Coaches Voice on Trans Athletes

WSI Webinar: February 10, 2023

"United States Collegiate Coaches’ Perceptions of Transgender Athletes’ Inclusion"

Join us on the WSI Webinar on "United States Collegiate Coaches’ Perceptions of Transgender Athletes’ Inclusion".


Date: February 10, 2023

Time: 4:00-5:30pm EST (10:00 - 11:30pm CET)

Format: Presentation, Q & A, and discussion

Language: English (Closed Captions available)


Guest Speaker: Ms. Macey Arnold, Ms. Kasey Chambers, and Dr. Trent A. Petrie from University of North Texas (USA)

Overview of presentation

Coaches hold particular responsibility in developing sport environments and team cultures and have critical and often personal relationships with athletes; therefore, coaches have a direct role in athlete wellbeing and personal development. Within the United States, the National Collegiate Athlete Association has provided an avenue for transgender athletes to compete in collegiate sports according to the athletes' gender identity through the Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy (NCAA, 2022). Nevertheless, it is unclear how supportive, welcoming, and safe these sport environments are for transgender athletes, and specifically, how coaches’ views and attitudes may be impacting transgender athletes.


The presentation will illustrate collegiate coaches' perceptions of transgender athletes’ inclusion in collegiate sports, intentions in coaching transgender athletes, and knowledge, beliefs about, and experiences with LGBT individuals and athletes. We consider how their attitudes towards transgender athletes relate to their intentions and openness to coaching transgender athletes. We aim to provide a deeper understanding of coaches' perspectives, what is informing their perspectives, and how coaches may be creating sport environments that are supportive or harmful for LGBT athletes.


Findings have implications for (a) guiding policy discussions regarding transgender athletes' participation in sports and (b) developing training and education for coaches and other key stakeholders regarding their efficacy in working with transgender athletes and creating a welcoming and safe environment for transgender athletes.

Macey Arnold (she/her)

Macey Arnold (she/her), is a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of North Texas, specializing in sport psychology. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science. Arnold was a collegiate swimmer and a Scholar All-America. Her professional experience includes being a Clinical Research Coordinator for National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded studies at Duke University. Arnold’s principal professional and research interests include multicultural education, athlete mental health, experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ athletes, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport. As a queer woman, promoting the inclusion, acceptance, and celebration of 2SLGBTQIA+ athletes through research, clinical work, and advocacy is central to her career aims. Arnold plans to continue conducting research with 2SLGBTQIA+ athletes and other key stakeholders within sport environments to better understand the experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ athletes, and subsequently, inform policy decisions, training, education, and mental health interventions.

Kasey Chambers (she/her)

Kasey Chambers (she/her), M.A., M.A., is a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of North Texas, specializing in sport psychology. In 2017, Chambers graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English. At Penn, she was a co-captain in back-to-back seasons for the women’s basketball team. Upon graduating, Chambers spent two seasons on the women’s basketball coaching staff as the graduate assistant at The George Washington University. After earning her Master of Arts in Education and Human Development at GW, Chambers earned her Master of Arts in Psychology from Chatham University in 2021. As a Queer, cis-gendered woman and a former collegiate athlete, Chambers is committed to bettering the lived experiences of those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through research, advocacy, and clinical practice.

Trent A. Petrie, Ph.D. (he/him)

Trent A. Petrie, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Psychology at UNT, and has served as the Director of the Center for Sport Psychology and Athlete Mental Health since its inception in 1998. Dr. Petrie has worked in the field of sport psychology since 1987, beginning when he was a doctoral student at The Ohio State University (he graduated from OSU in 1991). He has worked with athletes, coaches, and sport teams at all competitive levels, and currently oversees UNT Athletic Department’s sport psychology and mental health services. He is a licensed psychologist in the State of Texas, a Certified Mental Performance Consultant - Emeritus, Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Dr. Petrie also is an accomplished athlete, having been the co-captain of the 1984-1985 Ohio State University Men’s Volleyball Team while an undergraduate. Since that time, he has competed as a triathlete and runner, and coached at the college level. His research, which has been funded by grants from the NCAA, AASP, and NASPE, has focused on body image and eating disorders in athletes, mental health and psychological well-being, psychological antecedents and consequences of athletic injury, professional training issues in sport psychology, and developing positive youth sport environments. Dr. Petrie has published over 150 articles and book chapters, given over 200 presentations at national and international conferences. He has been honored for his work in sport psychology training and education through both AASP (Distinguished Mentor Award, Association for Applied Sport Psychology. October 2019) and APA Division 47 (Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education in Sport Psychology, Awarded by Division 47, American Psychological Association. August 2017), and was recently honored for his lifetime achievement in research (International Scopus Science-Wide Career-Long Citation Impact of Top 2%, Scopus. 2020). He is a past-president of Division 47 (Exercise & Sport Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, and a Fellow in both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

WomenSport International

WomenSport International (WSI) was formed in 1994 to meet the challenge of ensuring that sport and physical activity receive the attention and priority they deserve in the lives of women and girls. The main purpose of WSI is to serve as an umbrella organization that can bring about positive change for girls and women. Our advocacy is strongly based on current research.