What a year for women’s sport…
The Lioness’ winning the Euro’s, selling out Wembley in the process, and England Red Roses reaching the world cup final, following in the footsteps of our very own Mo Hunt, back in 2014. With all these inspirational achievements women’s sport is increasingly in the spotlight.
Recently, a study by Federation University Australia identified the top three reasons why teenage girls stop playing sport. Here are the reasons and how Lions are combating them:
1. Athletes not having fun and losing interest
People lose interest in a sport for multiple reasons, some people may fall out of love due to over-training, and some may find training sessions repetitive, boring and un-stimulating, often leading to other sports and opportunities turning their heads.
At Lions, we work with our coaches through CPD and Coach Education courses to make sure they are upskilled to deliver the best coaching sessions they can. We encourage and develop our coaches so they are equipped to deliver content through the use of small-sided games, a lot more fun and engaging than more traditional approaches such as drills. We love questions! Don’t you? By ensuring our coaches ask questions in their sessions, we make sure learner engagement is high and the athletes feel empowered in their sessions. If athletes feel empowered and are playing games they should feel engaged in what they are doing and ultimately be enjoying themselves.
2. Unfriendly Coaches and Officials
Girls tend to value and appreciate a good relationship with their coaches more than boys do. Coaches being friendly and approachable leads to a much more positive experience in sport and as a result, athletes coached by these coaches are less likely to drop out of the sports they play.
At Lions, we have a strict recruitment system, involving three steps. An initial phone call, a face-to-face coaching session and an interview. By using these three steps we vet potential coaches against our values (Be accountable, Perform at the top of your game, and Have fun) to make sure we are recruiting not only good coaches but also good people. Coaches in our network will have demonstrated these qualities at each stage of the recruitment process.
Both the risk of injury and recovering from an injury is enough to put all young people off sport, however, this is more prominent in girls, with it being the top 4 reasons that girls drop out from sport.
Rugby is currently one of our biggest sports at Lions, however, we’d be naive not to be listening to the stories around concussions and the implication this has in later life. This is why we’re working with Swansea University on the PhD Research project, focusing on how we coach the tackle in rugby. Rob, our PhD student, is working tirelessly to develop a program for our coaches to roll out in their sessions to ensure the tackle is coached in a safe and effective manner. You can read more about Rob’s work here.
Women’s sport is growing exponentially, the more we can do as coaches to support and nurture the future sporting talent of this country, the better.
Lions are hosting a Girls Rugby Festival at Lords Wandsworth College in March. To find out more information please email email@example.com
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