Parents-Encourage and Inspire your Girl Athletes

May 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Self Esteem | 1 Comment
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I didn’t get any exercise for me in today.  Still I had a great day-  I watched two lacrosse games.  The first was U13 girls- meaning the girls were all younger than 13 on Jan 1 2011.  This team has 16 players with 8 who have never played before and the girls range down in age to 8- So a very inexperienced and young team.  The first half was a wash out.  The other team totally creamed us.  1-13.

Not really sure how a coach could have allowed or encouraged such a slaughter at this age, but instead of totally giving up my daughter’s team kept trying.  We had two time outs when the coach spent the time totally encouraging the girls.  There was so much she could have been negative about, but she chose to talk about every little strength that the girls gave.  She also gave them specific practical skills to try.  After each time out the girls came back stronger.

The second half was a new game, with the final score being 4 to 14 (or the half being 2-3 in our favor)  So what made this difference?  Why didn’t these girls play this way for the first half?  And most importantly why did these girls go for it the second half?

Of course I told you about the coach.  But as parents we played our part.

  • We stayed attentive to the whole game. In other words we did not start to chat amongst our selves with an attitude of not caring since the girls obviously had no chance of winning.
  • We cheered and supported the girls efforts.  No one yelled about all the possible plays the girls could have made.  No one moaned when the goalie let yet another goal in.
  • Our remarks were enthusiastic and encouraging.  We yelled for sure, when the girls ran with the ball, scooped it up, made an attempt at a shot.
  • We ignored commenting about the slaughter attempt.  If anything we used the slaughter attempt to instill energy and enthusiasm in the girls.

This is the important thing. Really the ONLY thing that matters to young athletes- Our girls came off the field feeling good.  The score was not the important part.  What was important was that they actually learned to play the game.  That they were out there trying their best.  That it was lots of fun and exciting to run up and down the field.

As a parent/coach/athlete I urge you to encourage and inspire your girls. And have fun while doing it.

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  1. Great post! So true, Grace – love your advice. As I raise my 3 girls, I will remember this. Thanks for posting!


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