Female Sports Science newsletter – September 9, 2018

Female Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for September 9, 2018



What does it take to be a top female distance runner? | Fast Running

Fast Running (UK), Ruth Jones from

British distance runners Claire Duck and Jenny Nesbitt explain what it takes to perform at the top level.


Carli Lloyd saves Sky Blue FC from winless season, then turns fire on troubled front office

Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald from

Lloyd acknowledged that because of her status, she avoids some problems that affect her teammates. Among the big ones: the 36-year-old doesn’t live in team-sponsored housing, but lives with her husband at their home in Mount Laurel.

“I think that with the age gap — I hate to say it — it’s a little different when a 26-year-old is maybe talking about their roommate,” she said. “As the season went on, I started to talk more and more with players, and didn’t really know that stuff in years prior to this had gone on. … Some of the stuff was pretty shocking.”

Having heard her teammates loud and clear, Lloyd intends to talk to team management and ownership during the offseason.


Growth of a New Game: Inside The Women’s Baseball World Cup

SI.com, Emma Baccellieri from

The Women’s World Cup proves that baseball is not just a boys club. In fact, the tournament proves that women play a different game entirely.


Elena Delle Donne Only Remembers Titles. She’s Ready to Make New Memories.

The New York Times, Howard Megdal from

Elena Delle Donne, franchise star of the Washington Mystics, only remembers victories.

“I mean, winning is truly all that matters, and all that you remember,” Delle Donne said Friday, about an hour before her Mystics lost to the Atlanta Dream, 81-76, to fall behind in their best-of-five W.N.B.A. semifinal playoff series, two games to one. “I look back at Delaware, A.A.U., all my years of playing, and the only thing I can remember are championships.”



Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotions

Harvard Business Review; Linda Babcock, Maria P. Recalde and Lise Vesterlund from

Here’s a work scenario many of us know too well: You are in a meeting and your manager brings up a project that needs to be assigned. It’s not particularly challenging work, but it’s time-consuming, unlikely to drive revenue, and probably won’t be recognized or included in your performance evaluation. As your manager describes the project and asks for a volunteer, you and your colleagues become silent and uneasy, everyone hoping that someone else will raise their hand. The wait becomes increasingly uncomfortable. Then, finally, someone speaks up: “Okay, I’ll do it.”

Our research suggests that this reluctant volunteer is more likely to be female than male. Across field and laboratory studies, we found that women volunteer for these “non-promotable” tasks more than men; that women are more frequently asked to take such tasks on; and that when asked, they are more likely to say yes.

This can have serious consequences for women. If they are disproportionately saddled with work that has little visibility or impact, it will take them much longer to advance in their careers. Our work helps explain why these gender differences occur and what managers can do to distribute this work more equitably.


8 Reasons Why Women Coaches Matter

SwimSwam blog, Nicole M. LaVoi from


I get this question a lot, so let me offer up some evidence-based reasons why women in sport leadership positions matter.

First, sport is one of the most visible and powerful social institutions in world. Who is seen and known in the world of sports, like head coaches, communicates who is important, relevant and valued (and who is not).

Second, girls and young women want and need female role models, like former female athletes who become coaches, who have experienced many of the same issues in their sport. Same sex role models provide emulation, aspiration, self-esteem, and valuation of abilities. Many girls grow up NEVER having had a female coach, whereas 100% of their male peers have had a male coach.

Third, when boys and men experience women as competent leaders in a context that matters greatly to them (i.e., sport), they are more likely to respect women, see females as equal colleagues, friends, and intimate partners, and are less likely to sexually objectify women.


BTC: U.S. Soccer’s High Performance Department is Maximizing the WNT On and Off the Field – U.S. Soccer

U.S. Soccer from

In the last year-and-half, U.S. Soccer has invested in the organization and expansion of a high performance department which now includes 13 staff members for the WNT. The department is divided into three segments: medical, sports science and analysis. In this episode of Behind the Crest, Presented by Volpi, we hear from various members of the department, as well as U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis and midfielder Samantha Mewis, as they share how valuable these talented staff members are in the process of maximizing the performance of the U.S. WNT on and off the field. [video, 3:26]


Athlete-Mom Confidential — How the pros manage motherhood

espnW, Laura M. Purtell and Anna Katherine Clemmons from

… Becoming a parent is a monumental step for anyone. But for women athletes, the decision can be substantially more complex. We wanted to hear from the women who became mothers during their careers, so we surveyed 37 athletes anonymously who reached or returned to professional competition after having children. We spoke to mothers across different sports, races, ages and sexual orientations — asking them questions that are unique to motherhood, but also those that could apply to any parent. (For more on our methodology and presentation, scroll down or click here.) Here’s what they had to say:



Yes, women can and do want to code, UW professors and alumnae say

Seattle Times, Katherine Long from

… We’re publishing six short essays from UW women in tech and academia, describing their own personal experiences, and asking what forces they believe are keeping women from joining the tech industry. We wanted to know if they think overt discrimination has indeed been eliminated, and if policies that favored men have changed enough to make a difference.


In historic shift, women comprise half of engineering undergrads

Cornell University, Cornell Chronicle from

With the arrival of the Class of 2022, the College of Engineering now enrolls equal numbers of undergraduate women and men – the first engineering school of its size and stature to achieve this milestone.

Particular gains have been made in computer science, where female students once comprised a fraction of the department. In 2017-18, women accounted for 38 percent of computer science majors, who come from both the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences. Among this year’s incoming engineering class, 55 percent of students indicating an interest in the field are women.



The road to victory in the UEFA Women’s Champions League: A multi-level analysis of successful coaches, teams, and countries

Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal from


To explore coach-level, team-level, and country-level factors associated with performance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

This study involved archival analysis of factual data on teams and coaches participating in the UEFA Women’s Champions League (2011–12 until 2015–16).

Official data records were provided by UEFA. Hierarchical linear modeling analysis was used to predict performance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Specifically, coaches’ characteristics (level-1 variables), team factors (level-2 variables), and country information (level-3 variables) were tested as predictors of performance (final rank, ranging from 1 to 32).

Data analysis yielded a two- and three-level solution. The two-level solution was deemed more realistic and applied, and was chosen as the omnibus final model. Within the two-level solution, years coaching experience in Champions League at level-1 (γ10 = −2.90), and number of times team has won Champions League (γ01 = −7.13) and number of international players (γ02 = −1.08) at level-2, predict final performance at the UEFA Women’s Champions League (i.e., negative coefficient is indicative of performance improvement).

Our findings suggest that the quality of the team, positive cross-cultural effects from an international roster, and the experience of the coach are positively associated with performance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.


‘You play like a Woman!’ Effects of gender stereotype threat on Women’s performance in physical and sport activities: A meta-analysis

Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal from

  • Stereotype threat affects sport performances of women.
  • Women experience stereotype threat especially when the sport is typically masculine.
  • Both cognitive overload hypothesis and explicit monitoring hypothesis are plausible in sensorimotor task.

    America’s shameful indifference to women’s baseball

    The Week, Jeva Lange from

    … Baseball still faces deep, institutional segregation. Women are supposed to play softball while men play baseball. But women do play baseball. The Women’s Baseball World Cup has been held every two years since the inaugural tournament in Edmonton, Canada, in 2004. It has taken until the eighth tournament for the U.S. to host the sport it claims as its national pastime — a bit of a head-scratcher, seeing as the men’s equivalent, the World Baseball Classic, has been hosted in the United States since its inception. And, wouldn’t you know it, that tournament is played in Major League Baseball stadiums.

    By contrast, the greatest women baseball players in the world are handed the USSSA Space Coast Stadium, a complex that once served as an MLB spring training facility until the teams moved on to greener pastures with real grass — not like this Florida stadium’s unfortunate turf.


    NEW: 10 most popular HS girls sports w/ 5-year trends. HS basketball participation down 5%, while strong growth in other sports (Data from @NFHS_Org)

    Twitter, NCAA Research from



    Follow the money: How the pay gap in Grand Slam tennis finally closed

    ESPN Tennis, Peter Bodo from

    … one discussion that has largely (but not completely as you can see here and here) been resolved in recent times is equal prize money between men and women.

    It was a long time coming. The first real public plea came in Rome’s storied Foro Italico in 1970, only two years into the Open era, when the winner of that event, Billie Jean King, called for equal distribution of winnings.

    Ilie Nastase, the men’s winner, took home $3,500, while King made a mere $600. The discontent had ramped up, and King would later offer these famous words: “Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too.”

    As the years went on, the gap between earnings slowly closed, but in Grand Slam tennis, the final volley in the battle for equal prize money did not come until the spring of 2006 at the French Open.

    Below is a timeline showing how the four majors gradually moved toward today’s state of parity, in the order the tournaments achieved it.


    Puerto Rico women’s team protest over FPF support at Argentina friendly

    Inside World Football from

    The Puerto Rican women’s team have protested against their working conditions in a friendly international against Argentina, demanding the Puerto Rican FA (FPF) improve basic amenities so the team can reach its longterm goal of becoming internationally competitive.

    The friendly match hosted in Puerto Rico was played out in front of one the largest football crowds seen for women’s football on the island. Immediately after kick off the Puerto Rican players turned their backs on the game and stood united facing the main stand, signalling that they were fed up with the FPF. They put their hands to their ears as a symbolic gesture for their claims to be heard.

    “Last night, in front of one of the largest crowds on the island that has seen a women’s football game, we called on those in power to listen, this is a call for change, it’s time we received the respect that we deserve as women and athletes,” wrote player Nicole Rodríguez in a tweet, accompanied by the hashtag #DeAhoraEnAdelante.


    USWNT coach Jill Ellis calls out FIFA’s latest gender equity problem: VAR at the World Cup

    Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald from

    … How can world soccer’s governing body fairly claim to treat the game’s best men’s and women’s players equally if there’s no VAR for the women?

    U.S. coach Jill Ellis is championing the cause, and rightly so.


    Documentary explores untold story of Title IX pioneers in Hawaii

    Women's Sports Foundation, The She Network from

    For Dean Kaneshiro, all it took was one interview.

    In 2010, the filmmaker, whose documentary “Rise of the Wahine: Champions of Title IX” explores a largely untold piece of Title IX’s history through the eyes of the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team, was assisting on another project related to the team, known as the Rainbow Wahine, when he first heard the story. He was interviewing Beth McLachlin, the captain of the first UH women’s volleyball team in the early 1970s, and she said something that would stick with Kaneshiro. Eight years later his feature-length documentary is set to premiere today, September 5, in Honolulu.

    “[McLachlin] was talking about Donnis Thompson and Patsy Mink and Title IX, and I didn’t really know what she was talking about,” Kaneshiro said. “I went home and was like ‘What is this story?’ I was completely moved.”


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