Last Firsts from a Soccer Mom.

It is that time of year for parents of high school seniors when we’re enjoying the last -firsts of many club and high school events.  Last first soccer game of the year, last first day of the last semester, last club night.   Looking back at all the things I’ve learned, I’ve decided (rather than wallow),  I’d share a few of the most useful lessons.  From the importance of chocolate milk to the recruiting process.  Make sure to catch next few blogs.  I’d love to hear your stories and tips too!

Here’s to team Glow Angel -where it all started, and to the coaches, parents and friends I’ve made on the fields.

xo

MaryAnne

Black History Month: Celebrating Serena Williams!

Sharing stories about women athletes matters. Equally important, hearing stories of amazing women athletes matters. One of my favorite legends is Serena Williams. To celebrate Black History Month, the artist Simone Grace is creating a coloring book with portraits of 28 amazing black women and one of the world’s greatest athletes, Serena Williams is featured.  Simone is my friend and classmate -and when I asked her if we could share this page with our community of athletic girls and their parents, she generously and ecstatically agreed. You can get a free printable coloring page here!

Check out all the illustrations of visionary black women who are luminaries in politics, arts, activism, business and sports. Coloring is a fun, empowering and relaxing activity for all the strong girls and women in your life and makes a great gift! You learn more about Simone Grace and how to get the entire printable coloring book at the GoFundMe page here.

xoxo
MaryAnne
Founder of Dragonwing girlgear

mosaic

 

The “why” of Dragonwing girlgear.

kickstart_bannerPeople often ask me why I am so passionate about sports and girls and I have a simple, important reason – we need this generation of girls, now more than ever, to reach their potential.  Sports participation at any level is one path to actualizing potential –it is established and proven – we don’t need to create a new program or study its benefits.  But social expectations and social media are getting in the way of girls.  When I realized “the underwear experience” could have an impact, I had an aha moment that I could do something about it.

Let’s take Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.  On one level of the pyramid is community or village – we all know and accept that it takes a village to grow a strong confident girl.  We are happier with friends, family, a team, a tribe.  Belonging is important.   Connections give life meaning (Brene Brown).  Sports provide a natural community.

The next level of the pyramid is self-esteem.  Sports build self-esteem in so many ways, such as setting and achieving goals, graciously winning, building resilience, pushing your comfort zone for what you think you can do and then exceeding it – just to name a few. For more on this, check out this TedEx talk by Alisa Herr.

Unfortunately, feelings about breast development are a top reason girls drop out of sports.  According to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, “three quarters of school-aged girls report breast-related concerns regarding exercise and sports.”   75%!!!  That’s just not acceptable.  Starting and normalizing conversation about body changes can improve this.  Sports programs frequently recommend protective gear for boys, like cups, or compression shorts, but there is no comparable list recommended for girls. At Dragonwing girlgear, we provide girls that list and more.

Having an excellent-fitting, high-performance sports top – whether it is a bra, cami or thermal tee-shirt, that is designed especially for the athletic girl’s figure, can eliminate worries about underwear malfunction.  Embarrassment about changing bodies can alleviate concerns about body image.  At Dragonwing, we strive to free up emotional energy– so girls can focus on their game – and everything else they want to achieve… because when girls are confident, the possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

Buy Pink and Make a Difference!

Every October during Breast Cancer Awareness month, memories of family and friends who’ve fought the disease flood my mind. Like most people, I’ve donated money for research, dropped off food for family dinners, and sent cards and emails of encouragement and, sometimes, sympathy.

This year, I am determined to do much, much more. To use the power of this business and the amazing Dragonwing community to make a real difference in medical advances — not just for my friends or family but for women everywhere — and for our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, so that they may have a better, healthier future.

This year we are donating $10 from the sale of each and every item of pink Dragonwing girlgear that you buy.  You can see all the eligible items here.

Thank you.

Best regards,

MaryAnne Gucciardi
Founder and CEO

Intro to Laura

Hi everyone! I’m Laura and I am a new ambassador for Dragonwing girlgear. I am in middle school, and my favorite subjects are Math and Spanish. I have always loved Math ever since I was young  because I enjoy solving problems. I have taken Spanish since kindergarten and I really love the language, and I enjoy learning more.

I have played soccer since I was three years old. I love soccer so much for so many reasons. I love hanging out with my teammates because we all become so close over the year or more that we are together. One day I hope to play soccer in college. I play center midfield which means I am in the middle of the field and I run up and down the field constantly. I used to play center back which means that I was the player that was the last line before the goal and goalkeeper. I can’t imagine not having soccer after school almost everyday. Soccer has given me so much. It has made me work really hard on my fitness, especially this summer. I would go to fitness 3 days a week for an hour and a half. I think fitness has helped a lot with my confidence and my speed. 

Some of my other hobbies are dancing, spending time with friends, sewing and playing with my pets. I have a dog and two cats whom I love very much. I dance mostly at school as an art major, but I really enjoy it. 

I’m excited to be an ambassador for Dragonwing and blog about the cute and comfy clothing!

Intro to Billie

Our newest ambassador, Billie, is a competitive twirler who has Nationals this weekend.  Billie took a break from practice to tell us more about the sport of Twirl and how she got started.

How did you get involved in twirl?

I started twirling at the age of 3. I lived in New Hampshire, where baton twirling is well-known. and my neighbor twirled. I really looked up to her like an older sister, so I decided to start twirling so I could be just like her. After just a few lessons, I took off with it and have continued to love it ever since

How much do you practice and what kind of practice is that?

 I practice every day for about 3-4 hours (more during the summer and before big competitions). Practices are continuously doing the same tricks over and over to catch them consistently. I have multiple routines of which I must practice, so when I am training I run through them repeatedly to get better and better at them.

What kind of skills does twirl require? 

Twirling requires a lot of skills. To twirl baton you must have stamina, balance, general coordination, Hand-eye coordination, strength, flexibility, and agility.  They all play their own parts in making an amazing twirler. Baton twirling is basically a combination of Dance, Gymnastics, Cheer leading, Color guard, and Running.

Do you think twirlers get enough credit as athletes?

Twirlers definitely do not get the credit or respect they deserve as athletes. More often than not, people either don’t know what twirling is or don’t think it is a sport. I believe that any physical activity in which you compete or perform should be considered a sport.

How competitive is the sport and how are you feeling about Nationals coming up?

The sport is VERY competitive. If you have ever seen the TV show “Dance Moms”…. It is definitely that competitive, if not more. Although being competitive can sometimes affect people negatively, baton twirling is competitive in a positive way, and makes everyone involved want to be the best she can be, which then carries over to real-world situations such as school. I am super excited for Nationals coming up! I get to see all of my baton friends from around the country and perform for a week long!

Thanks for the interview Billie.  Good luck at Nationals!

If you want to follow Billie on Twitter, use @billiekathrine.

Summer Fencing

Hi! I’m Julia, a Dragonwing ambassador. My summers have been known to be very busy, and this coming summer is no exception. I start by going to Dallas, Texas, for fencing summer nationals, where I will be fencing in four events. Each event is long and tiring, so I am lucky that they are each two days apart.

To help me survive the exhausting events, I wear my light, breathable Dragonwing clothes that keep me comfortable and performing my best. In Dallas, any time I don’t spend competing will be spent rehabilitating my knee injury or resting.

After Dallas, I have three days at home until I go to Massachusetts for a month for a journalism program and then a marine biology program, two of my favorite subjects. Lastly, I’ll be going to Poland for ten days for a fencing program with many fencers who belong to the same fencing club as me. There, we will do more intense training after a month-long break, and I will have my Dragonwing clothes to keep me cool and comfortable. 

In a previous blog post, I talked about my knee injury and my “Road to Recovery.” It took nearly a year, but I am now back to training and competing as much as I ever did. However, I will have to continue physical therapy in order to keep training as frequently and intensively as I can.

julia

Meet Celia, Dragonwing intern extraordinaire

Dragonwing Ladies,

I’m Celia and am happily running the Dragonwing Instagram account, hosting some Trunk Shows, and working with the other ambassadors to this fantastic, girl-centered company this summer.

Meet Celia, Dragonwing summer intern

A little bit about myself: I’m excited to begin a new adventure as a Cameron Crazie at Duke University this fall. Right now, I live in North Carolina with my wonderfully complex family, which includes my mom, sister, grandparents (Nanny and Fody), and two doggies.

Though I was always picked last in gym class and have never played any sports, I do love to move. I practice modern dance (as well as silly dancing in my room) and Ashtanga yoga, and I find joy in doing all things outdoors from hammocking to swimming and hiking.

Celia performing modern dance
Two of my favorite things in the world are live music and great views. Some of my favorite spots in NC are the peak of Hanging Rock, Eno River, and Jordan Lake, especially at sunset.

 

Celia in hammock suspended between trees

In my free time, I write for my own blog, eat at least one avocado per day, take board and card games with my family way too seriously, and read anything I can get my hands on. My favorite book right now is Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. I follow several newspapers and creative projects, particularly Humans of New York by photojournalist Brandon Stanton, with devotion.

I’m an Orange is the New Black, Modern Family, and everything-by-Shonda-Rhimes addict, a lover of baby animal videos, and the #1 fan girl of my friends at their sporting events and musicals.

Finally, I’m proud of my roles as a camp counselor, dance teacher, nanny, and pal to the awesome kids I’m lucky to hang out with all the time.

Up next from me is a post about running for non-runners, as I (sort of) prepare to run (or jog or walk) the Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure 5K this Saturday (6/13).

Follow @dragonwinggirl and tag us in your beautiful photographs, because I will be delighted to share them.
Warmly,
Celia

Introducing Julia, Dragonwing Ambassador

Hi, Dragonwing girls!

I’m a new ambassador, and I’d love to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Julia, and I just graduated from eighth grade, which means I’m saying goodbye to middle school and starting high school in September. I love school because I get to see my friends, but I also enjoy studying sometimes, especially when it’s math and science.

Julia: lunge in fencing tournament

My main passion is fencing. Fencing training and competing has taken up most of my time for the past five years, but I love to do it. I get to travel lots and meet competitors from all over the country, and now I always see familiar faces at tournaments. I have made amazing friends through the sport that I know I will keep with me for many years to come. During summer and winter breaks, I participate in sleepaway and day camps to train with new coaches and unfamiliar fencers.

JuliaT_fencing_stance

When I’m not fencing, I love to spend time with my friends and family. My friends and I walk practically everywhere, whether we are going to lunch or just to each other’s houses. (I like to think that it keeps us active.)

I also like to spend time with my family. One of our greatest passions is food. We are constantly trying new foods and restaurants. As my 16 year old brother just recently earned his learner’s permit for driving, he sometimes drives us to these restaurants (making me constantly fear for my life).

I hope this has helped you get a little sneak peek into the life of Julia. I can’t wait to share more about myself, as well as get to know all of you more!

Feel free to share this post and/or leave comments. Please subscribe to Sideline Chatter with your email so you don’t miss any updates or new posts — from me or our other Ambassadors.

Introducing Madi, Dragonwing Ambassador

Hi Dragonwing girls!

I’m Madi, a new Dragonwing girlgear ambassador. Let me tell you about myself!

 

Dragonwing girlgear ambassador Madi

First off all, I’m currently in the 7th grade and am heading into 8th. One of my favorite subjects is social studies. I feel this is an odd subject to like because most people say it’s boring, but it’s just so interesting to me. While school is important, many other things are important to me, such as rock climbing. Rock climbing is my passion and I know I will never give it up.

Rock climbing is my passion

Another thing I do is snowboard and ski in the winter time. I’ve tried both and like them just the same. A funny story with skiing is the first time I tried (3 months ago), I cried the whole way down the bunny hill! But after that I became better than my mom. Since my family and I live in Colorado, winter is pretty intense for us and most everybody. That means skiing and snowboarding is what my weekend consists of for about 4 months.

When summer rolls around, when my dog Roosevelt and I run around the neighborhood like crazy. Roosevelt is a Black Lab and about 6 years old. He is literally the best dog in the world to me. My family and I love to go camping, but sadly our dog is a little too wild to come with us. But it’s still super fun. In the summer, I also ride my horse Sugar, who’s 10 years old.

In the future, I hope we get to know each other more, but this is just a snippet of my life as an introduction. If you have any questions or ideas, leave a comment. And if you don’t want to miss any future Sideline Chatter updates, subscribe by entering your email on the right.