Category Archives: Published articles

Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes Is Available For Purchase!


As you can tell from the picture, I’m very excited that my ebook is finally available for purchase!  I’m new at all of this selling business, so it’s been a bit of a process to figure everything out.  It was all worth it, though, because I’m confident that there’s good information that you’ll use in Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes.

I’ve written before about how important I think professional development is for folks with our jobs.  I mean, how can coaches not want to learn more?  And if you learn one thing from my book (and I think you’ll a lot more!), then it’ll be well worth the $10!  It’s a 56-page guide with tangible tips, action items, anecdotes designed to help your team excel…and because it’s a PDF, you’ll be able to start reading immediately!

I’m super excited about all things ebook, right now!  I’m excited about that snazzy cover, I’m excited about figuring out how to set everything up, but mostly…I’m excited that I can get more info out there about how to get the best from your female athletes!  I don’t want to rewrite what I said before, so you can click here to read what I wrote when it was an upcoming book rather than a published book.

I hope you’ll buy the book and enjoy it…and tell all of your friends about it (hint, hint)!  $10 and it’s all yours…enjoy!  Once you complete your purchase, you’ll immediately be able to start reading the book.  Just click on the “Add to Cart” button and you’ll be well on your way.

Add to Cart

I pre-launched the book with the folks on my subscriber list last week and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response.  Lots of people are looking for this information and enjoying the book…hopefully you will too!

Upcoming Ebook: Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes



So…I’ve written a book!  After lots of correspondence with various coaches, I figured out that there’s a great desire to “figure out” the female athlete.

What Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes is all about

Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes is a 56-page guide that will give you specific steps to increase the competitiveness of your female team.  It will show you why battling “girl drama” should be at the top of your list in order to dominate the competition.  Also, it has example after example from my coaching life, on how I’ve handled tough situations in the past.

If I know one thing about coaches, it’s that we want to be good at what we do.  And I know you want your athletes to be winners and have fun with the sport, this book could be just what you need to go to the next level.

The information in the book is beyond what you’ll find here on the blog.  You won’t find this stuff anywhere, on my blog or elsewhere, in one place and in such detail.

How much will Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes cost?

Unlike the posts that are here on the blog, I will charge for the ebook.  How much?  $10.  Now before you start thinking that $10 is too much to spend on a PDF file, I want you to consider the quality of the information.  I think you’re getting it at a steal for only $10!

You can spend hours on the internet trying to find this information…but it’s not out there.  That’s why I wrote the book!

Plus, isn’t your time worth more than $10?

You’ve got practice plans to write, teams to scout, and video to study.  Why make more work for yourself?  You’ve already got a job…so don’t add scouring the internet for tips on coaching female athletes to your to-do list.

Because it’s a PDF, once you purchase Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes, you’ll be able to download it and read it that same day!  You can begin putting the ideas to work immediately.

Here are the chapter titles:

1.      Motivating the Female Athlete (with four subcategories)

2.      The Myth That Is “Girl Drama” (with three subcategories)

3.      Why This Is Important (with one subcategory)

Book excerpt from the introduction:

I’d love for you to see this book as a conversation between us.  There will be times when you’re reading this and you will feel affirmed because it’s something that you’re already doing.  There will be other times, though, where you feel as if I’ve put my hands on your shoulders and am giving you a good shake.

I love coaching female athletes…and I’m not being sarcastic!  I enjoy coaching so much that it truly pains me when I hear folks complaining about working with women or girls.  Or when I hear a coach say that “girls just aren’t competitive.”  Or even worse: “girls can’t get along.”

I just shake my head because it doesn’t have to be that way!  If you’re currently a coach and having trouble with your female athletes, take heart.  You’re not the only one who hasn’t mastered working with female teams.

Let me tell you what…I’ve been there too, coach.  I’ve had those teams that look like world beaters on paper, but they can’t get along well enough to put it all together.  As you’ll read later, I’ve even had teams where the setters wouldn’t set certain hitters because they had some sort of issue off the court that had nothing to do with our sport.

It’s so frustrating!

So that’s why I wrote this book.  Because we’ve all been there.

Working with female athletes is our chance to teach leadership, goal setting, team chemistry…all of the intangibles of sport that they can carry with them for their entire life.

Most importantly, to me at least, we have a chance to show them that females can get along.  That female coaches of females can be successful.  That women can work and play alongside of one another…and still be friends.

Keep checking in on the blog and on the ebook page for the announcement when it officially goes on sale!

The Top 10 Traits Shared By Losers…And Feared By Coaches


This was a popular post when I first put it up a few months ago and it has since found a new life over at Coach and Athletic Director magazine.  Here it is, if you’d like to read it!

Now here’s a teaser so that you know what’s in store for you from the article:

When you hear the word “loser”, you think of awful people with no ambition in life.  But that’s not always the case, sometimes they are incredibly talented, charming, and fun people to be around.  Sometimes they’re your captains, your leaders, and the people of influence on your team.  They’re tricky, those losers.  They can sometimes even look like winners (for more on winners, click here)…until you delve a little bit deeper.  Both winners and losers are skilled, but losers have an innate quality that will eat away at the fabric of your team.  Want to learn how to stay away from those losers?  Well, read on!

Here’s the original post.

Hope you like it!

Why Women’s Athletics? Selling Its Benefits In Tough Economic Times


You can read the published version of this article in the Fall 2010 NCAA Champion magazine.

Do you know what your team’s view of Title IX is?  More than likely, they view their athletic selves as the balance for men’s athletics…and I’d say that that should not be the case.  Women’s athletics stands alone as important and beneficial without the need to “balance out” athletic departments.  Viewing volleyball and softball and field hockey as existing solely to enable men to play their sports and be in compliance with the law is a pretty powerless and pathetic existence.

I read a great article on the Financial Times website titled, “A Good Economist Knows the True Value of the Arts”, which talked about how the arts, hospitals, and sports try to demonstrate their relevance by selling their economic value.  I’m sure you’ve heard the schpiel:  women’s volleyball is helping the university by bringing families onto campus and they’re buying concessions, the concessions stand is employing workers, and the facility is able to employ more folks for maintenance and crowd control.  But the author asserts that those are costs, not benefits, and that the savvy athletic director should (if it all comes down to finances) cut volleyball because the financial benefit does not come close to the financial cost taken on by the college.  Here’s a great quotation from that article:

The value of an activity is not what it costs, but the amount by which its benefit exceeds its costs. The economic contribution of sport is in the pleasure participants and spectators derive, and the resulting gains in health and longevity. That value is diminished, not increased, by the resources that need to be diverted from other purposes.

So if finances aren’t the way to sell women’s athletics to our colleagues (who may silently believe that we are there for balance only) or the higher ups who are taking hard looks at the budget…what are our selling points?  Where are the places that, like the quotation above says, the benefits of women’s athletics exceed its costs?  There are many advantages to sports participation that will stay with its participants for life, here are a few.

Health Young ladies who participate in sports reduce their chance of getting breast cancer by 60% according to Journal of the National Cancer Institute (1994)…at a time where one in eight women have gotten or will be diagnosed with breast cancer, that’s huge!  On top of that, it’s been proven that performing weight bearing exercises while young will help fight off osteoporosis later in life.

Mentors Little girls need to see that sports are for them too.  They need to see that women can be aggressive and competitive and achievers…that’s where our teams come in!  I don’t know about you, but I was never the stereotypical “girly girl”, wearing pink and playing with dolls, so sports participation was always a part of my life.  But what if, through watching our athletes play, that stereotype shifted to include having a lacrosse stick or golf club in her hand?

Learning to excel in a team environment Go to any business magazine or read any book designed for managers and you’ll see the word “team” over and over again.  The ability to strive within a team construct should be the hallmark of women’s athletics.  Our athletes learn leadership, how to win and lose with grace, how to recognize strengths and weakness in themselves and others…and use those to their advantage, and how to perform under pressure.  All characteristics that will serve them well after their time on our fields and courts is over.

Let’s all agree to talk to our teams about what they do and why it’s important.  To explain that both men’s and women’s athletics can stand on their own respective two feet…both strong and autonomous.  By doing this, we will equip them to answer the question: why women’s athletics?

What has your department done in terms of educating your student athlete population?  How about education for the coaching staff?  Any other ideas?

How To Motivate Female Athletes



Here’s an excerpt from an article I recently had published in Athletic Management magazine:

Until recently, it was not politically correct to think of women as different.  If you said women were equal, then they couldn’t be different.  The wonderful news is we can now say women are equal and different.  And that’s a huge and dramatic breakthrough.

Gender and Competition:  How Men and Women Approach Work and Play Differently

Girls just aren’t competitive.  We’ve all heard it before and I’m here to tell you that it’s simply not true (I wrote about it over here).  Perhaps you have a coach who has struggled to find her voice and get buy-in from her team.  Or maybe you have a staff of new coaches who can’t figure out why the same tactics that they’ve used with male athletes won’t work with their female teams.  The answer may not be that today’s athletes are less focused or motivated, but rather the coach needs to understand that motivating female athletes is vastly different than motivating males.  I’ve had many successful seasons and would like to share with you some of the things that have brought me success in coaching female athletes at all levels and discuss how we can prepare our athletes for success in the years after their sports careers have ended.

You can read the full article by clicking on the link below, it’s a PDF file.


Want to take the next step?  Check out my ebook, Coach Dawn’s Guide To Motivating Female Athletes.