Are there opportunities for women as head coaches in Brazil's national teams? The case of handball

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP
Aim: This study aims to analyze the perceptions of women who hold leadership positions in sports on female participation as the head coach of the Brazilian women's handball national team. Method: We offer a qualitative case study. The collected data was through in-depth elite interviews. The interviewees’ responses were analyzed and interpreted using the construction of categories. Results: The finds show perceptions of the categorization process. Three main categories emerged: 1) Prejudice. The interviewees affirm that the prejudice within the sport has been decreasing over the years. But it remains latent and continues to make difficult the continuity and rise of women in sports. 2) Professional and personal life. The interviewees affirm that Brazil is still a macho country, and even at a lower level, prejudice still exists in the universe of sports. The sport is known as a territory where men produce and demonstrate their masculinity; this favors the perception that coaches are usually men, having specific questions about the women's competence in that position, and that only men would be able to run teams. 3) Competence. The conciliation between family and professional life is a delicate situation, promotes conflicts, and does not favor the rise of women in positions of command. Nevertheless, the difficulty of reconciling personal and professional life, especially in high-performance sports, is necessary to leave home for extended periods for training or competition. Conclusion: The prejudice still is present despite its reduction over the years. The men domain the sports career, and for women, it is necessary to face the glass ceiling and prove their capacity constantly. Women's access to head coach teams, such as the Brazilian adult women's handball national team, is still a significant challenge. © 2022 Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons License and full text is openly accessible in CUD Digital Repository. The version of the scholarly record of this article is published in Motriz. Revista de Educacao Fisica (2022), available online at:
sport management, female, handball, command, underrepresentation
Mesquita, I. B., Silva, C. A. F. D., Ghayebzadeh, S., Mataruna-Dos-Santos, L., & Ribeiro, T. (2022). Are there opportunities for women as head coaches in Brazil's national teams? The case of handball. Motriz: Revista de Educação Física, 28.