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USA Lacrosse
| Apr 11, 2024

Staff Spotlight: Diversifying the Field with Bailey Speight

By Ronnie Morales

Welcome to a new series of articles highlighting members of our staff and the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and opportunity within our sport. First up is Bailey Speight, our manager of sports science.

Personal Journey: Can you share with us your journey and what led you to become part of USA Lacrosse?

My journey to becoming part of USA Lacrosse began with a deep passion for athletics, research and technology. I received my bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Furman University and my master’s degree in applied physiology and kinesiology with a concentration in human performance from University of Florida. I started my role at USA Lacrosse right after I graduated from UF and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to contribute to the organization’s mission of further advancing the sport and supporting athletes’ performance through evidence-based practices. In addition, I am incredibly excited for the upcoming inclusion of lacrosse in the Olympics in 2028, which will open new avenues for growth in the sport science realm.

Role and Impact: What is your current role at USA Lacrosse, and how do you feel it contributes to the organization's mission and values?

I am currently the manager of sports science within the Center for Sports Science & Safety. In this role, I oversee the integration of GPS technology with our national teams, health and wellness education, and help coordinate lacrosse-specific research initiatives. There is a lack of research in the lacrosse space, so we are working to fill in those gaps in literature. I believe my role significantly contributes to USA Lacrosse’s mission and values by providing the lacrosse community with resources and support to enhance their performance, minimize injury risk and ultimately elevate the standard of play within the sport.

Experiences with Diversity: How have your experiences as an African American woman shaped your approach to your work in lacrosse and sports science?

As an African American woman in the field of sports science and lacrosse, I learned to trust my knowledge and be confident in my abilities. I learned to assertively communicate my expertise and perspectives, ensuring my contributions were valued and respected. This has empowered me to navigate challenges to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding within the sports community.

Vision for the Future: What is your vision for the future of diversity and inclusion in lacrosse, both on and off the field? 

My vision for the future of diversity and inclusion in lacrosse in one where the sport reflects the rich tapestry of our society. I envision a future where lacrosse is accessible to individuals from all backgrounds and where opportunities for participation and leadership are equitable.

Personal Insights: What advice would you give to young women of color aspiring to pursue a career in sports science or lacrosse? 

To young women of color who are interested in sports science and/or lacrosse, my advice would be to embrace their passion and cultivate your expertise by seeking out opportunities for growth. That could be formal education, hands-on experience, or finding a mentor who can provide guidance. You should recognize the value that your unique perspective brings to the sports industry.

What message would you like to share with the wider USA Lacrosse community about the importance of diversity and inclusion in sports?

The importance of championing diversity and inclusion in sports cannot be overstated. Embracing diversity enriches the culture of our sport and fosters innovation and creativity. By actively seeking different perspectives from various backgrounds, we can create a more welcoming, equitable, and resilient environment where every athlete, coach, administrator, official and fan feels valued, respected, and empowered to participate and succeed.