Why girls should keep playing sports #LikeAGirl
Posted July 5, 2016
During puberty, confidence in girls plummets and half — 51 percent — quit sports they were once involved in, according to a new Confidence and Puberty survey conducted by Always, a feminine products company.
The survey involved more than 1,000 girls ages 16 to 24.
With the Rio Olympics nearing, Always aims to combat the decrease in girls playing sports after puberty by releasing the latest installment of the #LikeAGirl campaign, "Keep Playing #LikeAGirl" — a video featuring confident, strong and successful female athletes defying critics who have questioned their love for sports because they are female.
The video called for others to join their mission to increase girls' confidence by encouraging them to keep playing #LikeAGirl.
Always launched the hashtag #LikeAGirl with a promotional video during the 2015 Super Bowl. The video explained how saying a girl is, for example, running or throwing "like a girl," can be translated as running or throwing weakly and can negatively impact a young girl's confidence during puberty when her self-esteem is most fragile. The video currently has nearly 100 million views worldwide.
According to the Always survey, 7 out of 10 girls who quit sports during puberty said they felt they didn't belong in sports. Sixty-seven percent said they felt society doesn't encourage girls to play sports. Additionally, participants reported the top three qualities that participation in sports encouraged were teamwork, confidence and leadership skills.
A press release published in BusinessWire highlighted that many studies have proven that participation in sports can increase confidence in girls and helps them keep that confidence later in life.
"In fact, a recent 2015 U.S. consumer data study, showed that women ages 18 to 24 are twice as likely to be confident if they play sports regularly, compared to those who do not play at all," according to the press release.
Always has partnered with U.S. Women's National Soccer Team forward Alex Morgan for the "Keep Playing" campaign. Morgan, a World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, shared her story to encourage girls to stay involved in sports.
According to the press release, at age 13 Morgan's soccer coaches told her she wasn't good enough to continue playing.
"As a young girl just wanting to play and do my best, that was difficult to hear. It would have been easy for me to quit, but I wouldn’t be the confident person I am today if I had,” Morgan said. “That’s why I am proud to be part of the Always #LikeAGirl mission to help keep girls confident at puberty by inspiring them to keep playing sports.”
Morgan has represented Team USA in the last Olympics and the last two World Cups. She will continue to represent Team USA this summer in Rio, according to The Huffington Post.