Summary of an article analyzing a data set of weightlifting results for male and female athletes and the gender of their coaches.
3252 Olympic weightlifters and their coaches with year-end rankings in total weight lifted for 2021 (USA).
Data from the United States Weightlifting.
- total lifted (weight lifted in snatch + clean & jerk)
- athlete’s weight class (Women: from <48 to 75+; Man: from <56 to 105+)
- athlete’s age
- coach’s gender
- 12.3% of female and 6.7% of male weightlifters had a female coach
- Female coach was negatively correlated with total weight lifted for both male and female athletes. Female athletes with a female coach have lifted 22 kg less than female athletes with a male coach. Male athletes with a female coach have lifted 16 kg less than male athletes with a male coach.
- For female athletes coached by a female coach as they age, every year is associated with an increase of 0.52 kg in total weight lifted. There is no similar association as male athletes age.
- In general, younger athletes (both male and female) had better weightlifting results when coached by a male coach. But female weightlifters had better results with female coach as they aged (above the age of 40).
Take home message
Mire A, Foreman JJ, Heintz E. The Effect of Coach Gender on Competitive Weightlifting Performance for Men and Women Weightlifters. Frontiers in Sociology. 2020;5:139.