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Dr. Kristen Dieffenbach (@DrDCoachScience) is an associate professor of Athletic Coaching Education, director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science at West Virginia University and president of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence. She is an Association of Applied Sport Psychology certified consultant, public relations and outreach head on the AASP e-board and president of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence. Dieffenbach is a professional coach with a category 1 (elite) USA Cycling license and Level II endurance specialization from USA Track and Field. She has coached for more than 20 years at the high school, collegiate, recreational and elite levels and works with coaching education at all levels of performance. Dieffenbach’s teaching interests include coaching techniques, professional development and professionalism in coaching, ethics and moral development in coaching, coaching theory, training theory, long term athlete development, long term coaching development, coaching education, sport psychology for coaching and gender and sport.

In our discussion today we touch upon an oftentimes controversial yet incredibly important topic for coaches: is there is difference between coaching boys and coaching girls? We discuss the research, the cultural differences, and so much more. There is a reason this is one of our most popular episodes ever. 


Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

  • Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher  Link
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women, by Naomi Wolf Link
  • The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf  Link
  • Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by Michael Thompson Link
  • Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, by Lisa Damour Ph.D  Link
  • Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax Link
  • Taking the Field: Women, Men, and Sports, by Michael A. Messner Link
  • Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Link
  • US Center for Coaching Excellence
  • Dr. Kristen Nash
  • John Kessel, USA Volleyball

Connect With Dr. Dieffenbach

This week’s podcast is brought to you by our friends at Sprocket Sports.  Sprocket Sports is a new software platform for youth sports clubs.  Yeah, there are a lot of these systems out there, but Sprocket provides the full enchilada. They give you all the cool front-end stuff to make your club look good– like websites and marketing tools – AND all the back-end transactions and services to run your business better so you can focus on what really matters – your players and your teams. 

Sprocket is built for those clubs looking to thrive, not just survive, in the competitive world of youth sports clubs.  So if you’ve been looking for a true business partner – not just another app – check them out today at

Become a Podcast Champion! This weeks podcast is also sponsored by our Patreon Podcast Champions. Help Support the Podcast and get FREE access to our most popular online courses, a $300 value. If you love the podcast, we would love for you to become a Podcast Champion, ( for as little as a cup of coffee per month (OK, its a Venti Mocha), to help us up the ante and provide even better interviews, better sound, and an overall enhanced experience. Plus, as a $10 per month Podcast Super-Champion, you will have access to never before released and bonus material, including:

  • Downloadable transcripts of our best podcasts, so you don’t have to crash your car trying to take notes!
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Thank you for all your support these past four years, and a special big thank you to all of you who become part of our inner circle, our patrons, who will enable us to take our podcast to the next level.


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