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Sports For Girls

Updated on July 3, 2014
krsharp05 profile image

Kristi has been a competitive gymnastics coach for 25+ years, coached levels 3-10 to state, regional, western and national titles.

┬ęcopyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012

Gymnasts who are also runners and received college scholarships.
Gymnasts who are also runners and received college scholarships. | Source

QUOTE

A true champion is someone who wants to make a difference, who never gives up, and who gives everything she has no matter what the circumstances are. A true champion works hard and never loses sight of her dreams.

~Dot Richardson

Why Sports For Girls?

There are numerous reasons for girls to participate in sports. Most people will argue that the number one reason is exercise and while exercise is very important, it's only one piece of the puzzle.

Facts About Girls in Sports

  • Girls who participate in athletics do much better academically than girls who don't. It seems as though it should be the other way around since athletics take away from study time however, spending time conditioning your body and de-stressing the brain allows more time to actively focus on the tasks that are important.
  • Girls who engage in sports have more self confidence, are more likely to make good choices and are less likely to become depressed.
  • By actively taking part in at least four hours of exercise each week, girls can help reduce the risk of breast cancer by 60%. Currently breast cancer affects one in every eight women in the US.
  • Sports help teach teamwork, confidence, goal-setting and teaches children how to set and pursue goals. Additionally, girls learn the importance of sportsmanship which will benefit them when they enter the workforce. Additionally athletics helps girls learn to control their emotions, fears and nerves.
  • Errors in sports are inevitable when athletes try new things. The important lesson to learn is not to make the same error twice, not to dwell on the mistake and not to take the correction or criticism personally.
  • Learning to be loyal to a team is critical for a cohesive bond. Each player has a role to play including the athletes who may not be "high scorers". It's important that every player champion the strengths of one another and encourage each other through difficult times and mistakes.
  • Girls who participate in sports are less likely to become pregnant, more likely to get better grades and more likely to graduate.

Serena Williams playing the US Open
Serena Williams playing the US Open | Source

Awesome World Records

QUOTE

"Competition can damage self-esteem, create anxiety, and lead to cheating and hurt feelings. But, so can romantic love." ~Mariah Burton Nelson

Women in Sports and Women at Work

Women who have never been on a team and don't understand the unwritten rules of teamwork are at a disadvantage. They cannot sense the bonds of "sisterhood" that happen when you spend 6 months, 1 year or 10 years on a team working toward a common goal together. It's not a phenomenon that 80% of the female executives at Fortune 500 companies were formerly athletes.


How Sports Will Change Her Life In The Real World


Choosing Teams

In grade school you chose people to be on your kickball team based on who was your best buddy however, in the real world teams are chosen much differently. Professionals are searching for the best candidate based on a person's strengths, competence, experience, confidence, knowledge and ability. If you interview well and you have the skills they are looking for, it won't matter that you are the queen of red-rover-red-rover...send Susie right over.

Practicing Confidence

It's no secret that boys are taught from a very early age that crying is not okay. Oppositely girls are allowed to show every single emotion that flutters through their aching hearts. Unfortunately, emotion has an IQ of zero and about as much logic as a mushroom. As such, being overly emotional will not land you a job. Athletics helps teach girls to control their emotions and to use logic and problem solving in order to face difficult situations. Sports require a great deal of confidence to perform and the longer girls stay in sports, the stronger their emotional control will be. Athletics also requires discipline and organization which are two excellent skills to have for life, for a job and for parenting.

Living and Learning

When engaging in sports with a team, errors will be made and teammates or coaches will likely point out those errors. The athlete is expected to fix the problem and continue playing or competing without taking the criticism or correction personally. This correlates perfectly to real life because when a woman gets a job and makes a mistake, her boss or coworker may give her a correction or criticism and she needs to be able to fix the problem and continue working without becoming emotional and feeling as though she is being picked on or that someone is angry with her. She should not take it personally. Her ability to work and refrain from becoming emotional will make her an asset to her team and to the company.

QUOTE

You have to have confidence in your ability. And then be tough enough to follow through. ~Rosalynn Carter

Nadia Comanecia was the first gymnast in the history of gymnastics to receive 7 perfect 10.0s in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
Nadia Comanecia was the first gymnast in the history of gymnastics to receive 7 perfect 10.0s in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. | Source

QUOTE

"Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back...Play for her." ~Mia Hamm

Loyalty To The Team

Women in work settings have been known to spend a great deal of time minding the business of their coworkers as opposed to minding the work on their own desk. It's not uncommon for women to complain about their female associates and their weaknesses. Women who behave in this manner are often regarded as disloyal. However if a woman has experience with teamwork and leadership, she will understand the importance of recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each person on the team and how to redistribute the "players" so that the team is as effective as possible.

I Think I Can, I Know I Can

Women who are raised without athletics often enter the workforce feeling as though they need something tangible such as a certification, training or a degree that makes them "qualified" to have the confidence to apply for a job. Often times they don't feel they can meet the requirements of a new occupation because they are unsure if they can meet the new challenge ahead of them; the fear of the unknown.

Athletics is about trial and error, failure and success, triumph and loss. If a woman is never exposed to the challenges of learning as they go, they may not be able to meet the demands of applying for, interviewing, starting and working a job.

I have a double degree and a double minor. I did five internships and wrote an undergraduate thesis that was the length of a book. I can still recite to you the exact definition of "probable cause" - verbatim... and yet, It's true, "Everything I know I learned on the job,"

The Boss is The Coach and The Employees are The Players

When a woman is part of a team she learns to understand the hierarchy of a team. She recognizes that the coach gives the orders and the players follow the orders. This is wonderful knowledge to have when you are moving into the workforce because the boss will make the decisions and the employees will follow directions. Whether a woman has had a male coach or a female coach, having the experience of being on a team, taking instructions, putting those instructions to use and working effectively as one unit is critical for the success of the team.

It's also important for women to learn the differences in how men and women make decisions and solve problems in order to operate successfully in a work environment. Women are more likely to discuss issues in a business setting whereas men typically maintain the hierarchy standard and give instructions which are expected to be followed without asking for anyone's opinion. Both ways are successful but it's good to be flexible enough to work well with both styles of management.

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Sports allow women to learn that even with your best effort, you might not win, but you must maintain a good attitude and be a good sport. In a job, if you were to make an error or to fail at a particular task, you would recognize your mistake and correct it without blowing the situation out of proportion. It's very important that women understand how to maintain self control at all times, regardless of the outcome. Crying in sports - during competition, is inappropriate just as crying at work is inappropriate. The important thing that each woman must remember is that making a mistake does not make you a worthless person.

QUOTE

"If you want to compete...Practice. If you want to win...Practice Harder." ~Unknown

GORGEOUS ROUTINE! courtesy of youtube

Competition and Winning is Fun

In sports and in the work setting there is constant pressure, high demands, deadlines and competition. On a daily basis there may be more or less of each characteristic depending on the situation. Sports have the ability to teach girls to perceive these situations as exhilarating rather than stressful and frightening. Most businesses prefer to hire employees that enjoy and thrive in competitive situations.

No One Is Left Behind, This Is a Team

Participating in a team sport teaches players about work ethic and the role they play on behalf of the team. Every person has a job to fulfill to make the team successful even if the job is simple and small, it's important that the job be done to the best of their ability. Repetition, practice and constant hard work are the means to a successful team. Athletes know that when they are tired, they can lean on a teammate for support and stamina. This attitude is a wonderful tool to carry into the workplace. Additionally, if your teammate or coworker needs help, then you can step in and lend a hand. That's how teamwork is successful.

PERFECT Practice Makes Perfect

When you practice you must practice perfectly. Paying attention to every single detail is absolutely critical. Constantly studying your position - your job, and knowing what your position is, you must perform it to the best of your ability every day. This is what makes you an asset to the team. The best employees and players are the ones who are constantly studying their position, continuously learning and getting better every day. Always remember that there is knowledge to gain.

OPINION

Which Female Sport is the Most Fun to Watch?

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Athletic Role Models For Girls

By the time girls are 14 years old they are six times more likely to drop out of sports than boys. Girls don't receive the same type of reinforcement to stay involved in sports that boys do. If you look at television and what is being promoted in the media, you notice that a large portion of the athletics that receive notoriety are men's sports. In school, boys are almost expected to participate in sports and are often shunned by other students when they don't sign up for football, baseball or track.

The only time that women receive equal coverage by the media in athletics is during the Olympic Games. When women do well at the Olympics, the media will begin to cover more female collegiate sports and new female professional sports. One of the best things about the Olympic Games is that there is always an explosion in the participation of youth in girls athletics.

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    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 4 years ago from Some tropical country

      Great hub with a lot of useful information, I have never realized that sports offer you more than a healthy body. I love the fact that sports can help you to improve yourselves in many different areas... thank you for sharing...I've learned a lot reading this hub... voted up for awesome!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      greeneryday, thank you for reading and voting. I'm pleased that you found the information useful! I'm a big fan of women's athletics - can you tell? I appreciate you taking the time to leave such a great comment. -K

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      Sports are good for children - I really think they are necessary to keep kids healthy and to develop concepts of teamwork and how to accept losing gracefully. I only have two boys, but if we had a girl, she'd be right in there with them playing soccer, hockey, and everything else our boys play!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Awesome hub! I remember when I was very young, I was pretty unhealthy and awfully shy. After participating in soccer and basketball a little bit, I got a lot healthier, and my social skills also improved. I didn't make it into the school team or even take it seriously. Sports weren't my biggest interests, but still, I'm glad I did it.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      leah, I have five brothers and a sister and because of gymnastics I was always very buff. We rode motocross as a family and I'm pretty sure people mistook me for a boy until I went through puberty! ha ha ha. Sports are wonderful and I didn't mind tagging along behind the guys! Sports definitely help teach kids social skills that other aspects of life don't teach them. Thank you for the great comment! -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Om, It's great that you had a chance to participate in sports and that they did have a benefit on your life. It's interesting that you say you were shy because I have never thought of you as shy - you seem as though you are "larger than life" in all that you do. Thank you for reading and commenting. -K

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I was an U12 soccer coach for a long time. I was blessed with very supportive parents. This was important because my teams had boys and girls and insisted they play against any team. I couldn't believe how sexist league sports were. And I was only training U12!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Mhatter, It's awesome that you had boys and girls - I would think the diversity would be fun to coach and probably more difficult since girls can hesitate where boys are more tough at times. Thanks for reading and commenting. -K

    • meloncauli profile image

      meloncauli 4 years ago from UK

      Really enjoyed reading this article especially as I can see the value in female sport more now. Our females have done really well in the olympics this year and I have seen the reward is not just a medal but a personal boost. Very interesting.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      meloncauli, thank you for the great comment. The women have been amazing this Olympics! I love watching the Olympic games and this summer has been awesome. I do have to say though, Shaun White is phenomenal on the snow so I look forward to seeing him in the winter! I'm so pleased you are feeling better :) -K

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Good thoughts on teamwork and sports for girls. The US gym team really proved your hub's topic works.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      teaches, Every once in a while you get a group of kids that comes together and creates magic....I bet you know that feeling :) Those girls seem to have that magic! They are amazing! Thank you for reading and commenting. It's always nice to see you've been here. -K

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

      I was never big into sports myself, but I have seen what a positive impact team sports can have on young women. Group or team sports prepares girls for being a contributing member in a team environment and grooms them for future leadership roles. Enjoyed this Hub very much. Now I'm going to watch the Olympics!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      lindacee, I think that anything girls can belong to in a team setting can be a good thing. I just happen to enjoy competition - I think it's partially having six siblings and having to keep up with five boys that makes me competitive. Nevertheless, I like to teach girls that they can be just as successful as men. :) Thank you for reading and commenting. Enjoy the Olympics! Go USA! -K

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