Here are my thoughts on coaching girls:
In 1989-90, I was approached by a few Mundelein
High School students asking if they could have a girls' water polo team.
That was after watching the boys' team at the school play the previous
year while I was assisting head coach Pat Barry.
My immediate response was ‘Why not! The girls
should have a team!’
So the Mundelein Girls Water Polo Team was
organized. We were the eleventh girls' high school team in Illinois.
This is my 30th year coaching girls' water polo
and it's still a ton of fun. The girls have the same passion and desire to
succeed as the boys.
The main difference between the boys and girls
game is speed and power. The boys, by
their junior and senior year, are usually physically bigger and stronger.
But that doesn't stop or detract from the girls capabilities.
The girls can push themselves just as hard as
the boys. The girls tend to play with more finesse but can also be very
aggressive and physical as well.
From my experience at the high school level,
most girls are better listeners than the boys. It's almost as if the boys
need to hear the same message more often. Not that I haven't repeated
myself numerous times with the girls. The girls tend to be a bit more
sensitive at times, whereas the boys typically are not. There are always
Over the years, I have taught the girls the same
skills as I have taught the boys. Most importantly, as a coach, it is
important to listen to what the athletes have to say and to the questions
they ask. Be honest with them.
In the end, the girls want to learn and play no
different than the boys!