4 out of 5 girls quit sport in secondary school.
Here’s how to make sure your daughter isn’t one of them.
Imagine this future scenario. Your daughter’s been playing sport for 10 years. All this time, you’ve cheered from the sidelines and admired her determination to succeed.
But she’s turned sixteen, and has decided to quit. Life’s too busy, she says. There’s enough pressure from school work; sport isn’t a priority; it’s no longer fun.
You’re gutted. After all, you know that sport provides many physical, mental and emotional benefits: it boosts concentration and energy levels, and helps to relieves stress and mood swings. Plus, sport provides a mental break from the relentless checking of Facebook and Instagram.
Quite simply, these are invaluable benefits for every teenage girl.
So, how do you prevent her from quitting? Remember, your goal is to create active healthy children, who become active healthy adults. Here are 3 things you can do:
1. In the primary years, build a broad base of skills, instead of pursuing a narrow path of expertise.
Run Ready Kids teaches the key foundation skills of running, jumping and throwing, which underpin all team sports, and provide the best athletic foundation for future development in both cross country and track & field events. It gives your daughter options, instead of creating a narrow specialisation.
When girls firmly grasp the basics, they have the skills and confidence to say “yes” to different sporting opportunities throughout life – perhaps as their body shape changes, their friendship groups shift, or their work demands increase. It’s never too late to try something new.
2. Emphasise training, not winning.
This teaches important life lessons around patience and perseverance. Focus on skill development – landing, speed, agility – and success will come.
Our unique development pathways model reinforces this philosophy. Run Ready Kids is an athletics training program that teaches basic skills and knowledge in the primary years, and development programs and performance groups in the secondary years, enhancing skills for cross country running, track and field events, or team sports.
Our long-term approach develops well-rounded athletic and sporting skills, rather than focusing on short-term outcomes. Redefine ‘success’: ultimately, it’s about your daughter’s enjoyment, confidence, skills and potential; not awards and trophies.
3. Remember FISH: keep it fun.
The Australian Institute of Sport uses the acronym FISH for children’s sport: Fun, Inclusive, Safe and High Activity. When these criteria are met, your daughter will enjoy sport; she’ll persevere, and reap the long-term benefits of an active life.
Conversely, disengaged girls are at risk of dropping out of sport. If they’re spending too much time on the sidelines, or feeling excluded, or experiencing too much pressure, they’ll quit.
Over time, apply the FISH guidelines to check your daughter is on track to be a life-long mover. Our carefully-designed program is based on these principles, to maximise enjoyment and long-term participation in sport. And we know that it works.
Also, lead by example. Join a running group, or play a social team sport. Show your daughter the benefits of an active life. And start now, while she’s young.
Finally, teenage girls are very conscious of looking good and being socially connected. Explain that regular movement builds a fit, strong body. Plus, sport increases your social circles. It’s a win-win scenario.
Ultimately, the stakes are high: there’s much to gain from long-term sport participation, and much to lose by dropping out.
So, now is the time to invest in your daughter’s future. Develop her skills, boost her confidence, and broaden her options. Click here to learn about Run Ready Kids.