My inner circle of family and friends has known that I have been tossing this idea around for a long, long time - perhaps 2 years now. Through the past decade of coaching high school girls, I have observed a huge decline in self esteem amongst my players and an increase in overall discontent within this generation of high school students as a whole. I've blamed many things, including technology and the media. Did you know that the average teen sends and receives 100 texts a day?! Blame doesn't offer solutions and I don't think technology and media usage are going to decline anytime soon, so what to do?
The way I coach has had to evolve over the years. My practice plans now include a huge amount of team and confidence building activities. Everything we do has a greater meaning. It pays off, not only by way of winning games - the last 4 teams I have been involved with have gone to their championship game - but also in the way the players carry themselves and interact with each other. I have seen first-hand that sports can be an amazing vehicle towards self esteem and away from self destructive behaviors.
Here are a few disconcerting statistics for you, from a recent CDC study as reported in a NYDailyNews.com article:
- 1 in 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide.
- 1 in 12 high school students has attempted it.
- 20% of high-schoolers said they'd been bullied while at school.
- 16% said they'd been 'cyberbullied' through email, chat, instant messaging, social media or texting.
The call to do more has been shouting loud and clear. I have the skills, the heart and the willingness to make a difference.
There are a gazillion "anti-bullying" programs out there. So many that kids are becoming numb to their message and they tend to roll their eyes when they know yet another speaker is coming around to share their message. So, I decided if I choose to do something, it needs to be cool. It needs to be a bit edgy and interesting. It needs to grab their attention.
Never underestimate a girl with balls.
Not sure when this concept came to me, but since day one, it has been in my heart and on the tip of my tongue. Every person with whom I have shared my idea has shaken their head with a smirk, sly smile or full on laugh.
But the intent is pure.
The mission of a girl with balls™ is to empower girls through sports by sharing inspirational female athlete stories/quotes, running empowerment workshops for sports teams and to generate funds through apparel sales for donation to worthy causes benefitting female athletes.
If you have a female athlete in your life or know someone who does, I encourage you to go check out the website. We are planning our first run of apparel and are offering a limited selection to be shipped in time for the holidays. The store offers tee shirts for basketball, softball, soccer, tennis and volleyball in a couple of styles and colors.
If you are here reading this at Mommycosm, you hereby part of my inner circle. Therefore, I'm offering you a 10% discount if you purchase before December 15, 2012. Simply enter MYPEEPS into the discount field at checkout.
In true blogger fashion, I am also offering a giveaway.
One lucky Mommycosm reader will win a tee shirt in their choice of style/color/size from a girl with balls™.
Mandatory Entry: Simply leave a comment on this post with your first name and state initials. Tell me: which shirt would you like if you win?
One comment per person, please. You must supply an email address in order for me to contact the winner. (Note: Due to spam, I do NOT recommend putting email within the content of the comment itself.)
Submitting a comment constitutes agreeing to the terms of the Official Rules.
All comments must be received by Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7am (et). Mommycosm will use Random.org to choose the winner. Any comments received after the deadline will not be considered for the giveaway.
I am the founder of a girl with balls™ and will be providing the giveaway prize.
And the winner is...
which is this comment...
Congratulations, Laurie from MA :) Check your email for information on how to claim your prize.
Thank you, everyone, for participating. If you would like to purchase an a girl with balls™ tee shirt and do so by 12/15/12, use code FREESHIP for free shipping.