We are a football family. No doubt about it. Our boys did a little bit of basketball. There was also a smattering of volleyball here and there. Then our last daughter played soccer. But I have to admit, I have rarely if ever, encouraged our girls or our granddaughters to become athletes. Here’s a great way for grandpa to reach into their granddaughters’ lives.
We have one granddaughter, who has been dubbed by her grandpa, the “queen of diamonds.” She is a natural baseball player and has played in summer leagues since she was old enough to swing a bat.
As she got older, she didn’t want to play on the girl’s team anymore. Simply put, they didn’t challenge her at all. So, she was allowed to play on the boys team-where she became one of the best players on the team. At first, I questioned the wisdom in that decision.
However, a recent article changed my mind completely. The point was made that girls need to learn about teamwork and sportsmanship as much as boys do.
Ok, that’s all well and good. Teamwork is an important skill or quality. But then, the article cited some eye-opening stats.
High school girls that are active in sports are “significantly less likely to get pregnant” and use drugs.
That means they are also much more likely to graduate.
“Here are some specific ways you can encourage your granddaughter’s interest in athletics:
“First, teach her to appreciate an active lifestyle. I’m not saying push her to practice gymnastics all day to make the Olympic team, but you can at least get her away from the TV and go hiking or toss the softball.
“Number two: Be active yourself. If you enjoy regular exercise it will keep you in shape, and your granddaughter will be much more likely to participate as well.
“Third, be her biggest fan. Cheer her from the sidelines, support her goals and achievements, and help out at team functions.
“Finally, point out positive role models. Help your granddaughters identify high-achieving female athletes.
Dad and grandpa can really have a positive impact on the girls they love by showing them aspects of the sports they have spent a lifetime in–or at least watching.
That’s not to say that you have to encourage your girl to be masculine. The idea is that if you believe that sports have a lot to offer your boys in the way of character development, why would it not be beneficial to your girls?
Whether or not you want your ladies on a football field isn’t really the point. It’s easy to get wrapped up in traditional roles. But maybe it’s time we put that aside and let dad and grandpa do some encouraging.