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Understanding female coaches’ and practitioners’ experience and support provision in relation to the menstrual cycle

Natalie Brown, Camilla Knight Orcid Logo

International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, Volume: 17, Issue: 2, Start page: 174795412110585

Swansea University Authors: Natalie Brown, Camilla Knight Orcid Logo

Abstract

The study aimed to develop an understanding of female coaches’ and sport science practitioners’ experience and support provision in relation to the menstrual cycle when working with female athletes. Following receipt of institutional ethical approval, 14 female coaches and practitioners (32.9±6.9 yr...

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Published in: International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
ISSN: 1747-9541 2048-397X
Published: SAGE Publications 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58494
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Abstract: The study aimed to develop an understanding of female coaches’ and sport science practitioners’ experience and support provision in relation to the menstrual cycle when working with female athletes. Following receipt of institutional ethical approval, 14 female coaches and practitioners (32.9±6.9 yrs) participated in individual semi-structured interviews.Following analysis, two themes were developed: 1) Knowledge and awareness, and 2) Support and management. Overall, it appeared that participants varied in their understanding and awareness of the impact of the menstrual cycle on sport performance, somewhat influenced by their own personal experiences. Participants’ knowledge and awareness subsequently impacted the support they provided to female athletes. Additionally, individual experiences and perceived secrecy relating to the menstrual cycle impacted on the informational and emotional support participants provided. Together, the findings highlight the importance of all coaches and practitioners enhancing their knowledge and understandingregarding the menstrual cycle and proactively providing support to athletes. Education to enhance coaches’ and practitioners’ knowledge and understanding will help to create a more open and supportive environment in sport, hopefully allowing for personal discomfort regarding the menstrual cycle to be addressed.
Keywords: Female athletes, coaching, sport science, periods, menstruation
College: College of Engineering
Issue: 2
Start Page: 174795412110585