Its a man’s world, or so its said…
Football, wrestling, baseball, strongman, 1000 pound squats in lifting… people want speed, power, brute strength, freaks, 4.4 40’s run by athletes weighing 260…
What about the women?
Ok, ignore women’s lifting and bikini/figure, but let’s discuss women’s sports in general.
Usually women who compete in strength sports already know what a positive body image, and athletic achievement, should be, I don’t intend to preach to the choir with that, they got that shit mostly on lockdown (give or take a few who struggle).
Let’s give a little history first.
Most of you will have no fucking clue what that is. Its summarized simply as:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…
Simple, but not really. Some argue men’s sports were cut at the expense of women’s sports which generate less revenue for the school. After all who REALLY wants to see passing, fundamental play and competition just because they don’t dunk or crush 400 foot homeruns.
I’m not going to go into the specifics of this legislation, its not my place, but it is my place to treat all my clients and athletes the same.
Its an unfortunate fact that women have very few opportunities to pursue their athletic dreams after college, only a small handful of sports provides that for them, but it still doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a chance to shine at the collegiate level, with a scholarship, in the same way their male counterparts do.
Women and young girls are bombarded with mass cultural references to being thin, skinny, etc. and you even see this damage done to the athletes. I can tell you countless times I’ve had to talk to female athletes I have worked with that you won’t look like a man, etc..
Its a hard thing to convince a teenage girl that she is doing good for her future health by lifting a barbell when she looks at TV and sees some hot ass celeb chick doing Zumba.
Some learn, some don’t… the ones who do go on to keep playing their sport and possibly in college.
What can we, as coaches, do for girls that resist it mentally:
- Talk to their parents, have them reinforce positive athletic women in their life. Encourage them to participate in training with them when they can. You don’t need to make money off them, changing lives carries it here.
- Try to get local women college athletes to come talk to your girls about how they train, eat and work towards their goals. You can bet your ass if they are playing at a college level they aren’t doing it with Pilates and tofu.
- Treat them the same as your male athletes. No, that doesn’t always mean swearing at them, but attend their games, have a gym leaderboard for them, etc.. Positive attention will carry more weight than any gym session. Trust me there. I attended games of all types of sports from pee-wee up to professional. You are an integral part of their success, support them and they WILL support you.
These steps will help your female athletes and clients, I can assure you of that.
They are just as strong as we are mentally, as competitive as we are, as driven as we are and deserve the right to be given the same level playing field as we have…. many outlift men, outrun men and outperform men…. they are athletes and deserve the same respect.
Changing lives and creating athletes begins and ends with positive figures in any athlete’s life. Be one of them and be a part of helping young athletes (male AND female) achieve athletic and academic goals.
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