Coaching Girls Guide
Make Sport Spaces Work for Girls
Experts say that girls do better physically, mentally, emotionally and socially when they get the chance to play. But today, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys. As part of Nike’s work with community partners and experts to reverse this drop-out trend, we created The Coaching Girls Guide: a resource to help mentor, empower and support young athletes.
The reality is, sport gear and spaces aren’t usually designed for girls. And this gets unintentionally reinforced in a lot of ways. Going across the park to find a bathroom or wearing hand-me-down uniforms from the boys’ team sends the message that girl athletes are an afterthought. Protective gear isn’t always made with girls in mind either, and can end up being ill-fitting, uncomfortable and sometimes even unsafe.
All too often, girls have to make do, which negatively shapes their experience with sport.
Girls need gear that fits, apparel that suits them, nearby spaces that are clean and safe to manage hygiene needs, and practices scheduled in places and at times that won’t risk their physical safety. While you can’t necessarily build a better bathroom, you can create a safe and comfortable experience by considering these needs when planning sport sessions and locations.
And remember, lots of girls aren’t encouraged to play sports. Just showing up is a risk, so it’s even more important for her to have a positive, healthy environment that allows her to feel safe and have fun and is free of discrimination and judgement.