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Girls Just Want to Play Sports

 

With recent research showing over 100,000 girls playing ‘traditional’ male sports (including football, hockey and wrestling), the instances of residual ‘culture shock’ seems to be waning. What once created problems for athletics organizations, coaches and parents is now becoming regarded as status quo – as it should be.

Athletic Pioneers

Although baseball player Jackie Mitchell is not as recognized in the sports world as she should be, Mitchell was an admired baseball player who has become a pioneer for women in sports.

In 1931, when she occupied a roster spot for the Class AA minor league Chattanooga Lookouts, a feat enviable of many a major league pitcher. In an exhibition game, she recorded consecutive strikeouts against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The southpaw hurler caught Ruth ‘looking’ for a called third strike and followed the feat with whiffing Gehrig as he missed on three straight swings.

A more familiar name is Babe Didrickson Zaharias, a multi-sport athlete three (two gold, one silver) Olympic medals in track and field. She was also an All-American in basketball. Zaharias became the first woman golfer to play in PGA tournaments, actually making the cut several times in the 1940s.

In 2003, Katie Hnida became the first woman to score points in NCAA Division I football. Hnida kicked two extra points for the University of New Mexico. Hnida was not the first woman participant in college football, though. In 2001, kicker Ashley Martin was on the roster of Jacksonville State.

‘Girl on the Team’ & Coaching

As a coach it is important to be pro-active and encouraging of female athletes. They should be treated no differently and should be given the same responsibilities as the boys. As a coach, you have to keep an eye on the team and make sure there is no bullying, or unfairness among team members. Be open to your team and listen to any problems or concerns they may have. Also, don’t forget about the parents, make sure to be open and available to speak with them, in the end they want the best for their kids!

Why a Girl Wants to Play?

Girls have the same drive as boys to play sports. What if a girl wants to play baseball instead of girl’s softball? Why not? There is no real reason why girls should stick to softball and boys to baseball. Girls also want the extra competition and challenge. Although it is true that sometimes boys want to play around with boys, and girls want to play with girls. In sports, it should never be assumed that girls want to play a different game. A team should value all its members equally, and encourage them regardless of their gender.

Mom & Dad

A daughter wanting to participate in ‘contact’ sports (football or hockey, e.g.) may create quite an interesting discussion at the dinner table. Moms and Dads need to listen to a daughter’s reason for wanting to play such sports. The worries are no different than for parents of boys wanting to wear a pair of shoulder pads and a helmet. Obviously, the well-being of children is the most important but ‘being a girl’ should not be a decision-maker. Parents should encourage their daughter to play they sport they like and should always be a supportive.

 

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5 Reasons Why Girls Love Sports

Gender stereotyping is bad for boys, bad for girls and definitely bad for sports. When we underestimate the strength, determination and capability of girls, we starve the world of future sports stars.

Aren’t we a little tired of hearing that sports aren’t for girls? Girls should be busy dreaming of becoming princesses, perfecting their nail varnish and fancying boy bands. Girls are much too ladylike to want to spend time fighting over a ball, getting muddy and leading their team to victory. Come on, this is very old school thinking.

Girls love sports just as much as boys do. There’s nothing inherently male about loving sports. Girls are more than capable of dominating on the field. Those old-fashioned stereotypes are not only holding girls back, they’re holding female sports back. It’s 2016 and it’s definitely time to embrace sports-loving girls and encourage the next generation of inspirational sports stars. Here are five reasons why girls love sports:

  1. Because they’re strong

Think girls only care about being skinny? You’re wrong. Look at inspiring women like Serena Williams who aren’t afraid to build muscle, show off their strength and look powerful. Strong is the new skinny. Team sports offer girls the opportunity to improve their fitness, grow strong and discover just how incredible their bodies are. Girls learn more about body confidence through sports than they do through teen magazines and advertising campaigns.

  1. It releases adrenalin

Exercise makes anyone feel good. It releases feel good hormones that improve your mood, reduce stress and can even fight depression. Spending time exercising can improve sleep, improve fitness and generally increase happiness. Getting involved in team sports is a great way to put exercise firmly on the agenda. Playing sports with your friends doesn’t feel like a chore, instead it’s something you can look forward to each and every time.

  1. It’s competitive

Competition is a healthy part of growing up and team sports are a great place to let that competitive streak out. Competition encourages us to strive to improve ourselves, to work harder and to dream bigger. These are all valuable lessons for young female athletes. Team sports provide a safe and appropriate place for girls to embrace their competitive nature and strive for improvement.

  1. Friends for a life-time

The friends you make through team sports will be friends who stay with you for life. These girls who have your back, cheer your victories and help you score the winning goals will grow into the women who support you through life’s ups and downs.

  1. It boosts confidence

Want to feel good about yourself? Join a team of like-minded individuals all aiming for the same goal. Want to love your body? Push it to its limits. Want to feel good about yourself? Do something you haven’t done before. Team sports force girls to learn new skills, get out of their comfort zone and take calculated risks.

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Volleyball Is A Rapidly Growing Women’s Sport – And A Great Option For Young Girls

Synopsis: Volleyball is quickly gaining in popularity with girls across the country, and thanks to the combination of excitement and discipline that it offers, it could continue to grow for years to come.

 

Over the years, volleyball has not been a sport that has received the same level of attention from girls as options like soccer, tennis, basketball, or softball. However, that is all changing quickly. Volleyball is now one of the most popular sports for girls to participate in, and college volleyball is rapidly growing as well.

When you take a closer look at the game of volleyball, it is easy to see why so many young girls want to participate. It is an exciting game that requires athleticism, eye-hand coordination, teamwork, and plenty of practice. If a girl has grown up playing other sports, the skills learned in those other games will likely translate nicely to the volleyball court. Balance, quickness, agility, and flexibility are all rewarded when trying to get the ball back to the other side of the net.

Not Just for Tall Kids

Many people think of volleyball as a game that is only for tall people, but that is a mistake. Yes, height can be an advantage when playing volleyball, but not every player on the floor needs to have height on their side. There are different positions in volleyball just like in basketball, so there is room in the game for players of all different heights. As long as a young girl has a passion for the game and a willingness to work hard and learn new skills, they will have no trouble fitting in with a volleyball team.

Learning Teamwork Skills

If you are the parent of a young girl who is interested in volleyball, you will love the teamwork skills that are developed in this game. Volleyball is all about passing with teammates, communicating while the ball is in the air, and sticking together as a group during tough matches. There are certainly individual skills that are developed while participating in volleyball, but it is really the team component of the game that holds so much value for young people.

It’s Just Plain Fun!

At the end of the day, sports should be fun for kids. Girls love playing volleyball because they can cheer for their friends, enjoy competition in a fast paced game, and hit shots that they will remember for years to come. Not all girls will go on to earn college scholarships for their volleyball skill, but they can still have great times and create lasting friendships while playing this exciting sport.

There is room on the volleyball court for girls of all different backgrounds and skill levels. Some girls will want to strive for the opportunity play in college, while others will only choose to play for a year or two. No matter what your daughter has in mind for her own volleyball career, this is a sport that she will likely look back on with fond memories.

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is Inspiring a Generation

Synopsis: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team took home the Women’s World Cup in 2015, and inspired a whole generation of young female soccer players at the same time.

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One of the biggest sporting events this year has been the Women’s World Cup. Hosted in Canada. The United States team took home the title after missing out in last three editions of this competition. While the U.S. team looked a little bit shaky early in the tournament, they progressed nicely as cup continued and finished the job with a dominating 5-2 win over Japan.

Women’s sports don’t take the spotlight nearly as often as men’s sports, so it is always worth noting when a large event such as the World Cup captures the attention of the country. Not only is it exciting to watch these women perform at the top of their game, but it is also inspiring to a whole new generation of aspiring soccer players. Thanks to the performance put forward by the U.S. Women’s National Team, countless young girls will now be dreaming of becoming the next Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.

  • A Great Game for Kids

Soccer is an incredibly popular sport among young people, and it is easy to see why. Kids love it because there are few rules – especially at the youth level. They can run around, kick the ball with their friends, and have a great time. Since soccer is a ‘hands-off’ game, kids aren’t held back by eye-hand coordination that hasn’t quite developed just yet. They can jump into playing soccer basically as soon as they are old enough to play with a ball, and it is a game that can be played with very little equipment.

  • Fitness is a Top Priority

As a game based on running, soccer places a high level of importance on overall physical fitness. In order to succeed in the soccer field, girls need to be physically active and overall fit. Even if they only play soccer for their early school years, the lessons they learn regarding fitness will be valuable as they move on into adult life.

  • Focus on Teamwork

Soccer is one of the most team-oriented games that kids can play. Working together is vital on the soccer field, as no one can defeat the other team all by themselves. Not only is it a great lesson for kids to have to rely on the help of their teammates in order to succeed, but working together with others is a good step toward developing social skills.

Although not all young athletes are going to grow up to play on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, but that doesn’t make the dream any less exciting. For young girls who fell in love with the game of soccer this summer, signing up for a team and making new friends will be a great experience. Whether they play for just a year or two, or go all the way to college and beyond, the passion that they feel for this game can be traced to the thrilling performance of their heroes wearing the Red, White, and Blue.