Nutrition for athletic girls is a source of confidence!

March is National Nutrition Month and we’d like to share tips on good nutrition for girl athletes.  Balance is key. It is important to include lean protein, nutrient rich carbohydrates (whole grain, non GMO if possible), low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables in an athlete’s diet. It is essential to be properly hydrated, so drink your water throughout the day! Some folks say 1/2 your body weight in ounces – shoot for at least eight glasses.

To prep for a game, start out with a hearty breakfast rich in carbohydrates to keep your energy up, move on to a balanced lunch containing protein vegi, carbohydrate combination, spread out protein consumption throughout the day, try to avoid bad fatty foods (eat the good ones like avocado), and eat your last meal two to three hours before game time to be sure you have digested it. For our recommendations for post-game recovery foods check out our guide here!

Join the conversation and leave us a comment on what food routine works for you.

(photo source: mountain-bike-world)

Happy Birthday Cindy Parlow Cone

Happy birthday to Cindy Parlow Cone, three-time NCAA Women’s Soccer Champion and founding member of the Women’s United Soccer Association, former head coach for Portland Thorns FC and in her first year as coach in her first year as head coach of the Portland Thorns, led the Thorns to the NWSL Championship. Parlow was a member of the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic, and 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cup, teams. Parlow Cone played professionally for the Atlanta Beat for three years and was the Coaching Director of 13-18 year-old girls’ programs at the Triangle United soccer league.  Cindy is a co-founder of Goals for Girls.  Birthday –May 8th.

Dynamic Stretching advice from Dr. Lindsay Di Stefano and Dragonwing

Spring sports tryouts are underway -and warming up safely is key to playing well and minimizing the risk of injury. In this blog, we asked Dr. Lindsay Di Stefano to provide readers with evidence-based, practical information to help encourage safe and healthy participation in sports for all athletes, but with a special focus for pre-adolescent and adolescent girls.

First Step to Any Activity: A Proper Warm-up

In the past, you may have witnessed this scene –fifteen girls put their bags down and jog around the soccer field together. They stop at midfield and align themselves in a circle with one teammate in the center. This “captain” leads her team through a series of static stretches by counting off 30 seconds per stretch. After the team has completed a few stretches, they walk off the field to their waiting coach and begin practice. Have you seen this scenario before?
I surely have! Here is an example of another common scenario frequently played out on youth sport fields: The team arrives, they start talking to one another, catching up on the day’s events, and may start juggling or passing to one another before the actual practice begins. Or a third scenario occurs when an athlete walks out of their front door and starts running three miles. Unfortunately, the athletes in all three scenarios are not helping themselves be as prepared as possible for any training, practice, or game. Not only are these athletes not putting their bodies in the best condition for performance, but they may also be increasing their risk of injury.
A better solution to these examples above is to gradually prepare your body for the upcoming activity. Generally, the first thing to do is to start increasing your heart rate, which will begin to “warm-up” your muscles. There are many ways to accomplish this goal. You can walk at progressively faster speeds, leading to a jog, possibly incorporate some quicker runs, or you can ride a bike with low resistance, or even play a small game that involves low to moderate effort. The goal is to just get your body moving!
After you are feeling “warm” and perhaps even sweating a little bit, you can start performing some specific exercises for various muscles. These exercises will help the muscles get used to working (producing force) while they are moving. Here is where the big difference lies between traditional “static stretching” and a “dynamic warm-up”. Once you have “warmed up” your body through gradual exercise, you do not want to stand in place and essentially cool it down. Static stretches that are held for a long period of time may also interfere with your muscles’ ability to work effectively. Research has shown that a dynamic warm up helps to more effectively prepare the body for athletic participation.

Instead of performing static stretches, try some of these dynamic movements. Similar to the warm up activity, you should gradually progress the speed and intensity used for these exercises. The goal is that you are ready to jump into full-speed activity when you are finished with these exercises.

Walking knee to chest
Walking knee to opposite shoulder
Walking quad stretch
Walking hamstring stretch- one foot in front, sit back onto back leg and lean forward towards front foot, front knee straight and back knee bent, toes down to the ground
Walking calf stretch- same as the walking hamstring stretch expect pull toes/foot upward
Walking lunge/hip flexor stretch- walk out into a lunge, keep body upright,
Side to side lunge/groin stretch
Walking cross over/piriformis stretch
Walking lunge with rotation
Heel walks/Toe walks
Butt kicks
Hamstring kicks
Skipping
Carioca
Lateral shuffles

So next time you see athletes start performing “static” stretches before any physical activity, suggest to them that they should try out some new moves that might help prevent injury and may improve their performance!

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

 

Soccer Star, Laura is ‘Feeling Confident’

With the NCAA D1 Women’s Soccer College Cup being held this weekend, it is only appropriate that I highlight a local middle school soccer player and her review on the new Racerback Cami.

Ambassador, Laura from North Carolina says,

“I love the new Racerback cami- from the comfortable built in bra to the easy-to-move-in material! The fitted, but not too tight cami, allows me to move swiftly and easily. The material is smooth and flexible and lets me run and workout without having to tug at my cami or feel uncomfortable. I love how the racerback is closely fit to my body but is in no way too tight. In addition to the comfort, the cami makes me feel confident and look confident. When I am doing ab workouts, for example, the material does not stick to me like other shirts or camis do, it allows me to work-out without having to stop and fix my top. Because of the fitted material, when I am running I don’t feel like my shirt is so uncomfortably loose.”

Thanks Laura, I am so glad you are enjoying your Racerback cami! Check out the Kickstarter and get your Racerback cami today and join Dragonwing Girlgear in their mission to grow confident, strong girls.

Also, tune in to watch the Women’s College Cup this weekend and support our college women and local Tar Heels! They play West Virginia tonight, Friday December 2nd, at 5 and Finals will be held Sunday, December 4th.

 

Giving Tuesday: Dragonwing Girlgear Style

Dragonwing Girlgear is dedicated to giving back and supporting others who want to do the same. Goals for Girls is an organization that connects girls from all over the world together to empower one another through service and soccer. In hopes of helping to further their mission of girls helping girls, Dragonwing Girlgear is donating one bra to Goals for Girls for every bra purchased today. You have the chance to instill confidence in not only your daughter, but another young girl somewhere in the world. Join us and Goals for Girls in our Giving Tuesday efforts to provide gifts that keep on giving: a top-of-the-line sports bra and the gift of empowerment.

Dragonwing Girlsgear encourages living ‘open source’

https://medium.com/@isabisa/how-living-open-source-makes-you-more-human-e4b71d59b525#.7i23ady4c

Dragonwing Girlsgear is helping girls everyday with a struggle very prevalent in today’s society. With the rise of technology and social media, people are expected to present themselves in an ‘idealized’ manner, posting only ‘flattering pictures’ and positive posts. This causes unnecessary comparison, that with kids and teen girls can lead to many problems, such as body image issues and lack of self-esteem. Our goal at Dragonwing Girlsgear is to provide girls with the confidence they need to realize their actual potential.

The author of this article above, Alissa Ryan Herr, Founder and CEO of Unity Digital Agency and mom, agrees with our mission. She lays out the foundation, to reach self-actualization using the coined software term ‘open source.’ Through, sharing, teamwork, accepting failures, being objective and loving one another, Herr said, “We can build a community of other humans who love us and want to help us succeed.”

That is what Dragonwing Girlsgear wants for you, together we can support and love each other, as we strive for our wildest dreams and become the best versions of ourselves.

Check out the article for more details!

 

 

 

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

Navigating the Child to Tween to Teen Bra Journey with Ease

If you’re anything like me then you have absolutely NO recollection of your first bra-buying experience as a tween 30 years ago. I wish I remembered it as being either a horrific or a pleasant experience because then I’d at least have had a starting point at which to get my daughter comfortable with the topic of wearing a bra. But, no – I had nothing. Not a single point of reference from which to start. Add to that the fact that my daughter is strong-willed and opinionated (not in a bad way, but prominent traits none-the-less) and I was literally at a loss of where and how to start this process.

Enter Dragonwing girlgear. Dragonwing offers a nice progression of undergarments for girls passing from child to tween to teen. Following is an outline of a progression that might work for your daughters.

Un-Tee cami sports top (camisole with inner shelf bra) in 7 colorsI started my process perusing the undergarment sections of stores like Target and Old Navy. I was determined to have my 11-year old wear age-appropriate undergarments that she would still be comfortable being in around her friends and teammates if that situation arose. While I’m sure we could have found acceptable solutions at those stores, I knew that my daughter was also VERY shy and going to a store and picking through racks of bras was not going to be her cup of tea so I bought a bunch and had her try them on at home. She hated how they stopped in the middle of her rib cage and refused to wear them because they didn’t “go all the way down” to her waist. So began my search for a full-length top with a built-in bra. I measured my daughter and started my online shopping research. While on Amazon I bumped into Dragonwing and, as I usually do, I went straight to the main Dragonwing website instead of purchasing through Amazon. I find the main websites have a larger selection of products so I always start there, and then depending on prices and options I may purchase from Amazon if there’s free shipping. I was pleasantly surprised to find both at Dragonwing – free shipping and a larger selection than was on Amazon. A win-win.

The first bra that caught my eyes was the Un-Tee Sports-Cami. It was PERFECT! Not only did it “go all the way down” but it also had a built in shelf-bra that functioned as more than just a second layer of fabric (which is what most cami’s have and they’re useless). It was of a very high quality and after learning more about them I came to understand that some girls can wear these all the way up through 7th or 8th grade!
This bra gave my daughter the confidence to wear it without her belly being “exposed” and got her used to the idea of a bra that cuts across your rib cage – because we all know that’s just a fact…bras stop below your breasts.
She’s been wearing these Un-Tees for over a year now and they’ve been washed a million times. They’ve been a wonderful first bra experience for my daughter.

half-teeAbout six months into her wearing the Un-Tees, I dropped some of the Half Tee Sports Tops into her drawer. The Half Tee is essentially the inside layer of the Un-Tee Sports Camis and they fit exactly the same. I figured that once my daughter was used to wearing the Un-Tee she might migrate easily to the Half Tee and she totally did! Before I knew it she was wearing them all the time – even beneath her gymnastics leotards and I was dreading that conversation because most of the sports bras girls wore under their leotards were uncomfortable to her.

the-keyhole-white-frontAnd, while we’re still on this bra journey together, I am finally comfortable with our path and that my daughter will have a pleasant experience. There are so many other, more important things I want to focus on with my daughter that I don’t want things like wearing a bra to muddy the waters! I’m actually looking forward to her next bra steps – which I’m sure will include either the School to Sport Bra or the Keyhole Sports Bra – and while I don’t know if she’ll remember this experience 30 years from now, I AM confident that Dragonwing has had a very positive impact on my daughter’s life and well-being.
Here’s to you and your daughter starting your journey! Hopefully this was helpful.

Contributed by customer Naomi Marr14199296_10209347712106579_1201097066114495733_n

New Colors of Our Best-Selling Girl’s Sports Bra

Our new Racer Sports Bras have arrived! We’re happy to introduce the same great sports bra — made especially for preteen, tween, and teen girls — in three new color combinations.

  • White and Pink*
  • Black and Medium Gray
  • White and Sky Blue

Racer sports bra for tween, teen girl in 3 new color combinations

These new Racers have all the features girls love, all the qualities that have made the Racer our best-selling girl’s sports bra:

– Soft, supportive, double-layered, “I-don’t-even-know-it’s-there” comfort;
– Sweat-wicking, antimicrobial fabric to keep her dry and odor-free;
– Seamless, tag-free construction that won’t chafe or ride up;
– Made in the USA quality.

* As we did last year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will donate a portion of all sales of the White and Pink bra to the UNC Breast Center to support its research and patient care services.