February Serves as the Month of Observation
National Girls and Women in Sports Day come at a perfect time this year, after the immaculate display of feminine power following the Super Bowl. February serves as the month of observation to acknowledge accomplishments of female athletes, honor the progress of female sports all across the spectrum, realize and create awareness of the continuous struggle for equality in women’s sports, and recognize the major influence of sports and participation in extracurricular activities for women and girls alike. Starting your young girls in different activities can increase their:
- Socialization Skills
- Fine Motor and Gross Motor Skills
- Create a Love for Sporting Activities
- Increase Their Natural Activity Levels
- Improve Quick Thinking and Ability to Work Thru a Problem or Circumstance
- Improve Self Confidence
When we think of “sports”, most people’s first thoughts probably go towards the NBA, the NHL, the NFL, or their favorite collegiate team (mostly men’s sports).
We probably don’t think about competitive cheerleading or gymnastics, women’s basketball or soccer programs, volleyball, softball, swimming, bowling, tennis, skiing, etc. It’s no one’s fault, really! It’s just the power of influence the media has on our likes and what we spend our time and attention on. Not to mention the drastic wage gap between female and male professional sports. The tides are changing, the US Women’s soccer team provide be talented, competitive and drew International attention. Lorry and Breiman are doing amazingly in the collegiate fields.
The statistics for Female students in sports programs related to their academic performance, as well as their overall success as an adult are astounding.
- Girls are 92% less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol
- 80% less likely to get pregnant
- 3x more likely to graduate than non-athletes
- Students who plan to attend a four-year college are more likely to participate in school or competitive athletics
- provided by athleteassessments.com.
As a high school girls volleyball coach,
I can personally attest to the strength and conditioning that my girls partake in, the cardio, strenuous activity in practice, and competition alike. But, I can remember playing in high school and boys would tease that all we did was “stand in place” and “hit a ball”. As disheartening as that short anecdote is, women in sports are constantly doubted, and not nearly as highly revered as men are. Changing that stigma is a generational responsibility, and I know that we are up for the challenge!
The most notable displays of female power for 2019 -2020
included Katie Sowers, Jennifer Lopez, and female renowned astronaut Nicole Stott. These ladies certainly shook the nation with their unapologetic talents, display of strength, and feminine finesse. They stood tall during their educational pursuits towards a heavily dominated male career field. Each of These women understands and includes sports training in their daily lives to stay on top of their field.
A few more amazing role models of the 20th century were females who played a variety of sports. Whether that was Serena and Venus Williams, Kerri Walsh Jennings, or Michelle Kwan, We can all remember being in awe of their athletic abilities, grace, innate beauty whilst competing, and grit.
In our own backyard, we have women of sporting talent pursuing a dream of kinship, inner strength, and physical strength. Meet Anne Townsend Manager and coach at Burn Boot Camp in Round Rock. Anne is also a Mom, Military Wife, and a firm believer in helping women achieve their personnel best thru exercise coaching and nutritional guidance.
In Pflugerville, Perfect 10.0 was founded by Brandi Smith Physical Therapist, Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist, Fellowship Trained in Orthopedic Manual Therapy and a former collegiate gymnast and high school cheerleader. Offering a unique holistic approach to the treatment of gymnastic, cheer-leading, dance, figure skating, free running, parkour, yoga, circus arts, and other related sports injuries and training
There are small changes in our everyday lives
that we can partake in to make a big change in females participating in sports. It starts early and involvement can happen at any age!
- Get your girls involved in anything involving movement young! If you’re reading this and your kiddos are older, it’s not too late!
- Encourage independence and allow your girls to decide which sports activities appeal to THEM.
- Watch female sports on TV! A couple of suggestions include watching women’s volleyball, the WNBA, girls swimming, gymnastics, college softball, and the list goes on and on! It’s important that our youth sees powerful athletic females as role models, and that won’t happen if you only watch the NBA and the NFL. Don’t get me wrong; I love these stations as well, but we must include a variety of viewing opportunities for our kids!
- Encourage, applaud, and communicate how proud you are of your girls, no matter the outcome or win!
- It’s likely that each activity won’t be their “niche”, so have fun discovering what they really enjoy, and applaud them if they would like to take a different route, maybe in the creative arts, music, or theatre!
- Building your craft and love for any activity is extremely important to build a sense of self and confidence!
A sport does not have to include SWEAT though it does not hurt. A craft can be considered a sport, Painting is creative and improves when one attends classes and shares their experiences. Playing an instrument is always best shared with a group, takes practice, and improves confidence and fine motor skills. Chess is a competitive game and improves creative brain skills. So many activities to be involved with – So be a “sport” and keep active from a young girl to grandma!