About Me/Blog

Currently I teach sport psychology and sport sociology in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota where I am also the Co-Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, and Co-Founder of the Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium. I earned my MA (’95) and PhD (’02) in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and my BA (’91) at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Prior to coming back to the University of Minnesota in 2005 I was a Research Associate at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethical Education where I helped develop the Play Like a Champion Educational Series—which includes the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Parents And Coaches Together (PACT™) program. I’ve taught as a USPTA professional and coached tennis at all levels—most notably I was the Head Coach at Wellesley College (’94-’98) and Assistant Coach at Carleton College (’91-’93). I played four years (1987-’91) of NCAA D-III tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College where I was a 2-time Academic All-American. Our team won the National Championship in 1990—one of my most cherished memories—and also placed second (’91) and fourth (’89) during my career. Currently, I enjoy doing all things active—except swimming. My goal and passion, is to make a difference in the lives of individuals and their families in and through sport and physical activity—especially for girls and women. Read more about my passion for gender and sport in this piece “A Champion for Coaches”.

Service: To that end I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of Women Coaches, and in advisory roles for the Women’s Sport Foundation, espnW, and the Tennis and Life Camp for Gustavus Adolphus College.

Research has included examination of relational qualities of the coach-athlete relationship, the effect of parent and coach “background anger” behaviors on youth athletes, the physical activity of underserved girls, the structural and personal barriers experienced by female coaches, and media representations of girls and women in sport. For a list of my publications click here.

Documentaries I have helped co-produce with tptMN include two Emmy-nominated films, Concussions & Female Athletes and Media Coverage & Female Athletes which won the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy for best Sports Documentary.

Speaking & Educational Outreach: I give workshops and lectures to sport parents, coaches, athletes, sport administrators, educators and scholars on various aspects of my work. For more information click on the Presentations & Workshops Tab.

Mental Skills Training: I have worked as a mental coach with individuals, coaches and teams on various aspects of teaching the social, cognitive and emotional tools needed for mental toughness and increasing the likelihood of optimal performance.

About This Blog:  This blog, One Sport Voice, reflects my evolving critical perspective and voice on all things sport (see the “critical” link to find out more about this perspective). A critical perspective is not the same as being critical. The name choice for this blog is personal and intentional—LaVoi means “the voice” in French. Therefore I am literally and figuratively—One Sport Voice. I am a critical thinker, scholar, and researcher and advocate of girls & women in sport, youth sport, and coach & sport parent educator.

My goal is to help readers see the issues I write about with a different perspective (not necessarily one that you agree with) and to provide those who have a similar perspective a place or find a kindred spirit. It is a place for me to explore ideas. Although I am one voice, many of the ideas in this blog begin with conversations with colleagues, friends, undergraduate and graduate students, and family, or an observation that usually starts with “Can you believe that…?” or “Really? Again!” or “Did you see…?” This blog is also about disseminating research information in a more timely and accessible way.

Views expressed in this blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the U of M, my graduate students, the Tucker Center or the MNYSRC. If you would like to re-post material in this blog, please include the link and ©2015 N.M. LaVoi. I started this blog in January of 2009.

Contact me at nmlavoi@gmail.com or 612.626.6055. You can also follow me on Twitter or view my U of MN faculty webpage. Head shot courtesy of Lole Twin Cities, where I serve as a brand ambassador.

Lole = Living Out Loud Everyday. Check it out!

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