Embodied regulation: the case of women collegiate athletes

Kaitlin Pericak, Caitlin Vitosky Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the U.S. collegiate sport system, women athletes are subjected to various kinds of stress. Within this system, the coach-athlete relationship serves as a mechanism for regulating the body and causing gendered ideals to become embodied. While the literature reveals theoretical and empirical research on the body and sport, the influence of the coach-­athlete relationship on embodiment among collegiate women athletes needs further research. Utilizing interpretive and Black feminist theories, this article examines the stress women collegiate athletes experience in this institutionalized system. Findings reveal that the organizational structure of U.S. college sport reproduces white heteronormative femininity that is harmful to women athletes. Moreover, coaches act as body regulators on behalf of the U.S. collegiate sport system to create a gendered feminine ideal body, causing stress for women collegiate athletes. This article concludes with the implications of stress and body regulation for collegiate coaches and the NCAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1957-1978
Number of pages22
JournalSport in Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2023


  • Collegiate athlete
  • body regulation
  • coach-athlete relationship
  • embodiment
  • femininity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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