What Girls Say About: Sports

How much do girls like sports? A lot! Would you believe even more than texting, TV, or going to the mall?

That's what 3,000 girls said in our recent survey about sports. Girls who like sports said they'd like to play sports more than they already do. Many girls said they play five or more sports and started playing when they were as young as 4.

So Many Reasons to Love Sports

They say they love sports because they like getting in great shape, getting better at their sport, and playing with friends.

Here are some of their greatest sports moments:

What was your best sports moment?

  • When I ran a 1-mile race and won. I had this feeling like I was the best runner in the world.
  • Playing dodgeball and scoring in the net when I didn't think I could do it.
  • When I slid into first base without getting an out.
  • Standing in 1st place with my family supporting me!
  • When I'm in dance competitions, I love the feeling onstage and performing.
  • A couple years ago I got the most-improved award on my soccer team.
  • When I scored the winning basket at my basketball game.
  • My best sports moment was when I learned how to turn correctly in skiing. Now I can ski black diamond slopes!
  • The first time I scored a goal in ice hockey. I felt so proud.
  • When I won at the barrel race in a horse show.
  • When I broke a swimming record.
  • Whenever you can't do something and you try and try at it and you finally get it.
  • After we won the soccer game, my friends and I cheered for the next team playing.
  • When I swished a 3-pointer to win a game.
  • When I caught a foul ball barehanded as a catcher.
  • When I fell and hit the ball with my head and the ball rolled into the goal.

Giving Sports Another Chance

But what about girls who say they don't like sports? They said that they're not good at sports, that sports are boring, and that they haven't tried any sports that they like.

This is key because there are tons of sports, from swimming to cheerleading to running to basketball. All are very different, so just having a bad experience on your first soccer team might not mean you don't like sports, period. It's kind of like saying you don't like food because there's one dish you tasted and didn't like.

But the good news is that 60% — more than half of the girls who said they didn't like sports — said they wanted to get better at sports. In other words, they were willing to try again.

Try these steps if you're a girl who wants to give sports another try:

  1. Start with a clean slate: More than 60% of nonathletes said they had quit a sport. Tell your parents you would like a "do-over" with sports and talk about sports you'd like to try.
  2. Try the buddy system: Everything is more fun with a friend. Ask your parents to help you find classes and local programs that you and a friend can do together.
  3. Ask about workout clothes: Some girls shy away from exercise because they don't want to wear certain clothes, like shorts. Ask your parents to help you get what you need to get started, including sneakers, a comfortable workout outfit, and a supportive sports bra, if needed.

Trying Again

Think of it like this: Maybe you just haven't found your sport yet. To encourage you along the way, here's what girl athletes said they'd tell a friend who isn't sure about sports.

What would you say to a girl who doesn't like sports?

  • You should try different sports first before you say no.
  • It keeps you in good shape and it is very fun when you win or on a team with your friends.
  • There's a sport out there for everyone; you just have to look and try to do your best.
  • I would tell her that I'm not going to make her be in sports, but sports help make you healthier, happier, and smarter.
  • In sports, you get lots of new friends and meet new people and I would tell her she is missing out.
  • Playing sports makes you feel good inside and out. You should try it sometime! It's a good way to reduce stress and take your mind off of things. It's also a good way to lose weight naturally!
  • I would say, hey, you should hang out with me sometime and we could play soccer or something. I always thought I wouldn't like it either but I've been playing since I was 5 and love it to this day!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: March 2010

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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