In my opinion, one of the great joys of playing sports is that I can let out my inner bitch without apologizing. (and please don’t email me about using the word bitch… it’s the word that resonates with me.)
But it is an interesting thing isn’t it... when you really think about it?
We are allowed to be rough and aggressive and competitive in a way that isn’t necessarily socially acceptable in everyday life (and dare I say for women in particular). Sports is this pure area that allows us to be free from being ‘nice’, even as we teach sportsmanship and leadership and all those other great attributes.
I get that. YOU get that. But do your ATHLETES get that?
Often times women still pay a price for being aggressive on the playing field, or they perceive that there will be a cost.
So many don’t take advantage of this safe space to let it all go. Whether it’s because they are nice ‘Christian girls’ (as one coach told...
Coaches, have you ever had a hitter who puts in the work, does extra reps, and who genuinely cares?
She’s a player who legitimately works HARD.
Yet she continues to spin her wheels and her progress is slow at best, leaving both of you frustrated. However, she still has moments of brilliance that keep her going and reaffirm to you that she, indeed, can do it.
Knowing she’s capable, you push the fundamentals in practice and do everything possible to prepare her physically for competition. But nothing much comes from it.
So, what’s the next step?
If we were to poll all the softball coaches reading this, it's likely that most of us would say the mental game is incredibly important. Yet, when we examine the time spent working on our mental game each week we find we’re severely lacking.
In the game of softball, I find that hitters most often lose out on the full benefits of mental training mainly because there are so many of them....
I started getting good at basketball in high school. I was physically growing into a more athletic body and my hard work in the gym and weight room was finally paying off. I remember it being an exciting time as I made varsity as a freshman and was zeroing in on basketball being the one sport I was going to fully dedicate myself to.
Unfortunately, the girls around me didn’t share in my excitement, especially the ones who were slowly watching their ‘best’ status fade away, either because their 5’10” stature in middle school wasn’t really cutting it anymore or because the mall was more important to them than working on their jump shot.
So I remember that initial positivity about my success slowly disappearing and jealously, back-biting, and general nastiness taking its place.
My game slowly started getting worse as a result of this negativity. I’d stop shooting and focus only on passing to make other teammates happy. I’d keep my points...
If only I had a nickel for every time I heard that from a coach when they were asked, “What’s the difference between coaching men and coaching women?”
Which brings me to a question that has literally been nagging me for years:
This question is really tough for me because I have this knee-jerk emotional reaction that screams ‘Of course NOT!’
But then a quieter voice asks, ‘Hmm. Do we? And, if so, what can we DO about it?’
In my work with male and female athletes of all ages, I will say there are clear differences between the two. And two things stick out for me: Men somehow know that appearing confident is beneficial, even if it’s just a façade, and the ‘fake it till you make it’ principle really does work in regards to confidence.
But, that’s just my opinion.
We did what...
Women are assaulted every day with the definition of what our culture deems “beautiful”. Thick or thin, curvy or flat, pale or tanned, tall or short, dressed this way or that, it seems the requirements for being beautiful morph alongside seasonal fashion.
Women participating in competitive sport have yet another obligation: to be a tough competitor while also maintaining this social expectation of feminine beauty.
The answer: by redefining beauty altogether.
First off, by “skinny” I don’t mean “slender”, I mean the BMIs shown off by the likes of ultra-slim runway models, of whom many are left to wonder, “Are you sure you don’t want fries with that?” I want to make it clear that this article is NOT skinny bashing. I’m not...