Play Like a Girl
By Elise Bigley, NOWSA Co-Founder and Director of Marketing and Community Outreach
Growing up, girls are frequently encouraged by their families, friends, and educators to play sports in some capacity. And when we do, we are surrounded by back-handed compliments, insults or people who simply say we play “like a girl”. So we try harder and practice more to alleviate potential criticism and bullying. At that young age, sport is a key vehicle for making friends and building confidence. Later in life, for many, it even creates the opportunity for higher education and a career. There are so many positive outcomes to playing sports, so we tell young girls to get involved, give them options, and showcase the handful of professional female athletes they can aspire to. So we overcome those initial hurdles, become competitive, and put our all into playing at the high school or college level. Eventually, we graduate. And then what?
The reality is that most high school and college athletes don’t go pro or to the Olympics. But sports can continue to offer physical, mental and social benefits at any level.
About elise Bigley
Elise is a marketing professional by day and NOWSA leader by night. She played softball throughout her youth and currently plays at the recreational level with North Coast Softball. She loves talking about the intersection of sports, mental health and social justice topics.