Girls and Sports. Why Their Love of Sports Isn’t Really Love At All.

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It Might Be Love.  It Might Not Be.It’s summertime.

You would think this means a slower pace of life for someone who works in education.

This isn’t true in my case because I am the proud owner of an evil spawn (at least I am half owner for a few more years).

My daughter is in the middle of another athletic season (if I can use the word “athletic” in reference to an 8 year old). As the seasons change, so do her activities.

Summer means softball, golf, and camps. Fall brings soccer. Winter is basketball. Spring brings us back to soccer.

I didn’t even mention Girl Scouts, piano lessons, skiing, church activities, swimming, and sleepovers.

The activities change but the cycle always repeats.

And repeats.

And repeats.

And repeats (you probably get it by now).

My behind can now instantly recognize the season/sport by the type of uncomfortable wooden bleacher on which I am parked.

I miss my youth. That was a special time when I could sit on bleachers for extended periods and not be bedridden the following 2 days with a mystery pain shooting up my tender backside.

I used to think old people were foolish for sitting on seat cushions at games. Now, I am considering buying stock in the company.

My daughter’s yearly schedule is always the same. That is unless she decides that her parents aren’t busy enough and decides to add another sport.

Lately, she has a strange obsession with auto racing but hopefully she sticks to Mario Kart.

I really don’t have the disposable income to invest in a stock car.

Knowing all of this, one would think she loves sports. One would be wrong.

She doesn’t.

I know this because she is a girl.

What she loves is participating. She loves being part of a team. She loves getting a uniform and trophies. She loves seeing her friends at games (she even talks to the opposing team like they are hated rivals… it’s really hard to watch).

Most of all she loves the juice boxes and snacks that moms provide after the games.

What she doesn’t love is the sports themselves.

Those she likes.

She wants to win, but more than that, she wants to participate. And she wants everyone on both teams to have a good time (at times it is almost embarrassing… the encouraging… the smiling… it’s really quite sad).

I have a feeling the day new uniforms and juice boxes aren’t exciting is the day she finds another way to spend her time.

It could be a job, a boy (pray that it’s not), or reading a book.

I really think boys and girls are very different when it comes to sports.

Boys want to win.

Girls want it to be enjoyable.

This should be a lesson to those millions of parents who think their 8 year old daughters are going to be star athletes in college.

They might.

But I have a feeling that my daughter will come home from practice one day and say “This isn’t as much fun as it used to be. The coach yells too much.”

To which I respond “What is the coach mad about?”

She will say “Who knows. I think I’m going to get a job at the mall.”

You see, she won’t even know why she quit playing sports. She just will.

Girls are just different than boys.

And I hate to say it, but girls may have it figured out.

Thanks for reading the 250th PrincipalsPage.com Blog.

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10 Responses to “Girls and Sports. Why Their Love of Sports Isn’t Really Love At All.”


  1. SKing
    on Jun 23rd, 2009
    @ 8:02 am

    I think I would have enjoyed sports more when I was in school if it was just about having fun! As a generalization, boys are way too serious when it comes to competition!

    I want to congratulate you for reaching 250 blogs! That’s an accomplishment. Keep on writing!


  2. Warren Purdy
    on Jun 23rd, 2009
    @ 5:37 pm

    I have four children. Two daughters. You described them well when they were younger. They are now 20 and 17. I have to tell you – make the most of these years described in your post – even though those benches are painful (we stand around in New Zealand, we dream of having hard benches!). They won’t last (the years, the benches are infinite) and you won’t want to know this but – yes – boys eventually worm their way into the scene. I resisted for as long as possible. To no avail! Enjoy!!


  3. Eduguy101
    on Jun 23rd, 2009
    @ 6:25 pm

    Mike,

    This is a great post! I too have a daughter, who is about to go away to college in the fall. Her sports career was exactly as you describe, that is unless she finds a sport she truly loves. My daughter fell in love with figure skating and it was both a social experience and a passion to grow, compete and excel. This was solely her choice and I got to sit in the rink (freezing at times) to witness her follow her dreams(see my blog post called On dreams and perservernance). It was the most amazing thing, and I will miss it.

    I cannot wait to see her grow and succeed in college.


  4. Raj
    on Jun 24th, 2009
    @ 7:37 am

    While my daughter is just a baby now, I can certainly see how she and my niece are already trending toward the “participation/social” element of activities as opposed to the winning orientation of my nephew (and the other toddler boys I know).

    Looking back at my own youth, I remember playing the girls “rep” teams and how they treated the games like a party and the teams that I played on just wanted to win (this changed slightly when teams went co-ed).

    Girls may indeed have it figured out. They play for the love of the game – in an Olympic manner, to have played – vs boy play (or perhaps are socialized) to win.


  5. Coach
    on Jun 25th, 2009
    @ 8:33 am

    I have coached hundreds of girls and boys and have to disagree with you on this one. I really believe it is the individual personality of the athlete and not the gender that determines their desire to win or just play sports. I have coached many competitive girls who love sports and many non-competitive boys who are just playing sports to hang out with their friends.


  6. Sports - The Stock Mark Report
    on Jun 25th, 2009
    @ 8:05 pm

    [...] However, if you would like to read a humorous view of sports from the view of an 8 year old girl, give Michael Smith’s blog at The Principal’s Page a look.  Click Here. [...]


  7. Traci Blaize
    on Jun 29th, 2009
    @ 7:38 pm

    I must say this post rings true for me. I really enjoyed the social aspect of sports for quite a while; I liked the physical aspect also. By the end of middle school it became apparent that some girls have the “killer instinct” and some do not; some also had skills- I did not. Luckily there’s a lot out there to try! I found the speech team in high school which provided a competitive outlet for me. (Not to mention many bonuses later in life!) Kudos to you for providing your daughter with the opportunity to explore so many different activities!


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  9. Charlie
    on Jul 8th, 2009
    @ 10:42 pm

    I agree that girls are social creatures, but let’s not forget that boys are social creatures too. It hasa been my experience as a coach and parent that up to a point both groups join team sports for socialization, and proudly proclaim membership on a team.

    I witnessed a summer track coach for high school girls ignore, refuse to coach, and isolate girls other than those he called his “elete athletes.” Some of these girls never missed a practice and their parents financially supported the team more that the chosen few. The lesser performing girls did not quit the team because they loved the feeling of belonging and support of their fellow teammates.

    Sometimes coaches forget that all children may not become top competitors, but are important members of the team. These athletes are performing their best day in and day out and should also receive respect and commendation for their dedication to the team concept.


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