nicole M. LaVoi, PhD
  • Jennifer E. McGarry, PhD


Sport coaches are one of the most visible, powerful, popular and (in some cases) lucrative occupations in the U.S., and arguably around the world. Statistically men dominate coaching positions in a majority of countries, levels, and sports and a large body of research over the last three decades has documented the factors that influence this phenomenon. With the publication of LaVoi and Dutove’s (2012) ecological model of barriers and supports for women coaches and a distillation of current intersectional work within Women in Sports Coaching (LaVoi, 2016), an increasing focus in research into the psychology of the sports coach (e.g., Mallett & Lara-Bercial, 2016; Thelwell, Harwood, & Greenlees, 2016), and high profile legal cases of women coaches’ gender discrimination lawsuits, coupled with the #MeToo movement, experiences of women in the workplace has taken center stage, including women sport coaches. The end goal of this special issue, therefore, is to highlight new research, interventions, advocacy, and policy implementation that fill gaps in knowledge to shift the percentage of women coaches out of its current stagnation, and improve workplace and psychosocial outcomes for women in the coaching profession. This work could include:

  • Experiences of women in sport coaching
    • Career trajectories of successful and veteran women coaches
    • Strategies women coaches have used to remain in the profession
    • Importance and/or impact of women in coaching (i.e., role models, mentorship, outcomes for athletes, workplace influence)
    • Structure and effectiveness of women coaches’ formal and informal networks
    • Role of male allies
    • Development of resilience in and through coaching
    • Experiences of women navigating intersectionality identities and power
  • Media portrayals of and narratives about women sport coaches
  • Perceptions of coaching competence among athletes, assistant coaches, administration,
  • Documenting, challenging or confirming narratives about women coaches
  • Extension of research around barriers for women in coaching
  • Changing the occupational landscape to value and support women
    • Implicit bias within interactions with administrators, colleagues, and athletes
    • Best practices of recruitment, hiring and retaining women coaches
    • Departmental/organizational culture change
    • Fighting and resisting bias
    • Advancement opportunities for women sport coaches in systems of established patriarchy and hierarchies
    • Pathways for advancement into administration
    • Pay and resource equity for women coaches
  • Filling the pipeline of women in coaching
    • Successful models, programs or initiatives that have encouraged girls and women to pursue coaching
    • Models and best practices for improving workplaces for women in coaching

In line with the scope of WSPAJ, an essential element of any submitted manuscript should be to further thought, theory, and research on women in sport. We are particularly interested in articles that further advocacy, thought, theory, and research on women sport coaches. To that end, we welcome qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research submissions that address the pertinent issues summarized above on women’s sport coaching experiences. The submissions can take the following form:

  • Empirical, data-driven studies focused on varied methodologies and/or theories
  • Theoretical papers or literature reviews related to a particular topic from a variety of perspectives (e.g., historical, sociological, psychological,)
  • Practical articles that identify strategies or best practices
  • Commentaries of best practices in advocacy, policy development, education and networking

For inquiries and to discuss potential contributions, the authors can send correspondence to the editor, Lori Gano-Overway ( or the guest editors, Leslee Fisher (, Nicole LaVoi (, or Jennifer McGarry ( Articles should be prepared according to WSPAJ submission guidelines For this special issue, research articles, reviews, practical articles, and commentaries are encouraged. Authors must conform to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition.

Submissions can be made via ScholarOne beginning June 1, 2018 and no later than November 1, 2018. Authors MUST indicate “Article for Special Issue” in the menu for the type of article. All articles will be peer reviewed and revised no later than January 15, 2019 following the journal’s procedural requirements. Publication of this special issue is projected for October, 2019.


LaVoi, N. M. (Ed.) (2016). Women in Sports Coaching. London, UK: Routledge.
LaVoi, N. M., & Dutove, J. K. (2012). Barriers and supports for female coaches:Anecological    model. Sports Coaching Review, 1 (1), 17-37.
Mallett, C. J., & Lara-Bercial, S. (2016). Serial winning coaches: people, vision, and environment. Sport and Exercise Psychology Research, 289-322.
Thelwell, R., Harwood, C., & Greenlees, I. (Eds.). (2016). The Psychology of Sports Coaching: Research and Practice. London, UK: Routledge.


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