Barriers, supports and constraints on women coaching in tennis

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Background: In Australia, there are fewer women in tennis coaching roles. Identifying the barriers (and supports) for women in sport coaching roles is necessary to inform the development of strategies that will address this underrepresentation of women in such roles.

This study aimed to examine the experiences of women in tennis coaching roles in Australia.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 women coaches (Mage = 45.5 ± 11.6 years) purposefully sampled from Tennis Australia ‘coach members’. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted. The investigation was underpinned by the ecological systems theory.

Findings: Five themes were drawn from the analysis of the interview transcripts: (a) stereotypically male profession, (b) career instability and longevity, (c) family/work-life tension, (d) organisational support and (e) career advancement opportunities.

Conclusion: This study provides important insight into strategies that may assist in addressing the gender disparity that exists in the sport coaching profession. Specifically, increased provision of support (e.g. organisational support), guidance in relation to pursuing a coaching career, developmental opportunities and financial support will be important to attracting and retaining women in coaching roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Issue number1
Early online date24 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Career development
  • gender
  • profession
  • racket sport
  • stereotypes


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