Welcome to the How to Coach Girls Blog Tour!
When I was younger, I enjoyed playing sports. I was on a soccer team, baseball team, and considered being on swim team and also simply loved to play. These were the days when recess time at school was spent playing tether-ball and handball rather than having climbing equipment. I don’t remember a time that I didn’t like being on a team as a young child. That said, I also vividly remember when I was the only girl left playing on a baseball team and how it felt to be the only girl invited to a boy’s birthday party. It wasn’t a good thing. I also can tell you exactly when I stopped playing team sports – the day that I was told I had to pick between acting and sports.
I will admit that I haven’t been one to push my girls into sports. My younger daughter has shown something of a desire to play, but when she was 5 or 6, the options were pretty pathetic and the fact that the teams were co-ed didn’t help much. Not only that, there were no practices, just games, so they weren’t learning skills. E would stand on the basketball court twirling her hair because none of the boys would ever pass her the ball. But she still wants to play and now I have to start looking into teams for slightly older children.
So it was with great interest that I heard about a new book from fellow blogger Mia Wenjen and her friend and coach, Alison Foley. Mia is a parenting and education blogger at PragmaticMom and mother of two daughters. Alison Foley is the Head Coach of Women’s Soccer at Boston College and the mother of one daughter. The combination of Mia’s voice of parental experience coupled with Alison’s professional expertise provides an innovative and highly accessible approach to considering potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Coaching girls is different from coaching boys. Many might argue with this, but the reality is that girls as a general principle respond to different forms of encouragement and often they play sports for different reasons. Looking at a variety of articles on the subject, you can see that many coaches share these feelings. I know that when J played coach-pitch baseball in first grade, her only motivation was to be playing with her friends, not for competition. But the benefits of an active lifestyle and of playing sports are so vital, I would love to see us come together an encourage girls to play sports and to stay in sports.
One of the biggest things keeping girls from staying in sports is being told that they aren’t good enough, often by male classmates. I’ve definitely seen that in my kids. Also, their individual desires to get into sports starts at different ages, but it seems like if you don’t start early, there is no way to catch up.
According to a report by CNN “Seven out of the 10 girls who quit sports during puberty said they didn’t feel like they belonged in sports, according to the survey of more than 1,000 girls ages 16 to 24. Nearly the same number (67%) said they felt that society doesn’t encourage girls to play sports.”
But there are many girls who ignore that and are becoming amazing athletes.
But I digress, back to the book…
Mia and Alison came together to talk about the many issues that face coaching girls teams across the spectrum of sports. Volunteer parents and experienced coaches alike will find invaluable advice on the process of making a successful team, encouraging girls to stay in sports beyond the middle school years. The book is broken down into twenty-two chapters that cover all the major issues.
- What Are the Differences Coaching Girls vs Boys?
- Keeping It Fun
- Developing Good People Not Just Good Players
- Teaching Growth Mindset Through Sportd
- Coaching Your Own Daughter
- Building Team Chemistry
- Social Awareness and Giving Back to Community
- Positive Reinforcement is Critical
- Playing Time
- The Pitfalls of Choosing Captains
- Body Image, Puberty and Sports
- Building a Player’s Confidence
- Cliques On and Off the Field
- Handling a Losing Streak
- Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes
- How To Be A Good Teammate Game
- Creating Your Medical Emergency Plan
- Parent Code of Conduct
- Player Code of Conduct
- Player Goals and Evaluations
- Pre-Season Logistics
In the final section, a broad range of experienced college coaches, including former Olympians, give crucial guidance on what it is that girls need from a coach to allow them to flourish in sports, and most importantly, have fun.
Volunteer parents and experienced coaches alike will find invaluable advice on creating a successful team that motivates girls to stay in sports beyond the middle school years. Twenty-two chapters cover major issues, including how to pick captains, the importance of growth mindset, issues around body image and puberty, as well as the challenges of coaching your own daughter.
Order HOW TO COACH GIRLS
Other Stops on the HTCG Blog Tour:
Shelly Bean the Sports Queen-February 22
Wise Owl Factory-March 1
The Conscious Kid– March 2
Jump Into a Book-March 3
Books My Kids Read-March 4
Ms Yingling Reads-March 5
Youth Lit Reviews-March 6
All Done Monkey-March 7
Miss Panda Chinese-March 8
Biracial Bookworms-March 9
Mom of all Capes-March 10
Randomly Reading-March 12
Here Wee Read-March 13
The Pragmatic Parent-March 15