Coach like a Woman - Finnish Coaching Development Program for Women

Coach like a women project in Finland

I have had an honour to be part of the coach like a women project in Finland. First I was a participant and later on also deputy of Finnish Flying Disc Association when ultimate was accepted to be a part of the project.  

What was the main goal of the project?

This project was run by Finnish Coaches Association and funded by Finnish government since 2014. This was specified to ball sports and the project ended in 2019. Now this same pattern is used in martial arts. Let's look at some statistics first. 

  • Around 30 % of all coaches in Finland are women 

    • 13 % of ball sports coaches

  • 22 % of all professional coaches are women in Finland

    • 0-6 % of ball sports coaches

    • except volleyball 15 %

We can clearly see that all over numbers are pretty low but specifically numbers in ball sport are even lower. Behind this are multiple reasons but one of the biggest is still the attitude. Women can be easily a head coach of a national team in the women's division but how often do you see women coaching any men’s team, especially at a high level. Instead of speaking a lot of coaching methods this project focused more on the big picture. Basically, this means actions that will increase the number of female coaches. Below you can see some main goals of this project:

  • Increase number of female coaches


The actions were categorized to meetings with other coaches, mentoring, education, and top coaches meeting. I took part in some meetings and have to say that those were such a great experience. Usually one meeting lasted one weekend and almost all costs were covered by the project. Main goal of these meetings was to inspire people, discuss the feelings and challenges and of course learn from each other. Every time there were few speakers telling their own story. It is extremely inspiring when someone tells the story of how to get to the top despite all the obstacles. Of course it is not the target that everyone has to fight to get for example professional coaches, but those show stories shows that it is possible. And hopefully thanks to this project the way is a little more clear and easier to next ones.   

Speaking about path, one of the actions was the education of the former players. This project had one group and the project paid half of the fee for this education. I think this action is very important phase in the path because very often the former female players will disappear after they have ended playing. 

At the same time that it good to increase the quality of coaching in ball sport is good to remember that maybe the even more important thing is increasing the overall number of female coaches and change the attitudes.

Kuva, joka sisältää kohteen henkilö, poseeraaminen, urheilu, ryhmä

Kuvaus luotu automaattisesti

Results from FFDA point of view:

We created a large network by participating in general meetings and top coach meetings. We saw how to create and improve our player to coach -pathway. It was also important that we got information about different studies and important metrics because you have to measure things you want to improve. One of the most essential information was knowledge about fundings available for us.

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