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PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

- BUILDING LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN YOUNG WOMEN

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oung girls today have quite a few options to choose from when deciding which sport(s) they wish to dedicate their time and effort to, particularly regarding sports that have traditionally been reserved for boys. While the number of girls in sport is growing and the gender gap is getting smaller, there is still a noticeable absence of women in sport leadership positions. There are many factors that have led to this lack of representation and one way to address this issue is to focus on teaching leadership skills to girls starting at a young age. Studies have shown that girls can learn many skills through sport, most notably those that directly affect their ability to lead. Of course, the more skills they acquire at a young age, the better equipped they will be when moving on from youth into adulthood.

SELF-ESTEEM AND DECISION-MAKING Part of becoming a leader means assuming the responsibility of making decisions that will impact you or your team, and then having the determination to stick to that decision when challenged. When a girl develops competence in her skills,

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it positively impacts self-esteem and leads to that girl confidently sharing that expertise with others.

PERSEVERE THROUGH FAILURE We all know that we can’t win every game or competition. The best leaders learn how to handle failure (and success) gracefully, learn from setbacks, and make a plan moving forward. An extension of this is learning resilience, keeping motivated after a loss, or even more difficult, through a series of losses; to keep pushing and improving, while eventually coming out better than before.

MENTORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES As girls progress to higher levels of skill within their sport, they can keep younger members of the team accountable for their actions and show them first-hand how their performance affects the rest of the team. Senior girls can be encouraged to be available to provide guidance to novices, on and off the playing field.

Athlete Pathway Spring 2016  
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