A recent Gallup poll provides exciting news for female student athletes and their parents. Researchers found that former female athletes outperformed other college graduates on important career and life outcomes long after their playing days were over.
In fact, girls who played sports enjoyed even greater returns on their efforts than their male counterparts. Beyond the field or court, they experienced greater success in the workplace with higher employment rates and engagement in their work. They even were found to remain more physically healthy, document higher energy levels, and report having stronger relationships.
The root cause of much of this success likely comes from confidence and self-esteem. Many studies, in addition to this Gallop poll, found these traits to be higher in female student athletes compared to their peers. These attributes in general provide the framework for a more satisfying life.
On the other hand, female athletes carry an increased risk for some negative side effects. The rate is higher in female compared to male athletes, and these ladies compared to their peers when it comes to…
Overuse injuries and ligament tears
Fatigue and burnout
Stress related conditions
I know as a parent I want all those positive things we discussed, but I also want to mitigate any of those negative consequences. We can help our daughters stay balanced along the way by supporting them in performing at their best in their sport, achieving in academics, and living a full happy life.
So, what is our role as parents in supporting our young athletes in reaching their full potential?
Take a look at 7 effective strategies for enhancing their performance in athletics and beyond!
Teach Time Management
One of the greatest challenges your daughter will face is juggling academic and social activities while devoting adequate time to the sport she loves. Show her how to prioritize, discuss making choices, and download a scheduling app to help stay organized.
Give Praise for Effort
Your daughter may struggle with competitive pressures. High level athletes tend to be perfectionists, which helps them succeed, but can also lead to burn out. Let her know you love her unconditionally. Recognize when you see her hard work in sports and her studies regardless of the outcome.
Develop Healthy Habits
Athletics puts extra demands on the body, so special care is needed. Nourishing food choices, adequate calories, and meal timing around training is very important. Be a positive role model when it comes to nutrition and exercise. Our expert in fitness nutrition is happy to give you additional guidance.
Keep Food Positive
Eating disorders are more prevalent in the female athlete population and can carry long term consequences. Encourage your daughter to fuel her body well to be strong and capable for her sport. This means avoiding restriction and getting education on proper nutrition for the whole family.
Young people often feel invincible, but chronic stress or playing with an injury can take its toll. You can identify stress becoming an issue by checking in frequently and having honest conversations about the topic. Share relaxation practices like meditation or breathing. Our family loves MyLife Meditation and Calm App to guide us.
When practice runs late and there is still homework to do (or friends to call or Netflix to watch) sleep is the first thing to be cut from the schedule. However, it is the most important component to our health, happiness, and performance on the field. Not just quantity but quality, deep restorative sleep is needed. Parents can be a positive example when it comes to demonstrating good sleep habits.
Major injuries are usually addressed by trainers and team doctors. However, the more minor aches and pains are often ignored. By addressing these small injuries early we can make a big impact on preventing larger injuries in the future. Be firm about investigating anything that feels uncomfortable. Rest or time off will not solve the problem!
It may be overwhelming as you look into each of these areas, but remember . . . you are not suppose to be the expert in all of these. Call in reinforcement when sleep, stress, nutrition, or injuries become a problem.
I am a women’s health coach that specializes in lifestyle habits to improve performance including fitness nutrition and more. I’d love to talk with you and your daughter to come up with a personalized plan for success.
When it comes to movement, injury prevention, and healing the best next step is to have your daughter evaluated by an expert sports therapist. A full Functional Movement Screen can be performed to identify the weak links that are either causing pain or can increase risk for future injury.
Our Doctors of Physical Therapy establish a game plan to make corrections and maximize strengths. This is a necessary step if your daughter desires longevity as an athlete – continuing to complete in college or enjoy her sport as a hobby in adulthood.
Girls who play sports can face high hurdles, but can also score big wins when they manage to balance their athletic, academic, and social lives. As a parent, we can provide the guidance and support they need to fulfill their dreams. Click the link below if you are ready to call in the experts for a Free Consult to help you and your daughter on this journey.