People 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.