Having worked with elementary, middle school, high school and college athletes in diverse settings over the last decade, I am often asked how does one teach, mentor and coach across genders? Do you groom boys and girls differently? Are you conditioning them to overcome life’s challenges?
Masculinity and femininity vary across culture, time and space so my approach over the last decade as a single, male, childless adult has been towards a notion of genderless squash. My intention is not to discriminate between genders but to strive for equality. (I am not sure whether my students would agree, but I hope so.) Upon reflection, this may be a threat and/or opportunity for student-centered growth, depending on level of maturity.
Genderless squash may have negative consequences of producing social outcasts and maladjusted individuals who are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions or may have positive consequences of producing champions of growth-mindsets who excel in the classroom and on the court. This is not a personal attack on any single student but rather an attempt at critical reflection of my evolution as a coach.