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.

Girls Rule: Sports Bra Anniversary

The sports bra will mark an anniversary of sorts on Thursday, July 10: 15 years after 20-year-old Brandi Chastain pulled off her jersey in celebration of her winning goal in the Women’s World Cup and fell to her knees wearing her (plain black) sports bra and shorts.

Brandi Chastain goal in 1999 Women's World Cup brought Sports bra public

Sports bras came into the public after that and today come in many styles and colors.

According to a history of the sports bra by Ladies Only Sports — a fascinating read — the first sports bra “prototype” was two jock straps sewn together. It’s no stretch to say that the sports bra revolutionized women’s sports, making it possible for women to play active sports without breast discomfort or injury. That’s been great for women, but until recently, girls (pre-teens and teens) had been left behind – that’s where Dragonwing girlgear comes in.

Despite the huge increase in girls’ sports, no one was making quality sports bras designed to fit girls’ bodies. Most young girls whose bodies are just beginning to developing have to wear multiple camisoles or t-shirts. Older girls are forced to look for small sizes in the women’s section.

Enter Dragonwing girlgear, maker of athletic apparel — sports bras, compression shorts, and sports camis — designed just to fit tween and teen girls, ages 8-17. Our sports bras and camis are designed for girls at all stages of development.

Racer sports bra for teen, tween girl

Dragonwing products differ from others on the market in that they’re made of high-quality fabrics that are meant for real athletes — moisture-wicking, seamless and tag-free to prevent chafing — and designed for movement without riding up.

Dragonwing girlgear sports bras give girls the fit, comfort, and performance needed to play their best, whether celebrating a game-winning goal, playing on a hot summer day, or changing jerseys on the sideline.

Keyhole sports bra for tween, teen, girl

5 Reasons Why Soccer Matters in the US

The US Men’s World Cup run may be over, but that doesn’t mean soccer will fall off the sports radar screen here in the US. Taking a contrary view to a recent Wall St. Journal piece on the inevitable US “soccer letdown” and even to the more hopeful Freakonomics podcast, here are 5 reasons why soccer will grow in popularity in the US:

1. Soccer is a global sport. Who better to embrace it than the US, a nation of immigrants and multinational individuals. We can cheer not only for our national team but those of our homelands, in my case, Italy. Or we can — and do — cheer for the teams of our temporarily adopted homes, places where we’ve lived briefly or for many years. If Hong Kong had a national team, I’d be a supporter, since I lived much of my early adult years there and it’s my children’s birthplace.

2. Soccer is intense, captivating, and exciting. Those who say it’s too slow or boring to be popular here don’t know what they’re talking about. You want excitement? How about Tim Howard’s amazing 16 saves. The final two minutes of a soccer game can be more intense than the 9th inning with two outs and the bases loaded. Take it from a lifelong Red Sox fan, what happens in the 9th inning can change the course of history. (As an aside, a 2010 Wall St. Journal study found that the average NFL game has a meager 11 minutes of action)

3. While there will always be individual star players, soccer is a team sport. No single player can carry a team for 90 minutes every game, and it’d be tough to build a franchise around a single player. The best teams depend on every player, not on a key player.

4. Some naysayers point to the “flops” as evidence that soccer players are too soft or that the game is not tough enough. Soft?! The level of conditioning necessary to run almost continuously for a full game is astounding. The precision, timing, and agility needed to play soccer are remarkable.

5. While the current World Cup is for men’s teams, let’s not forget the success of US women’s soccer. The US Women’s Team has won two World Cups — yes, 2! Players like Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow Cone (who’s also Dragonwing girlgear‘s spokesperson) , Abby Wambach, Heather O’Reilly, Alex Morgan, and Brandi Chastain are role models for girls at all levels. Attendance at women’s professional soccer league games is solid and growing, with sell-out crowds a regular occurrence for many teams.

 

 

US Women’s Soccer Stars Highlight Risks of Heading

We applaud that three members of the 1999 World Cup championship US Women’s Soccer team are speaking out on the risks of brain injury from heading.

Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, and Cindy Parlow Cone — who’s a Dragonwing girlgear spokesperson — have joined forces with the Sports Legacy Institute and the Santa Clara Institute of Sports Law to form Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer and are pushing for rules changes to prohibit heading by players under 14.

In a recent New York Times article on the effort, Parlow Cone, who ended her playing career in part because of concussion-related headaches and fatigue, says, “Soccer might not be football, but we do know now that brain injuries in soccer is a huge issue, and is a very serious issue…. We need to do better for our kids.”

 

Getting Girls Off the Sidelines & Into the Game

With much of the world’s eyes and screens tuned in to the World Cup, Wall St. Journal reporter Patricia Kowsmann wrote powerfully about how girls in Brazil are often left on the soccer sidelines.

Her personal story of being bullied as a young girl for wearing boys’ soccer cleats really hit home for me. It touched at the core of why I started Dragonwing girlgear.

The sad truth is that, for most girls who play sports, the only high quality clothing — that wicks moisture and doesn’t chafe — is found in the boys’ section. Or the women’s section where sports bras don’t fit girls.

All too often, girls are forced to choose between the right gear for their sport OR lower-quality apparel — like a cotton bralette — that isn’t designed for playing sports.

Girls who play sports aren’t “tomboys;” they’re athletes and deserve to have comfortable, supportive clothing — sports camis, compression shorts, and sports bras — that helps girls play their best. That’s what we do every day at Dragonwing girlgear.