Coaching Girls Guide
Let Her Compete
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.
Girls love to play and play hard. The research backs us up on this: Three-quarters of girls say things related to competition are what they like most about sports. They also like to play on teams that emphasise both winning and fun. We know girls aren't fragile and they aren't any more likely to get hurt than boys. First and foremost, they want to play.
This doesn't mean you must have an all-out scrimmage or keep score at every training session. It does mean you should find ways to engage girls in friendly competition while learning key skills.
The best types of games are ones that get kids moving and keep downtime to a minimum. Games that teach communication, teamwork, problem-solving and movement skills are all great. Here are some fun, easy activities to teach these concepts and help girls get moving.
We want kids to move as much as possible—and that's what they want too—so make sure you modify games, like tig, where kids are traditionally eliminated. For example, in a modified version of tig, being tigged simply means that the player has to freeze for five seconds and shout out the name of their favourite athlete or team. Then, the player jumps up and gets back in the game.
Being able to compete also means girls have to have the right clothing—not just for their sport, but for their bodies. If a girl seems uncomfortable or is suddenly choosing to sit out, she might need personal gear like a sports bra. Address it in the most appropriate way for the girl, with a parent or caregiver, to ensure she can play safely and comfortably.