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If You Think Sports Are Just Extra-Curricular Activities, Consider This Fact…

Source: CNBC

96% of female CEOs participated in sports when they were younger! Read on to learn how getting more girls involved in individual or organized sports today can bring more equity to the boardroom tomorrow!

National Girls & Women in Sports Day 2020: #LeadHerForward

The 34th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) 2020 will be celebrated on February 5, 2020. The day is designated to celebrate and inspire both girls and women to realize their potential and come into their power through involvement with sports. In 1987, NGWSD was first recognized by Congress and signed as a Presidential Proclamation by Ronald Reagan. The day is designated to recognize the importance and advances of equality in women’s sports. NGWSD is also a living memorial honoring the achievements and equality work of the late US Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman. Today, an additional initiative of NGWSD is to protect Title IX and advance gender equity through athletes using their platform to inspire new generations of coaches and players committed to fair play for all.

Involvement in Sports Builds Stronger Girls & Women

NGWSD brings together female athletes and premiere sporting organizations to emphasize how involvement in sports instills confidence, character, and strength in girls and women. These qualities are tools that can be transported between sports, business, work, and life. Numerous studies demonstrate the connection between involvement in sports and better health, greater self-esteem, higher academic achievement, more economic opportunities, and sharper leadership skills. In fact, a recent Ernst & Young study indicates that 96% of women in CEO or key C-Suite positions played sports when they were younger and attribute much of their success to their involvement in athletics. NGWSD 2020’s theme is #LeadHerForward, recognizing power of athletics to motivate girls and women to realize their full potential, both on the sports field and in the boardroom.

Top 3 Long-Term Benefits of Sports

There are many studies that detail the numerous benefits early involvement in sports and athletics has on girls and young women, which ultimately benefit them long-term. Here are four key benefits sports have on girls and women’s physical health, emotional well-being, and economic opportunities—which are a win for their communities as a whole!

1. Better Physical Health

The clearest benefit of early sports involvement for girls is that athletics help girls stay active, instilling a sense of joy and purpose to physical activity. This increases the likelihood of a life-long commitment to exercise and activity. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic illnesses.

2. Psychological & Sociological Benefits

Sports help both novices and natural athletes learn confidence, new skills, and how to sharpen their talents. Increased confidence leads to greater self-esteem, lower levels of depression, and a healthier body image. Girls involved in sports have a decreased risk of truancy, delinquency, and using alcohol or drugs. Additionally, studies show that high school girls involved in sports are less likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy, as well as achieving greater academic success.

3. Greater Career Advancement & Economic Opportunity

Early involvement in sports and athletics instills the twinned values of teamwork and work ethic, both of which are directly portable from the playing field to the job market. In sports, teammates must learn to work together to achieve a common goal through active listening and effective communication. Likewise, success in sports requires practice, commitment, and determination. This teaches the life-values of goal setting, the pursuit of excellence, an achievement-oriented behavior. Each of these are necessary skills in the workplace, and women who enter the workforce with these skills already in place will have more opportunities to advance their career.

3 Easy Ways Your Fitness Business Can Get Girls and Women Involved

Whether you’re the owner of a fitness business like a gym or yoga studio, or an independent fitness professional working as a personal trainer or coach, here are three easy ways for you to use your work to get more girls and women involved in sports and #LeadHerForward!

1. Offer Single-Sex Opportunities

Does your fitness center, personal training business, or coaching service offer single-sex opportunities? If not, there’s never been a better time to start! Many girls (and women) may feel more at ease trying out a new sport, activity, or piece of equipment without boys and men around. You can offer inclusive sports and activities for those who are comfortable in a mixed environment, as well as dedicated single-sex opportunities to provide the same benefits to girls and women of all comfort and experience levels. For example, in a gym, you can host “Takeover Tuesdays” to allow women and girls to work out for a few hours in a single sex environment or offer a yoga workshop dedicated to female students. Coaches can offer single-sex sporting opportunities in addition to inclusive sports.

2. Be a Local Hero(ine)

In 2020, there’s no shortage of highly successful female sports figures and role models to choose from—but there’s something to be said for the “home team advantage”, too! Role models don’t have to be celebrities to positively influence girls and get them involved in athletics. Chances are, you’ve already got a wealth of examples of female athletic excellence right in your own backyard! From high school and college athletes to local coaches, fitness instructors, and P.E. teachers, there are local role models you can invite to guest host your practice, sports classes, and teams to talk about how their involvement with sports has improved their lives. You can also take a field trip to visit local role models on-site and show support for local female athletes at the same time.

3. Demonstrate How Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

If you work with individual clients, try creating an opportunity to pair up clients to engage the fun aspects of being part of a team. Even just having a teammate present to “cheer them on” can have a positive impact on a female client. Likewise, if you’re already coaching a team, the “buddy system” helps teammates learn to work together and support each other. You can also try having a “team takeover” day that lets fitness members or teammates have a chance to coach or referee, giving them a valuable new perspective on how to be part of a team. Not only does the “takeover” allow members to learn another side of their sport, it could also help less experienced members become more comfortable participating in the sport. Team takeovers can also increase their leadership skills and spark interest in a new career path.  

#LeadHerForward With Vagaro

Getting a girls’ sports team started is hard work—but Vagaro makes it easier for coaches to break the glass ceiling and focus on their team, instead of admin! Vagaro sports team management software offers coaches everything from team scheduling, waivers, deposits, advertising and enrollment management to easy, secure ways for parents and students to coordinate and pay for sports competitions. You focus on #LeadingHerForwardVagaro will take care of the rest.

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Header Image: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro

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