Passing on the Stories

The most popular professional sports in America, in the world, even, are dominated by men- think football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and, though an increasingly large number of females are playing sports, women’s professional leagues still suffer from lack of interest. This is in part because our society has long been adamant that sports are only for men but also because the legacy and culture of men’s sports are passed down from father to son.

As a brand devoted to helping develop women’s sports and girls’ interest in sports, Dragonwing girlgear® believes it is crucial for girls to learn about female athletes who have conquered in order to see them as role models.  Boys, and girls, who don’t play baseball are well aware of Babe Ruth’s story.  What about the other Babe?  Not that many young female golfers, basketball players, or runners learn about Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the athlete extraordinaire who excelled at all of those sports.

This trend we’re seeing, of female athletes remaining obscure and girls remaining deprived of female role models in the sports arena, must end if women are to achieve equality in the world of athletics. If the stories of strong, successful female soccer players, figure skaters, runners, and gymnasts aren’t told, their successes will be lost to this generation of girls. Girls should grow up with the belief that they too can become a part of sports history and that there is a spot for them in the world of sports. To understand this, though, the tales of successful female athletes need to be shared.

In order to rectify this social pattern and to raise awareness of successful female athletes, Sideline Chatter is going to be featuring such legends on their birthdays, celebrating the players who have established women’s place in the world of sports.

A Proper Warm-up

One of the goals of the Dragonwing girlgear™ blog is 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 preadolescent and adolescent girls. I am pleased to introduce Dr. Lindsay Di Stefano who will give us the most up-to-date advice. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. DiStefano is also a certified athletic trainer with experience treating and rehabilitating injured athletes. Her primary research through the Human Performance Laboratory at UCONN focuses on finding ways to prevent injuries related to sport and physical activity.

Dr. DiStefano writes today on A Proper Warm-Up.

First Step to Any Activity: A Proper Warm-up

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.

The first thing to do is to start increasing your heart rate, which will begin to “warm-upyour 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 and your heart rate up!

After you are feeling “warm” and perhaps even sweating a little, you can start performing some specific exercises for various muscles. These exercises will help your 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 interfere with your muscles’ ability to work effectively. Research has shown that a dynamic warm up more effectively prepares 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. You will be ready to jump into full-speed activity when you are finished with these exercises.

Walking knee to chest, lateral shuffles and skipping are a few movements to get you started. Look for the addendum to this  blog post for an easy to print off comprehensive list of dynamic movements that can improve your warm-up routine.

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!

Thanks for another great review.

Aries Apparel recently wrote with this customer comment about the Un-Tee: “A mom who called back after buying one the other day to see what other colors we had and if we could get black.. was so funny! She said that her daughter she had bought it for would not take it off and said, “this is like the best tank top ever made mom! I am never going to take it off, I am even going to sleep in it!” Tee hee”

Thanks for sharing this with us.  Please write with your experiences with  Dragonwing girlgear™!

Sideline Chatter: Dragonwing girlgear Announces New Official Retailer

Dragonwing girlgear announces Aries Apparel as an Official Retailer

Dragonwing girlgear ™ — the first line of athletic sport and support wear designed for young sporty girls ages 8-17 — announces that Portland, OR based Aries Apparel, (a women and girls only athletic apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment retailer is now an official retailer of the Dragonwing girlgear line of Un-Tee Camis and Un-Dee Compression shorts.

Sideline Chatter: Un-Dee

Who is Un-Dee™ for?

Un-Dee™ light compression shorts are designed specifically for pre-teen and teen girls who play sports.

Sporty girls love the breathable, wide mesh side panels (and wedgie-free fit). The longer length stays perfectly in place—so there’s no need for pulling and tugging. Plus, (maybe best of all) Un-Dee™ hides anything potentially visible through white and light-colored uniforms shorts.

What is Un-Dee™ for?

Un-Dee™ is for wearing under girls’ sports uniforms.  It’s perfect for soccer, basketball,
field hockey,
lacrosse, cross-country skiing, crewing—any sport where girls want to focus completely on their game.

Sideline Chatter: Un-Tee

Who is Un-Tee™ for?

Un-Tee™ camis are designed specifically for tween to teen girls (though some moms have been know to ‘borrow’ them!)

It has a stretchy, freeing feel. It’s tag-free. Its soft elastic shelf-bra offers modesty, support and comfort. Plus, both outer and inner layers wick moisture for quick-dry comfort. And the wide stretch-fabric straps relieve pressure on shoulders for a secure, non-binding fit.

What is Un-Tee™ for?

It’s the perfect athletic apparel for all sporting activities—and even great for more relaxed activities.

Wear it under your uniform for soccer, basketball, baseball, Badminton, bicycling, volleyball, tennis, field hockey, rowing, horseback riding, lacrosse, skating, skiing, and much more.