Did you know that many girls who were active as children stop being so when they reach puberty? How can we get girls to continue enjoying the benefits of sports and physical activity during their teen years?
Try these 4 tips for success:
- Give them a chance to be active in all-girl settings. Girls are often self-conscious at this age and studies have shown that they are more confident and enthusiastic about practicing sports and physical activity when there are no boys watching.
- Many girls enjoy competitive sports but others are turned off by the pressure of competition, so it may be best to stay away from stopwatches, scoreboards and quantitative goals. In volleyball or badminton, why not make the object of the game to keep the rallies going as long as possible rather than to defeat the opposing team?
- The fact that some girls aren’t fans of team sports doesn’t mean they’d rather sit around than be active. Quite the contrary! Girls like it when physical activity is an opportunity to build their social network and make new friends. Adults need to create a supportive environment in which girls have a chance to talk and form relationships with other the girls. This will make the experience much more positive for them.
- Finally, ask them what they want to do and involve them at every stage: selecting the activity, setting up the schedule, organizing the event. Traditional physical activities and sports aren’t always popular with girls. Asking their opinion and offering options that are off the beaten path can help us attract girls who don’t consider themselves athletic.