I joke that my tween daughter was born an athlete. She is naturally competitive, has the desire to work hard and she enjoys sports. I never had to encourage her to play sports. She wanted to.
As a child, I was completely different. I had no desire or interest and my parents never encouraged me to play. I wish they had.
Did you know that 82% of women executives in Fortune 500 companies played sports as children?
By playing sports, my daughter has blossomed into an outgoing, goal-oriented, team player – all important skills to posses as she becomes an adult. But, the most important thing she has learned is the ability to interact and respect children from all different backgrounds, ethnicities and socio-economic levels.
I realize it is challenging to encourage children to get into sports. But it is not impossible.
JCPenney recently teamed up with ESPN reporter Monica Gonzalez and Gonzo Soccer to host a free soccer clinic for Houston-area tween and teen girls. During the clinic, Monica shared her advice on getting girls motivated to participate in sports. Here are her and my tips:
Tips to help your daughter get into sports:
- Find a sport your daughter likes. My daughter played soccer, basketball and volleyball. She ran cross country and swam. By allowing her to experience all of these different sports she was able to pin point the one that she liked the best. Let your daughter explore her interests. Also, take into consideration whether she prefers team or individual sports.
- Encourage her friends to join. There is no better motivator for a tween girl to join a sport than if her friends are doing it. Talk to the moms of your daughter’s friends and get everyone motivated to join a team.
- Find a team or league at or just above your daughter’s level. Monica Gonzalez recommends parents seek out a team that is just above their daughter’s current skill level that way they’ll be challenged to improve.
- Spend time with the ball. Whatever sport your tween or teen shows an interest in, purchase a ball and equipment so you can practice at home. Monica Gonzalez suggests, “Get as many touches to the ball as possible – the more you practice, the better you’ll become.”
- Set a goal with your daughter. Is she going to be playing for fun? Maybe she is playing for exercise or maybe she has dreams to become a professional athlete. Whatever the reason, set clear goals on what your daughter wants to accomplish and help her along the way. This will not only motivate her to play sports but also continue.
Another great way to encourage girls to join sports teams is by seeking out fun clinics and interactive sessions such as the one that JCPenney hosted with Monica Gonzalez in Houston. During the event, girls between the ages of 8 -16 learned about Gonzo Soccer Academy, the importance of physical fitness and received decision-making advice.
Remember, by encouraging girls to participate in sports, we are building future leaders!
$50 JCPenney Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway
What? $50 JCPenney Gift Cart
When? October 6th through midnight EST on October 14th
How to Enter: Leave a comment below sharing why you think it’s important to help support girls in sports and education AND input your information into the Rafflecopter widget. Be sure to check for additional entry options.
Rules: Limit one entry per household. Open to U.S. residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be notified via email and have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.