What Working In A Male Dominated Field Has Taught Me?

What Working In A Male Dominated Field Has Taught Me?

For the first year, I was the only girl employed in my department.

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I have been employed in a primary dominated department for almost three years and it has by far been one of the best experiences I have ever had. Obviously, at first, it was kind of terrifying because I was the only girl in the workplace always working with a group of guys, most of which have significant experience and are expected to know what they're doing.

Let's give a little bit of background, I work within a sports statistics and media department. And to be honest, there are not a lot of women working within this field, and in the last three years I have learned so much about myself it is incredible. Plus now my department is split really evenly between male and female and I have a bunch of great male peers!

It totally is a win-win.

Working within sports, alone, taught me to do what I love. I absolutely love sports, I will watch football all day on Sunday's, hockey whenever I can find it, baseball during baseball season. Not just professional either, I love college basketball, football, and softball. Trust me to get to College Softball World Series in June and you won't see me for weak.

However, I never imagined working within the sports field. I always thought it was just something that would be a past time for me. And boy was I WRONG! After working for the first year I knew more, that I loved sports and I was going to shape my career into working with sports. Now, I am going to graduate school in the fall studying my Doctorate of Chiropractic and Masters in Sports Medicine to work with athletes!

I learned to have confidence in my knowledge, and myself. The first year that I was there, it was a lot of people explaining stats and what they mean, even though I already knew the answer. Don't get me wrong, I have made many mistakes, and learned so much more about the statistics and rules behind each sport that I work, but I felt like they didn't have confidence in my ability.

One day, I got the game, was asked to take stats that I had never done before and had no idea what to expect. But I did it. Successfully. I had confidence that I was going to be able to follow the game and take the correct stats. My department throughout the game complimented me on how fast I learned and the accuracy of my statistics.

I believed in myself, and now they do too.

I truly learned the meaning of hard work pays off. I have worked in this department for 3 full years, and am probably the oldest out of the people with my job description. This past year, my bosses were in a scramble because there were too many games at the same time. Due to working incredibly hard and being good at our jobs, they sent two of us to work a home game at a mutual location.

We traveled with the team and got to see what it was like to have a big position. It was an experience they would not have given to anyone else and an incredible one at that.

The last major this working in this department and field has taught/given me is to be yourself. Do not put on a big front, to try to impress everyone at work. 1. It is exhausting to try to do that. 2. There is no need and 3. They can probably see right through it.

If you have a question, ask it. They're not going to think anything less of you for asking. Honestly, they will probably be super glad you did ask, it will avoid mistakes AND show you are confident in yourself and not perfect. You do not ALWAYS have to be perfect.

Literally last night, I was confused about a statistic I was taking and asked a question, not only did the explain it to me, it prevented me from making a mistake messing up all the stats. AND they were all super duper nice about it.

DO NOT BE AFRAID.

This goes for all aspects of life, not just work, it's important for relationships and school too.

By being myself with my coworkers I have gained so many great friends, and always have a pleasant time at work because we are all comfortable with ourselves and each other. It makes for a much better shift, and people on your side outside of work. You basically have your own team.

Yes working in a male-dominated field can be intimidating, but it is honestly not scary at all. You learn so much about yourself and have a group of guys who are going to be super honest, helpful and always have your back.

Working in this field has made me grow tremendously as a person.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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