Why Girls Should Play Sports: 7 Key Benefits
Most people know that playing sports is great for kids, but did you know that girls reap specific health and mental benefits from playing sports? Here are four key benefits that girls gain from playing sports.
Female athletes are more likely to be Academic All-Stars
High school female athletes who play sports have a higher probability of earning better grades and a better chance of graduation. Research shows that girls with higher sports GCPAs have higher opinions about their abilities and competence. Sixty-one percent of girls in school with grades of 4.0 play sports in sports teams. Additionally, girls with sports participation also have higher grades.
Sports teach you to fail
A recent "New York Times" article about how to teach children to fail was entitled: Child psychologists and others have long praised the advantages of grit, risk-taking and resilience. Certainly in the most important arena of all time sports are clear proof that whether someone wins or someone losses it's all in our minds. There is another valuable lesson that can be learned when players end each kids sports game by shaking hands with her opponents and yelling “Good game”.
Playing sports boosts mental health
Athletics offer many physiological advantages. But psychiatry pays off equally. The Women's Sports Foundation says that girls who play sport have higher levels of self esteem and confidence in their own abilities. Typically they have better self-body images than girls who don't sport at all. The CDC has found that kids who play sport have fewer addictions and experience less emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Physical Health Benefits Are Huge
Lower weight, reduced fat intake, better articular strength — these benefits should be seen in female athletes. However their health has also improved in surprising ways as well. Children who play sports have higher immune systems which are associated with reducing the risk of chronic diseases that will eventually develop into heart attacks and diabetes.
Sports are the antidote to loneliness
Psychologists at the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) conducted national surveys on over 1000 girls aged 9 to 13 who questioned what they liked about their sport. What are you doing for them? “I like meeting people. The results are based upon a survey conducted by Ruling Our Experiences, a non-profit, in partnership with the NCAA.
Play promotes healthy competition
Whether it's in college or throughout their career, competition is an aspect of life that young women will face. Competition is a key factor in the reason girls enjoy sports so much. Girls who play sports have a particularly easier time dealing with the wins and losses that come with healthy competition.
The pathway to the board room may well pass through the girl's locker room. Although sport isn't a magic potion it does assist girls during their teenage years. Here’s an eye-opening point made by the Women's Sports Foundation: “Boys are taught at an early age and through their participation in sport that it is not acceptable to show fear. When you get up to bat or play any game, it is important to act confident and not to let your teammates know you are afraid, nervous or have a weakness—even if you are not confident. Employees who are skilled at practicing the illusion of confidence—calmness under pressure, acting sure of self and abilities, etc.—get to play the most important positions and are more likely to be starters. People who are practicing the illusion of confidence make everything look easy and don’t need constant reinforcement or support.” Faking it till you make it, power posing, projecting confidence and thus internalizing it—all these behaviors have been proven effective. They should not be the practice and privilege of only one gender. They can certainly help level the playing field.
Girls who play sports have higher academic achievement and are more likely to attend college. They also learn teamwork, discipline, and how to handle winning and losing. Playing sports can help girls stay healthy physically and mentally, leading to a better life for them in the future. If you want your daughter to have all of these benefits and more, get her started playing sports today! Are you convinced yet? If not, check out our website for pictures and videos of happy girls playing sports. We hope that after seeing all that we have to offer, you will sign up for one of our Pickup Sports boxes so your daughter can start her journey of being a female athlete and have fun in the process!