Thank you to Asia Mape for featuring Alison Foley on the I Love to Watch You Play blog.
How Can We Empower Our Girls Through Sports?
By Alison Foley
More than half of girls QUIT SPORTS by the end of puberty—more than half. QUIT. This is a dramatic statistic that is much higher for girls than for boys. And we want our girls to play sports. The positive effect sport has on girls has been proven over and over.
- Better grades
- Decreased illness
- Healthier body image
- Better social decisions around alcohol and drugs
- More confidence
- Lower pregnancy rates
The key here is what can we do as parents, coaches, educators, and mentors to keep girls in sport. We’ve come up with five tips, but remember, the main ingredient is always pretty simple…keep it “fun”.
1.) Increase female Role Models: In a world that worships external beauty, we all need to support and elevate positive females who are strong and confident, not just pretty. Girls need to see strength as beauty both inside and out. They need to view females competing and challenging each other as healthy. We need more female coaches, trainers, and sports administrators. Female coaches can connect with girls and understand their experiences. Only 23% of youth coaches in the US are female. That number is the lowest on record since 2012 and is down from 28 % in 2016. In 1979 Title IX was passed to get gender equity in all opportunities in sports, but we are still way off from equal playing fields in any capacity. We have to push this message and encourage women to lead in different roles in sports. There are apps and programs such as She can Coach and Mojo.sport that give women the tools, training ideas, and practice outlines to help equip novice coaches and empower them to coach confidently.
Read the rest here.