“You play ball like a girl!”- Ham, The Sandlot
A father usually wants his first born to be a son. He hopes one day his pride and joy will be captain of the varsity team. He wants to standing proud in the bleachers, hold the biggest grin, point, and shout out to everyone, “That’s my boy!” Having his prodigy bee as physically and mentally as strong as possible. He wants his son to be all state for their little hometown and known to be going places.
Then the day comes when that vision shatters and daddy finds out he’s going to have a little girl. Fathers who want the best for their children and commit to treat them equally are the best. I was signed up for soccer at the age of four, and became involved with so many other sports as I grew. One of the greatest things my parents ever did for me was getting me involved in contact sports, and I believe that every girl should at least try it out.
Being an athlete means so much more than the competitions themselves. The sport provides what the athlete gives it. The sacrifice to give everything that you can, training day in and day out, trying to make yourself better than the day before, is an athlete’s life. I learned teamwork, failure, success, and how to adapt to new situations every day. Sports challenge our bodies in unexplainable ways. The bruises, the blood, and the scars are the realistic storybook that our body can tell. The muscle aches and sores mean that the body has worked to its physical limits, and then having to push through the hurt proves that you are a solider.
When you’re put on that field you have to juggle everything that is going on. The ball can be all the way on the opposite side of the field and then all of a sudden you look up and sphere of some sort is flying towards you. You learn the backbone of how a team is your family. Your team places trust in you and you have to be able to trust yourself as well. You rely on each other and have each other’s back till the end of time. You have to be confident in what you are going to do because those next seconds and that play that you just made will dictate the rest of the game. These are just some of the life lessons I have learned as an athlete.
Lastly, why is playing a ball like a girl an insult? We have to prove to the world that we aren’t that “dainty-little-girl.” Society has placed so many stereotypes on females that have lasted for the longest time; women should wear shorter athletic shorts, women can’t lift weights or they will hurt themselves, women shouldn’t play the competitive sports that men do. If women are responsible for being the reproducers of the human race, then why are we the inferior gender. Society would not be able to last if it wasn’t for women. Even with that being said we are still set back and clearly are not equal to men. One of the biggest stereotypes that I hate to hear is, “women don’t play sports.”
Women are allowed to be loud.
Women are allowed to be aggressive.
Women are allowed to be strong.
I thank my father everyday for pushing me to my limits and letting me see all the wonders of playing a contact sport. Participating in sports my whole life has given me a strong mentality and character that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. This is vital especially being a woman wanting to pursue a career in the sport industry. Even if you are not an athlete my advice to all girls wishing for the same future as me, is to never give up or let yourself be silent. This is your life, be loud.