Concussions important issue for girl athletes-updated info here

There have been many articles and efforts to improve safety on the soccer field for women and girls.  As an update to our posts of six years ago, I provide new information on prevention and training alternatives from Cindy Parlow Cone and Excelle.com

Our original articles are here:

Don’t be fooled by common misconceptions about concussions.

A great article on concussions from Taylor Twellman.

Recovering from a Climbing Concussion

and new information can be found here:

Pro players speak out about the ‘absurdity’ of the concussion protocol in women’s soccer

Check out these excellent video on the what Cindy Parlow Cone’s experience learning to head the ball at 18 -and still being a World Cup Champ and Olympian!

http://bit.ly/2t0FV3P

http://bit.ly/2u5o9MP

 

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

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.

 

 

 

Courage, as defined by my fortune cookie

When we’re full with Kung Pao chicken, sweet and sour chicken, rice, dumplings and lo mein, we each open a fortune cookie. We have a belief in our household that fortunes don’t necessarily belong to the opener of the cookie, just somebody at the table. So once we’ve all read the fortunes aloud, it’s an unspoken tradition that we decide who gets which fortune. Tonight, this was mine, and it was applicable in two ways:

Courage is the mastery of fear–not the absence of fear.

1. After dinner, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that a former teammate of mine had just committed to Florida State to play soccer. So, my dad asked me if I was still okay with my decision to not play soccer in college and to quit. Looking back on the decision, there were two sides to me.

The first and more dominant side was the one at complete peace with the situation. During a tournament in Colorado, I had just scored my dream goal and as I came off the field, I no longer envisioned myself playing in the upcoming season. It was also exciting to think of my weekends not being filled with 10 hour bus rides and Jason’s Deli box lunches.

The other half of me was freaking out.  I had been playing soccer for as long as I could remember. I didn’t know life without it. Like I said, Freaking Out.What if I miss soccer in a month? What if my dream school calls me right now offering me a roster spot? What will my teammates think? How am I going to tell my coach? Even though I knew this was what I wanted, it was still so hard. And I was so emotional. On the phone call with my coach, my tears got so bad that I had to secretly put myself on mute so I could blow my nose without him hearing. Through the blurry eyes and raspy voice, I made it through. There are still moments where I want nothing more than to train with my favorite coach and ex-teammates, but overall I’m very happy with my decision. I faced my fear of the repercussions of quitting, and so far I haven’t looked back.

2. My friend just texted me, “a fattie spider crawled in my bed and I can’t find it!!” This right there is courage. HE STARTED LOOKING FOR THE SPIDER IN HIS BED.
I can make tough, life-changing decisions, but if I were in his situation, I would have been out of that room so fast and would have been sleeping on the couch for a week. I don’t know where he landed with the spider situation, and he hasn’t responded for a few minutes. For all I know he’s convulsing on his floor with a spider bite in his arm. But at least he looked. And I think that’s what courage is about.

 

 

 

 

Beating Back to School

Going back to school. The best and worst time of the year. The first week is all fun and games, as we meet new teachers and catch up with friends we haven’t seen all summer.  For the first week, stress levels aren’t too high yet as we are eased into new routines. It’s also nice to have something to do all day. And I’m sure my mom is happy to have me out of the house. But, it’s also the worst time of the year. There’s fear for the next 180 days and the stack of books that slowly gets higher. Teachers begin introducing large projects and essays and tests that are coming up in the next month and day by day the fun goes away.

As I’m going through my 12th first week of school, I seem to be numb to ‘the pain’ this time. The glory and excitement that comes along with being a senior has carried me through the first three days. The worst part so far has been that I’ve needed a nap every single day after school, so I think it could be worse.

I’ve found a few things that have helped me:

1. Knowing just because summer is over, doesn’t mean fun is over. There are still weekends that, as long as I save time for homework, can be spent with friends. The weather’s still nice, the pool is still open, and the beach is only two hours away!

2. Cheesy as it is, a positive attitudes really makes a difference. Homework is inevitable…groaning each time an assignment is given only makes it worse.

3. Napping! It’s not just for 1st graders.

4. BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING!! Homework is way more fun when I get to put it in my new folder and write on it with 6 different colored pens.

I’m sure in about a month I’ll look back on this post, with a to-do list to my eyeballs, wondering what I was thinking and how I could possibly have any positive attitude towards school, but for now, it’s not so bad. To everybody starting back in these next few weeks, good luck and have fun!

First things first…

Hi, I’m Emma. I currently live in North Carolina, and I have spent most of my childhood here. When I’m not at school, I’m exercising, working, socializing with friends or family, watching Netflix , eating, or sleeping. And I think I love all of those things equally.

I’m a senior in high school and am headed into my 7th year there. I prefer math and science, although the other classes aren’t too bad. I’ve also taken French for 6 years, and while I’m definitely not fluent, I’d like to think I’m close. I also spend a good portion of my time working for one of our school’s volunteer organizations, Beta Club. This coming year, I’m excited to be the president!

As for sports, I play soccer for my high school varsity team. I played competitive club soccer for 7 years, and we had the opportunity to travel all over the country. I finally decided to stop playing in the summer of 2013. I loved it but wanted to focus on other things.

Without as much of my time strictly dedicated to soccer, I love to dabble in lots of other forms of exercise including hot yoga, group workout classes, swimming, biking, hiking and sometimes, although rarely, running.

In my spare time, when I’m not working on my homework, or playing sports, I am a hostess at a local restaurant. I’ve been there about a year and love the opportunity to constantly interact with lots of different types of people of all ages.

I started working with DragonWing in the summer of 2014. I’m very excited to be working with this company. I can’t wait to watch it grow and hope to contribute to that!