5 Ways to Keep Girls in Sports

5 Ways to Keep Girls in Sports
Image courtesy of Sandra Meyer Photography

Any parent who wants the best for their child would want them to get into sports. It is no secret that sports are tremendously beneficial to every growing child. Sports allow children to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, all while staying healthy.

However, if you have a daughter, this is easier said than done. Statistically, by the time they get to their teenage years, girls are twice as likely as boys to drop out of sports altogether. They also get introduced to sports later than boys and are encouraged to participate in sports far less than boys are.

Since they are at a disadvantage from the very beginning, girls don’t have the support they need to be successful in sports. And for children, success is synonymous with having fun. So when they do not have fun and are instead struggling to keep up with their peers, they are more likely to drop out.

But that’s not all. The society we live in is not as supportive of female athletes as it is of their male counterparts. Girls get ridiculed and judged when they choose to get into traditionally male sports. Therefore, this social stigma and the evident lack of female role models further makes it harder for girls to get into sports.

Therefore, if you want your daughter to get interested and motivated about sports, you need to start addressing these issues from a young age, which will then pave the way for them to want to stick with it throughout their lives.

Here are a few more ways you can motivate your daughter to take up sports:

Do Not Insist on PerfectionDo Not Insist on Perfection

If you have unrealistic expectations of them, they will likely never meet them and will be continuously frustrated in their efforts to meet your wild expectations. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is let your daughter know that there is no such thing as perfection.

Many girls abandon their chosen sports altogether because they believe they are not good enough. As a parent, you can help them through this by celebrating their efforts and their achievements, no matter how small they may be. Understand that they may never go pro with it, but at least they will have fun playing the sport to whatever level they get to reach.

Let Them Understand the Benefits of Playing Sports

You will need to explain these benefits to them slowly and in a way that they can understand. What are the health benefits of playing sports? Teach them, in simple terms, how it helps in weight management, breast cancer, and about teamwork and sportsmanship.

Start at Home

The first step making them love a particular game is to start at home. For example, if you notice that they have an interest in baseball, take them out to the yard and play catch, sign them up to a youth baseball league, or watch a few games together and teach them the rules and history of the game. You will know if your daughter is interested and ready to move on to the next level.

Take Her to Watch Women’s Matches

As mentioned before, one of the main reasons girls drop out of sports is the lack of female sports role models. One of the best ways to remedy this is to take your daughter out to watch women’s professional league matches. Seeing her favorite game at an elite level will more than likely make her want to give it a shot, too.

Be Supportive of HerBe Supportive of Her

Understand that she may not always be good at everything she tries. You should try and be very supportive of her, especially in the initial stages when she is just getting the hang of things. Sports, just like everything else in life, takes time and practice to perfect.

You can show your support by taking her to her training and attending her games to watch her compete. When she does not win, let her vent and express her disappointment, then follow up with words of encouragement and reassurance. Even the best players have off days. It’s what makes sports fun!

Final Thoughts

It is easier to get boys into sports than it is to do the same for girls. However, with these simple pointers, you can help your daughter find a sport she loves. Just remember, having fun is the most important thing. Support her throughout, and she will enjoy the game more and end up sticking with it for longer.

Images courtesy of Sandra Meyer Photography.

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