“You'll Face Discrimination Wherever You Go”: Student Athletes’ Intentions to Enter the Coaching Profession


George B. Cunningham, Laboratory for Diversity in Sport, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, 4243 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4243. E-mail: gbcunningham@tamu.edu


We conducted 2 studies to examine student athletes’ intentions to enter the coaching profession. In Study 1, participants responded to a questionnaire designed to assess the major constructs from social cognitive career theory. Results indicate that although racial minorities, relative to Whites, expected more positive outcomes with being a coach and had greater intentions to pursue that profession, they also anticipated more barriers associated with coaching. To clarify this relationship, we conducted a focus group interview (Study 2) with 6 male athletes of color. Participants indicated that prejudice and discrimination were expected across their potential vocational choices, not just coaching. Thus, given the many positives associated with coaching, they preferred to encounter those barriers in the coaching context.