As a sports performance coach, I take great pride in training my female athletes. This is not to say I don't care about my male athletes (Coach loves you guys, too), but I hold a special place in my heart for my female athletes.

If you take one thing away from this article, remember you can be the one coach in a girl's life that treats her with the same respect as the boys who play major sports such as football, basketball, and baseball. So often, female sports are forgotten about. However, you can be the one person that reminds your female athletes how important they are in their respective sports. 

Generally, females don't get the same attention in the weight room as their male counterparts, which is unfair. So, if you are giving your female athletes proper attention, I thank you; if you're unsure if you do or want to ensure you're checking that box, keep reading.

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Building Confidence

Building confidence is one of the most important jobs of a strength coach. Now, I hear you saying, "Isn't it essential to improve their numbers in the weight room and make them better players in their chosen sport?"

I am building their confidence, but not with speeches or with weights. Getting a girl or young female athlete to conquer weights they thought they couldn't handle before will have them standing tall quicker than any speech.

Even getting them to lift weights that some of their male counterparts can't makes them feel physically and mentally stronger. The key is getting one girl to do it so others believe they can too. Then, when girls start deadlifting and squatting, they can focus on getting stronger and learning to compete only with the old versions of themselves.

Mindset Change

Today's girls are getting attacked more than ever before due to social media. They are taught that their weight on the scale and how many followers they have is the most important thing. With weight training, we take the focus off the weight on the scale and shift it to the weight on the bar. We also show them that being strong is not only healthier and more fun but beautiful as well. This is changing how they may view themselves for the rest of their lives; being strong and fit is possible, and having muscles doesn't make you manly but awesome.

Whether they want to be the next Serena Williams and inspire girls or be the strong female that teaches her friends and family that having muscles is cool, that positive domino effect is something I think about often. We as coaches have to teach them how to lift and become a coach like the great Louie Simmons always preached.

Becoming the Best Athlete They Can Be

As I mentioned in the intro of this article, female sports are often overlooked. Usually, they are given bullshit programs copied and pasted from other sports or not given much thought. Female athletes naturally don't have the same strength and muscle mass as their male counterparts, which is a major reason their injury rates are higher than males.

The simple way for those injury rates to drop is for strength coaches to give them the same level of care, if not more because they need it that much more. I always say the girl that trains with a great strength coach or is naturally bigger and stronger will always be the best on the court or field. Imagine if you do that to a whole team. Now you're talking more wins, playoff berths, titles, and more which may also help build more buy-in from the sports coach you're constantly fighting with.

I've seen it become more and more common, even in non-contact sports. Girls are having major back, shoulder, and knee injuries, and when they come to see me, I can see it's because lifting has not been treated as a priority. Changing this mindset and bad habits can save careers and change their trajectory in that sport.


To sum it up, I'll keep it simple.

  1. Make them as strong as you can.
  2. Be tough on them.
  3. Love them like a daughter.
  4. Be a positive male role model in their life. They may not have a great father or a father figure in their life, but you can be that person they look up to.
  5. Keep them feeling safe and comfortable.

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Kalil Sherrod is a strength coach at The Rack Athletic Performance Center. He hosts The Get Clean Podcast, helping young strength coaches and parents expand their knowledge. He is a former Division 2 and semi-pro basketball player. Kalil is certified through Westside Barbell and Byrd Sports Performance.