In today’s world, adolescent girls are bombarded with a constant influx of images of external beauty, which can cause them to question themselves and how they should look, but what they need are the strong, confident, healthy female athlete role models. Peer pressure is difficult for girls of all ages but female athletes can help offset that by encouraging girls to participate in sports and maintain a healthy active lifestyle. It has been shown that high school female athletes have more positive body images than non-athletes.
Female athletes make good role models for adolescent girls by promoting physical activity and involvement in sports, confidence, a strong work ethic, and emphasizing the importance of education. It is clear this summer while watching the Women’s World Cup or Wimbledon that the women competing are healthy and fit. They are extremely active and eat healthy to keep their bodies at a top performance level. These women show young girls a healthy body type and that strength and muscle is attractive, as opposed to the many unhealthy body types being showcased on billboards and in magazines.
Confidence is very important to instill in young girls and it is a quality many female athletes exemplify both in and outside of their sport. Sports build leadership and teach girls how to work together as a team. Both professional athletes and Olympians demonstrate how important it is to believe in themselves and their team in order to achieve greatness, which every young girl should do. These female athletes are also strong role models because they show girls everywhere that it is work ethic and not good looks that will help them succeed. By practicing and spending time honing their craft, they can truly be all that they dream of no matter what their gender, race, or background.
In order for many girls to compete in the sport they love, they must first make the grades, whether that is to stay on the team in middle school and high school or to gain an acceptance to college, grades matter. Sports can be a means for many to go to college but they must also demonstrate a strong work ethic and good grades in order to be considered. While some sports do not require a college degree to be recruited, more and more young athletes are opting to finish their college career and some even return to further their education in order to be successful after their time in sports.
Successful collegiate athletes show young girls the importance of gaining an education and there are lots of former female athletes now working at Fortune 500 companies, which can promote girls to stay in school and work hard. It has certainly been proven that women who have played sports carry that sense of teamwork, leadership, and confidence into their jobs after sports, which is another encouragement for young girls to get involved in athletics.
Female athletes, such as the recent United States Women’s National Team who just took home the Women’s World Cup trophy, or Serena Williams who just won her 6th Wimbledon title, provide strong influences and show girls the benefits of being active. It is important for young girls to see the incredible achievements of these athletes and know that they too can accomplish such great feats both in their sport and later in their careers and personal lives.
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