Cindy Parlow Cone Named UNC Outstanding Young Alumna

Many know Cindy Parlow Cone as a soccer superstar, a World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist and most recently coach of the NWSL’s Portland Thorns. Earlier this month, she was honored by her alma mater for these achievements and for being a “global envoy and safety advocate [and] … an involved and committed mentor to girls and young women around the globe.”

Photo by David Gellatly, courtesy of UNC School of Education
Photo by David Gellatly, courtesy of UNC School of Education

The University of North Carolina School of Education named Parlow Cone, a 2007 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education, an Outstanding Young Alumna.

“From this platform as a superstar athlete, Cindy has coached, mentored, and advocated…. Cindy’s involvement in the lives of young athletes has reached beyond the 50 states. Since 2007, she has been a sports envoy for the U.S. State Department, focusing on sport transcending culture and language; leadership education; AIDS prevention; and coaching education….

Having cited post-concussion syndrome when she retired as a player, Cindy is working to make the game safer for the next generations. Since 2008, in concert with the Sports Legacy Institute, Cindy has helped lead an awareness campaign on the dangers of heading the ball, seeking to delay the practice until players are in high school. In this and so many steps of her life, Cindy has walked the talk of youth development and social responsibility.”

Since 2010, Cindy has been involved with Goals for Girls, an international initiative that helps disadvantaged girls across the globe by providing access to health and education programs taught through the game of soccer.

Because of Cindy’s role as a spokesperson for Dragonwing, we take special pride in this award. It’s an honor to be affiliated with such a tremendous advocate and mentor for the power of sports to improve the lives of girls.

“Hands down the best sports bra”

There are plenty of reasons why our Racer Sports Bra for girls is our best selling item: unmatched comfort, superior fit, durability, and value.

Blogger Wendy Morelli of Tweenhood, a leading blog for parents of tweens, summed it up in a recent review. She wrote that her 13-year-old hockey-playing daughter “absolutely loves” the Racer:

Whether she’s skating suicides on the ice, doing burpees or planks, she said it was extremely comfortable and soft, she didn’t feel it at all. It’s hands down the best bra she’s owned to date. Now that’s saying a lot, since all her bras are mostly sports bras, but you can really see and feel the difference with the Racer Sports Bra. The fabric is thicker than other sports bras and it has a good stretch to it.

“She didn’t feel it at all” is one of the most common comments we hear about our sports bras. And we love it! When girls can move and play without even thinking about their clothing, they’re free to play — and be — their best. And THAT’s what Dragonwing girlgear is all about. 

Importance of Rest for Tween, Teen Athletes

For a tween or teen athlete, rest is a critical part of her training. I know that sounds slightly counterintuitive given that mastery of a sport requires hours, months, and years of practice. But rest contributes to athletic performance  in many ways.

The first is simply to avoid injuries. As tween and teen girls train and practice in any sport, they incur microscopic injuries — tiny muscle tears, a slight strain or sprain. A day or two of rest allows those small injuries to heal and not develop into bigger injuries.

Rest is even more critical for year-round athletes whether soccer, softball, swimming, or gymnastics. Those athletes are using the same muscle groups repetitively, so rest is needed to avoid overuse injuries. For example, year-round swimmers often take time off in August (ironic that swimmers aren’t swimming during the hottest month of the year). They can bike, run, or laze around but no hard core training.

Rest is also important for an athlete’s mental game. In sport as in love, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” When your daughter started playing her sport, she likely did so because it was fun. It’s still important, at any age and any skill level, for the sport to remain fun. That doesn’t mean that the athletes shouldn’t work hard, but as coaches and parents, one of our jobs is to nurture the love of the sport. Taking a physical break from training and competition can strengthen that love.

Finally, sleep — the deepest form of rest — keeps athletes at the top of their game. Literally. These kids work hard balancing  school, chores, family commitments, a social life, and sports. As fellow blogger Emma said so well, their plates are really, really full. In order to function at their best, athletes need plenty of sleep to restore body and mind. Most pediatricians recommend an average eight to nine hours of sleep. That means turning off computers, phones, televisions and getting into bed at a reasonable hour.

So rest is really a three-legged stool–rest the body to prevent injury, rest the mind to maintain love for the sport, and get a good night’s sleep to put it all together.


PassHat: Coach’s Gifts Made Easy

This post originally appear on SarahG’s blog for Dragonwing.

Every sports parent has been there, right? You offer to be the organizer of the end-of-season gift for the coaches. You send emails.  Talk to parents at practices and games. Send reminders. Collect money from those who have cash with them. Send reminders. Figure out what and how to buy a gift. Send more reminders. And a few more reminders.

Thank goodness for PassHat, a new secure online group collection service, that makes the process soooo much easier. PassHat isn’t just for coach’s gifts. You can use it for any group collection effort: class gift for teachers, co-worker’s retirement gift from the office, even a birthday present for a friend from a group of friends. From the PassHat website:

Create, invite, remind, collect and deliver a gift from your group from the comfort of your browser. No more collecting cash, depositing checks, nagging people for a contribution or remembering to buy a gift card – PassHat does it all for you!

The added benefit that I consider the icing on the cake? PassHat offers a variety of gift cards right on its site, so you can select and deliver the gift with a click.

PassHat can be used to collect dues, registration fees, pretty much anything that requires the collective donations of a number of people. They’re offering a special 50% DISCOUNT for the Dragonwing girlgear community, so don’t hesitate.

Now, if only it could do laundry…