Where’d You Grow Wednesday?
April 18, 2012
I grew in so many ways this week…I can’t write about it as well as I would like.
For those of you who know what I’ve been up to over the last week, you understand that I have been flying on cloud nine…literally.
I had the opportunity to attend the Female ADM (American Development Model) hockey symposium in Burlington, Vermont. The trip afforded me a chance to attend the World Championship for Women’s Hockey. I learned so much that I could hardly describe my experience in a succinct blog post. Instead I will highlight some of the biggies.
- Flying in a small plane…in the spring…with plenty of turbulance…upsets my body.
- My body…my ENTIRE body…responds to plane upset by sweating…A LOT!
- Burlington has an adorable (and VERY small airport)…Newark, NJ does not.
- Vermont has both water and mountains…but very few people.
- Symposiums are an extremely great place for lifelong learners.
- USA Hockey has their stuff together. Organized, well-run, and staffed with very committed and competent people.
- Head microphones are great for moving about a room, but they are sensitive to breathing. :)
- Presenting continues to be a passion of mine.
- I live near one of the best resources for research about girls and women in sports. The U of M Tucker Center does phenomenal things.
- Hockey people are a fun bunch. (I already knew that, but it was further confirmed over the weekend)
- Canada’s Active for Life campaign inspires me.
- Canada and the United States are years ahead of the rest of the world for the development of female hockey players.
- The Canadian and American national teams put on a GREAT show in gold medal competition.
- One of the Canadian captains, Hayley Wickenheiser, is certainly among the best female players to ever play the game, but she is also gracious, kind, and a fantastic representative for women’s hockey.
- The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) is doing some wonderful things to inspire growth of women’s hockey around the world.
- Presenting to a crowd of Olympians and Olympic coaches is a pretty fun deal!
- There is plenty of room for growth in both my presentations and in my body of knowledge.
- I am inspired by inspirational people.
- There are a lot of smart people intent on making sports better for kids!
I hope in the coming weeks, I can better verbalize all the ideas and thoughts that are floating in my head. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity I did, and I am absolutely certain about a couple more things:
1. I am a new fan of elite level women’s hockey and
2. I am motivated to create more fans in the girls who love to play.
I do hope you’ve found a way to grow where you are, and if so, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2012 Meagan Frank www.meaganfrank.com Choosing to Grow
February 1, 2012
I grew to appreciate my female-sport-loving-self.
Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day. DON’T STOP READING!!! I know the topic of women in sports can be controversial. There are those people who think women’s sports are a bore. There are the women who don’t understand the psychology of a woman who would sacrifice so much of her life to something that seemingly no one cares about but her. There is still blatant sexism when it comes to women and sports, and I am becoming increasingly aware of the tension. All I want is a small opportunity to share with you some of the recent growth I’ve done with regard to this subject.
Some cool things happened this past week to broaden my enthusiasm for girls and women in sports. On the other hand, things have happened to promote my awareness that there are many issues female athletes still face.
First, the cool stuff:
- I interviewed, via skype, Anthony Thornton, a national-level women’s field hockey coach in Australia (he is an example of solid support for women in sports)
- I took the minutes for a quarterly meeting for Positive Coaching Alliance. The launch committee for the Twin Cities office is comprised mostly of men, but I have felt warmly accepted by them and I feel encouraged to contribute to this effort.
- I accepted an invitation to present at the Female ADM Symposium for USA Hockey about girl team dynamics and team-building
- I attended the University of Minnesota Tucker Center Film Festival featuring Salaam Dunk– a documentary about a college women’s basketball team in Iraq whose members were competing on a team for the first time in their lives.
- Little Sprout (our 6-year-old daughter) had an opportunity to skate with her team at the Excel Energy Center (where the Wild play) and no one cared she was the only girl.
Some of the not-so-positive things I’m noticing:
- Mainstream media has little interest in women’s sports. Try this yourself: count the local sports news stories about girls or women. I saw one story the ENTIRE week. Apparently I am not crazy. An extensive study done at the University of Southern California determined that not only is the coverage of women’s athletics in LA abyssmal (1.6%) but that is DOWN from 1989. National sports giant ESPN is even worse. (1.4% coverage of women’s sports)
- On a much smaller scale, but important in our house right now: Middle Sprout’s U10 girls’ team had to play in the worst rink our hockey association uses. It was the third time they have played there this year, and there seems to be a discrepancy in the way the association schedules the games between the boys and the girls.
- I’ve struggled to get a response to repeated attempts to connect with the Star Tribune sports editors. (I know most editors are too busy to connect with anyone, so I hope it’s not the content of the articles I’m proposing…nor the fact that I am a woman that has delayed response)
- And sadly, the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS), a league that had once shown so much promise for female soccer players, has suspended operation for this year. (and who knows if there will be momentum to get it started again?)
So, why are all of these things important: WOMEN’S SPORTS SHOULD MATTER TO ALL OF US. It shouldn’t matter to just the women who play at the highest levels, but also to the women who want a social place to experience the magic of sports competition. It should matter to the men who father girls, to the men who marry them, to the men who work with and for them, and this will require a necessary shift in culture. We need to believe and promote:
Sports done right, make all people better.
It is widely accepted that sports are good for girls, specifically. Youth sports expert, Brooke DeLench, has a phenomenal article laying out how Sports Benefit Girls in Many Ways. The benefits cover physical, social, emotional and intellectual aspects of life.
The benefits far outweigh the challenges, and I know with absolute certainty that I will continue to grow through the female sporting experience.
Copyright 2012 Meagan Frank Choosing to Grow
To learn more about Meagan Frank or the current book project she is working on, you can visit her at www.meaganfrank.com.