The Importance of Motivating Girls to Play Sports

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with JCPenneyand Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

girl playing soccer

My mother never played any sports and neither did my abuela before her, historically and culturally women and girls are not expected or encouraged to play sports but times have changed and now more women are participating in sports than ever but there is still a long way to go!  We need to bring awareness to the importance of motivating girls to practice sports and how this can help them succeed in many areas of their lives.  I want my daughter to have the same opportunities as my son and that is why I encourage her to play sports and why I am thrilled to be talking about JCPenney’s commitment to support young women in the areas of sports and education.

girl playing soccer

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, JCPenney partnered with Monica Gonzalez and Gonzo Soccer to host a free soccer clinic for Houston-area girls ages 8-16 years old. Gonzo Soccer’s leadership academy provides young girls across the U.S. with premier soccer training along with valuable leadership and life skills.  Girls between the ages of 8-16 years old with an interest in soccer gathered in Houston this week to learn about Gonzo Soccer Academy, the importance of physical condition as well as hear decision-making tips to help them become future leaders of their Hispanic communities.

girl playing soccer

Why It’s Important To Encourage Girls To Play Sports

  • To stay healthy: We all know that being active and doing exercise is good for you but playing sports has some added health advantages for girls. As little as four hours of exercise a week can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up by 60%.   Playing sports and participating in weight- bearing exercises establishes bone mass, which prevents osteoporosis.
  • To do better in school: Girls who play sports are more likely to get getter grades in school and more likely to graduate than girls who do not participate in sports.
  • To develop self-confidence: Girls who play sports have a higher level of confidence, have a more positive body image, lower probabilities of getting depressed and experience higher levels of psychological well being.
  • To develop skills that will help them succeed: While playing sports girls will learn about teamwork, goal-setting, the pursuit of excellence in performance and other achievement-oriented behavior. All of these are critical skills that will help girls succeed in the workplace.

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It’s so important to give girls the opportunity and the encouragement to play sports and not leave sports as something that is just for boys. To accomplish this we need to be good role models and it’s wonderful that we now have more women role models in sports like Monica Gonzalez. González was a founding member in 1998 of the Mexican Women’s National team and helped lead the team in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She captained the team from 2003 – 2007, including the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece – the nation’s first appearance in Olympic soccer competition.

If your daughter plays soccer, like mine those here are some great tips for beginner players from Monica Gonzalez herself:

  • Set goals. Why are you playing – for fun? To become a pro? Keep your goal in mind and create actionable steps to reach it.
  • Get as many touches to the ball as possible – the more you practice, the better you’ll become.
  • Play at your level, and find a team or league that’s just above your level. That way you’ll be challenged to improve your game and reach the next level.

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40 thoughts on “The Importance of Motivating Girls to Play Sports”

  1. My girls love sports so far,they are 11 and wanting to be active in everything. I like that it keeps them busy and it is something positive and keeps them out of trouble.

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  2. It is support young women in the areas of sports and education because it will make them more confident as they get older.

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  3. Being a woman who dealt with being overweight as a child/teen, I can vouch for the importance of sports and health education in young women. Not only women, but women in particular in my opinion, face some scary issues with self esteem and body image/weight. Focusing on education young women on sports and nutrition/health I feel could greatly improve this issue.

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  4. I think it’s important to support girls in their development, to practice the sport they love, no matter what some say they are not sports for girls. My daughters love softball and soccer, and my husband and I are very happy to support them with their match games.
    With regard to education, since they were born we set a goal to support them to achieve their goals in life, no matter di deiden be doctors, teachers or what they prefer to be, the question is that you enjoy and exercise their best effort to do so.

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  5. It’s important to help support young women in areas of sports & education for there growth, strength, endurance, self esteem, to stay active, have goals and reach them, and to maintain success later in life.

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  6. Es muy importante ayudar a la mujer a desenvolverse en varias areas , esta es una muy importante ya que nos ayuda a mantenernos activas con un cuerpo sano y mente sana . 🙂

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  7. I think it’s important to support them so they can be confident in all areas of their life. They need the confidence to get them through many areas of life. If they have the strength and confidence they will go after what they want in life.

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  8. Sports are important for everyone! Girls are no exception. They teach you teamwork, goal setting, physical fitness, and self-esteem.

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  9. I think it is important because it shows young women what they are capable of, and encourages personal growth and goal setting.

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  10. We need to support young woman in sports and education because it’s an essential part of their growing up.
    thank you

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  11. It is important support women in these areas to create team comaraderie, build self-esteem and promote a healthy lifestyle.

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  12. Women/girls should get involved with sports, because it teaches them to be physically fit and feeling good about themselves, self-esteem, confidence, and just a fun activity.

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  13. Oh I think its so important to empower the girls with education and sports activities! The sports helps keep them active and teaches them about teamwork!

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  14. It is important to have an excellent education and participation in sports will encourage lifelong healthy habits. It is important to support youngsters in both areas. Thankyou

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  15. I think sports and education is important for any gender. Im surprised there is still a division. Sports are a fun way to stay fit and healthy. And education is important in leading to future careers.

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  16. I think anytime we tell young women “Oh, girls don’t do that because….” (you’ll get dirty, boys won’t like you, it’s not lady-like, etc) it sends a bad message. And sports can be great because it encourages working with others and teaches that we all have different skills that are valuable.

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  17. I think sports and education are important for all women to participate in. I enjoy seeing woman sports including soccer, and softball.

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