Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?


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Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:57 pm

Marc Bloom is an astute running commentator, but I think he missed the mark by a lot in his article on the home page.

Some excerpts:

Boys feel they are born to run but do not always take full advantage of their gifts. Girls feel they are privileged to run and in most cases, whether or not they are true competitors, suck the marrow out of the team experience. Boys need cajoling to bond as a group. They barely listen when offered advice. Girls are eager for advice and thrive on personal coaching attention. More than anything, they want to be part of a team — to share in a community endeavor.

"Girls can suffer more than boys. They're not afraid. That's a huge benefit in distance running."

I believe that a girl's superior toughness can be traced to her harder path to the finish line. For girls, the course through adolescent growth can be complex and difficult. Working through those issues of nurturing a healthy running body requires an extra dimension of rigor and perseverance.

Having been around boys and girls runners for the past 20 years, Ima hafta call BS. The 'toughness' with which he associated girls is a mislabbeling of two other, more powerful factors:

1. Sport is a social construct for girls, not an athletic one. They are in it for the 'belongingness'. They need the acceptance, which is why they are so willing to give it others also. They will do whatever it takes to be seen as a member of 'the group'.
2. Girls, MUCH more than boys want to please OTHERS. They want the approval and the appreciation from the coach and teammates. Boys are in it for their own personal glory. If they fail, they can accept that by rationalizing an exterior force at work, and next time, I 'll be better. Girls take losses as letting down their coaches and peers.

Can women withstand pain better than men? In my experience, definitely yes. But girls' willingness to run themselves into the ground (seen it many times) is not a pain tolerance, i.e. 'toughness' issue, it's the overwhelming need to be seen by the group as a good member of the group.

DISCLAIMER - If you see some hidden (or even overt) sexism at play here, I remind you that I'd much rather coach girl track athletes (but not HS girls in any team sport - it can get very catty, very quickly). They take coaching better and yes, they aim to please. I've had some great boy athletes too, but many boys think they've already figured their event out better than I after a few weeks of coaching.

DISCLAIMER 2 - My assessment is indeed a gross generalization. There are some girls who act like 'boys' and boys who behave like 'girls', but I stand by my assessment by dint of overwhelming empirical evidence.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Vielleicht » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:41 pm

Agree with Marlow, and I think boys are intrinsicly more likely to go out and get tough on their own, while girls can be pushed to be tougher more easily.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Master Po » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:28 am

good analysis, marlow -- thanks. You gave thoughtful consideration of Bloom's article & gave a much better explanation of the 'data' (such as it is) for this question, which is one of those never-to-be-settled questions in any case. Your analysis is a good one to keep such a discussion going, which imo is always the best thing we can do on here. Thanks.
:)
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby aaronk » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:29 am

While I have no scientific knowledge or facts from studies to present, my guess is women are tougher.
I base this on two things:

1. For 4 or 5 days each month, from puberty on, they "suffer" from cramps from their periods. And I doubt very much that they stop running for 5 days every month!! Men don't have that "problem".

2. While the vast majority of teenage girls will NOT be getting pregnant or giving birth (in their teens), I think they have an "inborn knowledge" of the pains and aches associated with pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. If a woman can withstand all that that entails, they can surely withstand a hard workout or three!! Again, men don't have this "problem".....nor this "inborn knowledge".
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby 18.99s » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:31 am

Marlow wrote:1. Sport is a social construct for girls, not an athletic one. They are in it for the 'belongingness'. They need the acceptance, which is why they are so willing to give it others also. They will do whatever it takes to be seen as a member of 'the group'.
2. Girls, MUCH more than boys want to please OTHERS. They want the approval and the appreciation from the coach and teammates. Boys are in it for their own personal glory. If they fail, they can accept that by rationalizing an exterior force at work, and next time, I 'll be better. Girls take losses as letting down their coaches and peers.

Can women withstand pain better than men? In my experience, definitely yes. But girls' willingness to run themselves into the ground (seen it many times) is not a pain tolerance, i.e. 'toughness' issue, it's the overwhelming need to be seen by the group as a good member of the group.


What you wrote perfectly explains Missy Franklin's decision to swim for a college instead of turning pro right after the Olympics.

http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentar ... e-berkeley
Teammates -- the thing she wanted all along.

Franklin said Wednesday that she has always craved the "team" experience, wanted her teammates cheering for her to finish a race at the end of the pool and wanting to do the same for them. During the London Olympics last summer, Franklin watched how the Cal athletes on the U.S. team interacted among themselves and with McKeever -- who was the head coach of the U.S. women's team -- and she wanted to be a part of that.

"I felt like no one else could do team like Cal could," Franklin said.
...
...
She acknowledged, as she sat in the Franklin living room, that the teenager was giving up a lot by not turning professional and asked her what she wanted from her college experience.

"She said, 'I want to be part of a team. I want to be part of a group of women who have the same goals and aspirations and struggles. I want to meet my future bridesmaids,'" McKeever said. "People laugh when she says that, but she really, truly wants to experience that."
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby odelltrclan » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:54 am

Between 2007 and 2010 my daughter ran on her high school cross country team. They were among the top teams in the state for several years while she was there. The boys and girls trained together and had the same coach. I used to run with them frequently and was very involved with their workouts, though was not the coach. The social aspect as discussed earlier was one of the primary aspects of the girls team and they had a "pack" mentality. As such, not wanting to let the team down was very motivating for some. As for overall toughness, as described, I just didn't see quite see it that way.

I remember one day when the coach very delicately tried to motivate the girls to train harder and give a little better effort. They had gotten 7th as a team at big school state meet the year before and very likely could improved to top 3 in the current year with a little improvement as everyone on the team was back. They did not work all that hard from my experience and had a lot of very talented girls, so they had a chance to be very very good.

The coach singled out a couple of girls (including my daughter, who was a state medalist the previous year) needed to increase their efforts a little. After the 1 minute motivational speech was over, you would have thought that someone had died. Tears flowed among many and my daughter was sobbing. I was shocked. He barely said anything and certainly nothing offensive and he was right on the money in what he said. After several of those episodes, several of the girls on the team quit, including my daughter (though she rejoined the next year). They didn't want to be pressured to work harder. They were running for fun and the social aspect and the pressure to work harder several did not like.

I remember being talked to far worse as an athlete, and it pissed me off (as well my teammates), but motivated me like crazy to work harder to show the coach he was wrong.

Maybe my experience was very limited, but it sure made me see how difficult it might be to coach girls.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby aaronk » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:18 am

And then there are the champions.
Or those whose main goal in life is to BECOME a champion!!

Male OR female.

I doubt very much you'd need to "motivate" these athletes....AT ALL!!
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby user4 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:36 am

The first time it dawned on my how tough girls were was as a sophomore on the high school track team. Those frail looking females could work as hard as any male middle or long distance runner on the team.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:49 am

user4 wrote:The first time it dawned on my how tough girls were was as a sophomore on the high school track team. Those frail looking females could work as hard as any male middle or long distance runner on the team.

The 'toughness' is driven by hormones. Estrogen drives them to be pleasing and collaborative; testosterone drives them to be competitive and combative. Depending on the situational stimuli, estrogen can outperform testosterone as a motivator to go above and beyond. A girl teammate will often set her pace in accordance to the needs of others (i.e., not necessarily 'all-out'), whereas a male is out for individual glory and will purposely drop a teammate to ensure a higher placing. A girls coach is successful when he teaches girls that they need to be 'selfish' in order to get THE TEAM the most points. My girls as individuals are not as tough as my individual boys, but put them in a 'the team needs' sitaution and they will die for it.

This is most obvious in 4x4 or 4x8 relay splits, where fewer boys run a leg as fast as their PRs indicate, whereas I've had many girls who routinely run 2-3 seconds faster on a competitive relay leg than they can in an individual race.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby lonewolf » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:54 am

I don't know who is tougher. I think it is a given that girls are more emotional/sensitive and, I believe, into the team concept more than boys.
What I have noticed is that more girls than boys run themselves into complete exhaustion than boys, colllapsing a step past the finish line.. I don't think this is entirely a matter of conditioning but reflects a willingness to give the proverbial "110%"
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby dustoff » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:18 pm

What a joke. Did anybody here have experience with high school football? Back in the day, I remember numerous kids getting cortisone shots galore before games and through the season... cheating concussion tests.... playing with broken bones... etc. Oh yeah, much tougher, those girls :roll: Get a clue.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby 18.99s » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:57 pm

dustoff wrote:What a joke. Did anybody here have experience with high school football? Back in the day, I remember numerous kids getting cortisone shots galore before games and through the season... cheating concussion tests.... playing with broken bones... etc. Oh yeah, much tougher, those girls :roll: Get a clue.


They're comparing female runners with male runners, not with football players.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby mump boy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:00 am

I don't know if they're 'tougher' or not but in the UK we certainly have female runners that commit themselves in a way out men haven't since the 70's

Liz McColgan probably started it but it is Kelly and Paula that are the inspiration to the current generation

Steph Twell
Emelia Goreka
Jess Judd
Charlotte Purdue and many more

It's rather a shame you don't see the same never say die attitude from any of our male runners or any of the constantly frustrating 1500m ladies :(
Last edited by mump boy on Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby tandfman » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:24 am

It's hard to know what to make of any of this, not ever having been either a coach or the father of a runner. But it occurs to me that perhaps both Bloom and Marlow were reflecting their own personal experiences. Perhaps Bloom is simply more effective coaching girls than boys. Maybe he relates to them better because he has a daughter. Maybe Marlow does better getting boys to be competitive for some reason.

I don't really know the answer. But I do find it puzzling to find two intelligent people with lots of experience coaching high school kids reaching opposite conclusions on this interesting issue.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:43 am

tandfman wrote:both Bloom and Marlow were reflecting their own personal experiences.

Of course. And we are both experienced: Bloom 5 years as a boys coach, 3 years as a girls. I with my 20 years coaching both, together.
tandfman wrote:Maybe Marlow does better getting boys to be competitive for some reason.

My girls outperform my boys on average, because they are easier to motivate (i.e., for me and the team), whereas boys have to want it more for themselves and sometimes they don't feel like giving full effort (they ARE lazier!). I can motivate boys by insulting them - that NEVER works for girls!!! If I tell a boy he "can't do it", he'll bust a gut to do it. If I tell a girl she can't do it - meltdown!
tandfman wrote:I do find it puzzling to find two intelligent people with lots of experience coaching high school kids reaching opposite conclusions on this interesting issue.

Not puzzling at all. Interesting, yes, but there's no mystery here: our different perspectives, different understandings, stem from our education (formal and OJT) on the subject. Where he sees 'toughness', I see a myriad of psychological/sociological/biological forces at work.
I would never say girls are 'tougher', they're really not (in T&F), but they sure as heck can give you outstanding effort and outperform their male teammates (relatively speaking).

Without Mr. Bloom here to defend his perspective, this is a moot discussion, because we are probably both talking about the same thing, but just describing it in different ways.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Mighty Favog » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:03 pm

Every person is an individual and their motivations and self-imposed limitations are likewise highly individualized. It does appear that women are equipped with a higher threshold of pain, else none of us would have brothers or sisters. ;)
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby dustoff » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:59 pm

It is just a silly discussion. Toughness is an individual thing, not a gender biased thing. All of these anecdotes could be easily quipped with the fact that just as many crumble under pressure. Pretty much every state meet or big invite I see 'stars' crying after massively underperforming.

There are plenty of highly motivated girls/guys and plenty of lazy ones as well.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:13 pm

dustoff wrote:It is just a silly discussion. Toughness is an individual thing, not a gender biased thing.

Then you must be pretty silly, because you just participated. :roll:
If you don't believe their are gender differences in athletics, you just haven't been paying attention at all.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby dustoff » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:17 pm

Marlow wrote:
dustoff wrote:It is just a silly discussion. Toughness is an individual thing, not a gender biased thing.

Then you must be pretty silly, because you just participated. :roll:
If you don't believe their are gender differences in athletics, you just haven't been paying attention at all.


Oh right, that women work harder and put in more effort. Right, exactly that. Let's undermine the sacrifices of the many male athletes and teams out there. Bafflingly stupid. I'd love to see what evidence there is other than your observation that some girls appear more tired when they finish, which is about as meaningless as it gets.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:56 pm

dustoff wrote:your observation that some girls appear more tired when they finish, which is about as meaningless as it gets.

Where'd I say that?
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby krain1998 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:55 am

Girls and boys both hold their own strengths and weaknesses on the track. Just because girls crave to be excepted by their teammates doesn't make them any worse than a boy who runs solely for his own glory. Some girls are pushed harder than any boy, as well as boys can be pushed harder than any girl. It depends on their own personal skill level and dedication to the sport. Whether or not you're a boy or girl does not effect your love for a sport, it's either your passion, or not. Simple as that.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby mal » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:14 am

user4 wrote:The first time it dawned on my how tough girls were was as a sophomore on the high school track team. Those frail looking females could work as hard as any male middle or long distance runner on the team.


lol

I remember talking to guy who was amazed that marathon runners could do what they could, and he couldn't run around the block.

If you have the talent, and its your skillset, there is no real effort to achievement. Its the level of excellence that takes effort. However you can't put in what isn't there.

I suspect there is little difference in commitment between the best in sport, or any academic or business field.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby aaronk » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:15 pm

Alana Hadley, age 16, trains for and races marathons!
People say it's too much too soon.....she'll quit or burn out.....it's not right or healthy.

Gerry Lindgren was rumored to be running 200+ miles a week during HS.
People were stupefied and wondrous and incredulous at his otherworldly training!

Double standard here, folks???
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:23 am

Marlow wrote:This is most obvious in 4x4 or 4x8 relay splits, where fewer boys run a leg as fast as their PRs indicate, whereas I've had many girls who routinely run 2-3 seconds faster on a competitive relay leg than they can in an individual race.

This would seem to indicate your girls underperforming in open races rather than your boys underperforming in relays, since we know that a running start only accounts for 0.7-1.0 seconds, not 2-3 seconds.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:10 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:This is most obvious in 4x4 or 4x8 relay splits, where fewer boys run a leg as fast as their PRs indicate, whereas I've had many girls who routinely run 2-3 seconds faster on a competitive relay leg than they can in an individual race.

This would seem to indicate your girls underperforming in open races rather than your boys underperforming in relays, since we know that a running start only accounts for 0.7-1.0 seconds, not 2-3 seconds.

You missed the point entirely. They are much more willing to 'hurt' for teammates than just for themselves. It's not under-performing if the motivations are completely different. It's like saying that kids under-perform in practice because they can't replicate championship meet times.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:33 pm

Marlow wrote:You missed the point entirely. They are much more willing to 'hurt' for teammates than just for themselves. It's not under-performing if the motivations are completely different. It's like saying that kids under-perform in practice because they can't replicate championship meet times.

No, I didn't miss your point. Physically, you girls are capable of running faster in open races, but according to you they lack the motivation to do it.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:01 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Physically, you girls are capable of running faster in open races, but according to you they lack the motivation to do it.

'Physically" 99% of girls AND boys in HS can run a lot faster than their current PRs. Motivation is everything.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby mal » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:00 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Physically, you girls are capable of running faster in open races, but according to you they lack the motivation to do it.

'Physically" 99% of girls AND boys in HS can run a lot faster than their current PRs. Motivation is everything.


Not to the extent you are talking about.

Jazzcylist is right.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby PDJ551 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:00 am

All of us who post can only write of our own experiences which though matter how deep are only a glimpse at the question posed. I don't believe in generalizations concerning boys and girls. I was a young coach at medium sized high school when girls track started in the mid 1970s. I didn't like sharing my narrow track with a mob of girls. They often walked on the inside lanes getting in the way of boys doing real workouts. That was my attitude. I laugh now when I think back. The next year a girl sprinter arrived who had some talent. I worked with her in the winter and was amazed at the toughness that this wisp of girl possessed. She was as competitive as any boy I had ever seen and that was saying a lot because I had already worked with some awe inspiring runners. The very next year the first girl ran xc in our school. Again I was amazed at her work ethic and race toughness. Those two girls changed my entire outlook. Very easily those two could not have come along and my attitude might have been very different for many years. I never had a girl cry if I asked her to work harder, but of course that doesn't mean anything when you look at the entire picture.

The one generalization I will make is that girls will cry out loud after a bad meet or they're unhappy, while a boy will not. Yet, I do know from personal experience, that a boy will go home and cry in his pillow at night after a bad performance. That situation only exists because of what societal expectations and acceptances.

All of us observers know that there are a lot of exceptional boys and girls out there in our sport and I'm not just talking about ability.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:13 am

PDJ551 wrote:I don't believe in generalizations concerning boys and girls.

Then you have had a charmed coaching life! Every year (20 coaching here: girls volleyball, boys soccer, co-ed track) I see more and more that for them to excel as individuals and as teams they must be coached with gender-based differences in mind. I desperately wish that weren't the case.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Pego » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:32 am

PDJ551 wrote:That situation only exists because of what societal expectations and acceptances.


Not so. Brains of the two genders are wired differently, so the emotional responses are expressed differently.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby mal » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:48 pm

Marlow wrote:
PDJ551 wrote:I don't believe in generalizations concerning boys and girls.

Then you have had a charmed coaching life! Every year (20 coaching here: girls volleyball, boys soccer, co-ed track) I see more and more that for them to excel as individuals and as teams they must be coached with gender-based differences in mind. I desperately wish that weren't the case.


Why? ('I desperately wish that weren't the case')
You don't seem disinterested.
And every boy athlete is somewhat different as well. Coaching usually needs to be tailored to the individual to be its most effective. Even in team sports
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:12 pm

mal wrote:
Marlow wrote:they must be coached with gender-based differences in mind. I desperately wish that weren't the case.

Why? You don't seem disinterested.

Because life would be so much easier if athletics were just about athletics.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby PDJ551 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:03 am

I should have been clearer. I have always coached kids as individuals. Coaching an individual sport like xc and track it made the most sense. To be fair other than playing one year of recreation baseball in 5th Grade (the coach told me not to worry about my poor skills as I would have track in high school) and freshman football I have had no experience in other sports. Now in my 46th year of coaching I still coach kids as individuals and do not generalize although I do realize that coaching girls and boys does have its differences.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby mal » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:57 pm

Marlow wrote:
mal wrote:
Marlow wrote:they must be coached with gender-based differences in mind. I desperately wish that weren't the case.

Why? You don't seem disinterested.

Because life would be so much easier if athletics were just about athletics.


In my view, the only interesting part is the personalities. If it was about setting sessions, then everyone would fine with a computer search and a stop watch.

No sport is ever just about the sport.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:25 pm

mal wrote:In my view, the only interesting part is the personalities. If it was about setting sessions, then everyone would fine with a computer search and a stop watch.
No sport is ever just about the sport.

I didn't say it would be more interesting; I said it'd be easier. Coaching boys is MUCH easier than girls. Boys respond to positive AND negative reinforcement. Girls primarily positive. You have to walk on egg-shells around girls, not so much boys. You can treat MOST boys the same. You MUST treat girls individually. You can kid and tease (in fun) with boys; with girls you have to verrrrry careful with the fun stuff. I adore my girls, and they generally respond better to direction because they DO want to please you more (boys want to please themselves and show off more), but whereas I can't ever remember 'offending' a boy, I've had girls burst into tears because of some imagined slight they thought they saw. Ultimately the coach-athlete bond is stronger with girls, but that doesn't always translate into better performance, and then you have the threat of being creepy, something I'm always fearful of, but thankfully hasn't happened precisely because I AM so wary of it. I have hugged boys in enthusiasm and been hugged back. That's a HUGE taboo at our school with girls (for men coaches) and probably a necessary thing, but sometimes a high-five just doesn't cut it! :D
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:12 pm

I worked X-C finish line chutes for many years, picking up sweaty, slippery girls, who had collapsed in the chute, to keep them in finish order and the line moving.. nobody thought there was anything pervy about it...
Now, with the PC atmosphere, you never know when some one is going to cry "pervert".
Fortunately, chip timing has about eliminated the necessity to maintain finish order.. and I don't see as many girls collapsing as used to.. dunno if they are in better shape or not trying as hard.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Jerham » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:37 pm

Marlow wrote:
PDJ551 wrote:I don't believe in generalizations concerning boys and girls.

Then you have had a charmed coaching life! Every year (20 coaching here: girls volleyball, boys soccer, co-ed track) I see more and more that for them to excel as individuals and as teams they must be coached with gender-based differences in mind. I desperately wish that weren't the case.



Be careful of sweeping generalizations. Please be reminded that there are over 200 countries on the planet and this statement may not apply to all.

You guys need to stop judging the world from your narrow local cultural realities. I bet that this conclusion was drawn from an American perspective.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Jerham » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:40 pm

Marlow wrote:
mal wrote:In my view, the only interesting part is the personalities. If it was about setting sessions, then everyone would fine with a computer search and a stop watch.
No sport is ever just about the sport.

I didn't say it would be more interesting; I said it'd be easier. Coaching boys is MUCH easier than girls. Boys respond to positive AND negative reinforcement. Girls primarily positive. You have to walk on egg-shells around girls, not so much boys. You can treat MOST boys the same. You MUST treat girls individually. You can kid and tease (in fun) with boys; with girls you have to verrrrry careful with the fun stuff. I adore my girls, and they generally respond better to direction because they DO want to please you more (boys want to please themselves and show off more), but whereas I can't ever remember 'offending' a boy, I've had girls burst into tears because of some imagined slight they thought they saw. Ultimately the coach-athlete bond is stronger with girls, but that doesn't always translate into better performance, and then you have the threat of being creepy, something I'm always fearful of, but thankfully hasn't happened precisely because I AM so wary of it. I have hugged boys in enthusiasm and been hugged back. That's a HUGE taboo at our school with girls (for men coaches) and probably a necessary thing, but sometimes a high-five just doesn't cut it! :D


Marlow, your perspective is quite informative as a teacher I have had a similar experiences dealing with boys and girls. Teenage girls tends to be far more sensitive and emotional and may require more individual attention and scrutiny in what you say and do in relating to them.
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Re: Girl Runners Tougher Than Boys?

Postby Marlow » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:59 pm

Jerham wrote:I bet that this conclusion was drawn from an American perspective.

Mine is an exclusively USAian experience. I would love to hear from our Euro, Asian, Oceania, African coaches with extensive experience with both genders. There probably is some overlap, but do cultural differences exist elsewhere? Perspiring minds want to know!
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