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

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

Donate a Sports Bra & Help Keep a Girl in the Game

Donate Girl's Sports Bra & Help Girl Stay in the Game

 

A sports bra can mean the difference between a girl sitting on the sidelines and being able to play. Without the proper coverage, fit, and support of a sports bra, girls are often too self-conscious or uncomfortable being physically active, so they miss out on the many life- and skill-building benefits – and fun – that sports and athletic activity convey. As a parent, I know that a great sports bra can help give my daughter the opportunity to play her best.

This is especially true for girls in the developing world. That’s why we’ve partnered with our good friends at Goals for Girls to bring sports bras to teen girls in India. Goals for Girls connects girls from different countries and backgrounds with their peers around the world to address social and health challenges through cultural exchange, service, and soccer. Earlier this year, I saw the power of these exchanges when the U15 Women’s National Soccer Team from Jordan visited North Carolina.

“Sports bras are our most-needed item,” says Cindy Parlow Cone, soccer superstar, coach, and Dragonwing spokesperson. As part of Goals for Girls, she’s leading a team of US teen girl soccer players to India in January for a ten-day cultural exchange, including lots of soccer playing.

We’re hoping to send Cindy and the US Goals for Girls delegation to India with a suitcase full of sports bras, generously donated by the Dragonwing girlgear community.

To help, please donate a clean, gently-used sports bra (any size, brand, or color) to:

Goals for Girls/Dragonwing
510 Meadowmont Village Circle, #188
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Include your name and email address in the package with the donated bra(s). As a token of our thanks, we’ll send you a promo code good for $5 off your next Dragonwing purchase.

Thank you for helping empower girls in sports & in life!

 

Sweet Senior Soccer Season

girls high school soccer teamSpring soccer has started for Dragonwing ambassador Emma, and wow, is she excited! In her recent blog post — complete with ALL CAPS and 4 exclamation points!!!! — she recounts the somewhat surreal feelings of the spring semester of senior year.

Senior night will be for me.  It’s my last year in the CA jersey. Whaat.

Despite twinges of nervousness after not playing for 10 months — “I had no idea how good or bad I would be getting back into it” — her overwhelming feeling was how much she loves the sport and the competition.

Emma has high hopes for the team’s season. “I think our team is pretty stacked, and I personally believe a state championship is in our future.”

Isn’t that how every season should start? Subscribe to Emma’s blog so you can follow along.

 

Girls Athletic Wear “Made in the Carolinas”

I recently spent several hours with a film crew from TWC’s “Made in the Carolinas” series for a featured story on Dragonwing girlgear. We traveled to the North Carolina manufacturing plant where our seamless sports bras are made  and then to a soccer scrimmage and practice with our spokesperson Cindy Parlow Cone and a team of amazing teen girls.

We’re all  delighted that TWC’s “Made in the Carolinas” profile captured our mission and spirit perfectly. And we take pride in our seamless sports bras being Made in the USA, right here in North Carolina.

TWC "Made in the Carolinas" profile Dragonwing girlgear: Apparel Geared for Female Athletes

Reporter Richard Green explained part of what makes our girls athletic wear perform so well, “Dragonwing incorporates elements that wick away moisture, prevent chafing and essentially  allows girls to compete without worry.”

Soccer great Cindy Parlow Cone echoed that Dragonwing’s sports bras, compression shorts, and other athletic wear “empowers girls to be free and not worry what they’re wearing under their uniforms.”

Soccer star Cindy Parlow Cone: Dragonwing empowers tween teen girls to be free & not worry about what they're wearing under their uniforms

“Girls on the field who wear Dragonwing clothing are sold on the benefits,” said Green. Teen soccer player Sarah agreed, “It’s nice having something locally made, locally created, and something that actually fits.”

"It's nice having something locally made, locally created, and something that actually fits."

I was pleased to have the opportunity to highlight our mission of empowering girls to play — and be — their best. “We want to give girls an advantage. If their gear performs better, they will play better.”

Dragonwing athletic clothing empowers girl athletes

Please help spread the word by sharing this post with your friends and family — by email or social media.

 

SOCCER IS HERE!!!!

It’s finally soccer season!! I can’t believe it’s here—my senior year of soccer. It’s crazy to believe that at the end of this season, I will be done with high school. Senior night will be for me.  It’s my last year in the CA jersey. Whaat.

The last time I touched a soccer ball was 10 months ago, on our last game of last season. I had no idea how good or bad I would be getting back into it. For the first 20 minutes of our first practice back, the ball definitely felt foreign, but I’ll blame it on being indoors due to the snow, not my 10 soccer-less months.

When I finally got adjusted, I remembered how much I love soccer. And competing. I had so much freakin energy and I was so ready to play 90 minutes against our biggest rivals.

We’ve got big expectations for this year. I think our team is pretty stacked, and I personally believe a state championship is in our future. We’ll see how it goes!

Power of Shared Language of Soccer

Last month, the Jordanian U15 Women’s National Soccer Team came to the US to train and engage in American culture. Some Dragonwing soccer girls here in North Carolina were among those fortunate enough to be able to scrimmage with the team, share a meal, and get to know a bit about the similarities and differences between their lives as teen girl athletes.

Former USWNT member and Olympic gold medalist, Cindy Parlow Cone, was one of the girls’ soccer coaches who met with the Jordanian girls’ team. A spokesperson for Dragonwing girlgear and ambassador for Goals for Girls, an international nonprofit that helps girls worldwide through cultural exchange and soccer, Parlow Cone noted the power of sports “diplomacy”:

Every time…I’m a sports envoy to another country, it just reiterates how much power…this sport of soccer has [around the world]. It’s amazing how this game can bring so many people together.

I can say quite confidently that this experience has changed my daughter’s life — and those of all the girls on the field that chilly December evening. To meet and interact, both casually and on the soccer field, with girls from another country, opened their eyes to the similarities and differences they experience as teen girls.

Despite language differences, they communicated perfectly in their shared “language” of soccer, where each girl knew what to do and how to play.

They relished the competition and joy of the sport! Most of the girls are now connected via social media and sharing parts of their daily lives — tweets, photos, and updates — with their new friends across the globe.

The members of the U15 team will be the first team to represent Jordan when it hosts the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in 2016.

The Jordanian team’s visit was part of the US State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative and the University of Tennessee Center for Sport, Peace and Society.

 

Proud Sponsor of CASL Soccer

My inspiration for Dragonwing was sparked on the sidelines of the beautiful North Carolina soccer fields, so when given the opportunity to become a sponsor of the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL – pronounced “castle”), we didn’t hesitate.

Lots of Dragonwing girls play with CASL, and we’re happy to be able to support them on and off the fields. After all, empowering girls to play with confidence is what Dragonwing is all about!

If you get the chance to visit the WRAL Soccer Center in Raleigh, one of the country’s largest outdoor soccer complexes, make your way over to Field #7, now known as “Dragonwing girlgear Field.” That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?!