Girls can play flag football, too!
We tell our girls they can do anything, and playing football should be no exception. My daughter has looked up to my son since the day she was born. If you saw pictures of the way she looked at him when he first held her, I’m sure you’d agree. For the majority of her life, everything he does, she does. So, when he started playing flag football, you can only imagine what that sparked in her. She wanted to be just like her big brother and I wasn’t going to dim her light.
So, we bought her all of the same gear. We let her practice with him. We took her to every game so she could cheer him on and watch her brother’s confidence grow as he learned the fundamentals of football. Like my son, we encouraged and supported her love for football.
Football times are changing.
I grew up in an era where girls didn’t play boys’ sports and if they did, boys made fun of them or made them feel like they were less than or not good enough. But, society has changed. Girls are out there running the field right alongside boys, learning about the importance of teamwork, dedication, and hard work. My daughter is growing up in an era where girls and boys play the same sports without a second thought, and I’m so happy about that.
By watching her brother, my daughter is learning about what it looks like to follow her heart. She is watching his love for moving his body and the way he feels playing alongside his team. She is seeing what it looks like to be on a team, to support one another while having fun. The opportunities for our children to learn about so much more than just a game are incredible. There’s so much that goes into this.
Flag football is not just a game for our family, or my daughter.
It’s become a way for her to connect with her older brother. And, it’s a way for her to feel strong and empowered. It’s setting her up for future success because she’s learning how to communicate her dreams to us and work with us to help her achieve them. She’s learning about what makes her happy and what she enjoys doing. There are so many important lessons that she’s learning from flag football and all that goes into it.
We’re helping her to see that we will always support her endeavors, no matter what. We’re instilling in her what it means to commit to a team. That when you say yes to the game, you’re not only saying yes to yourself, but to the other players on your team. That when you commit, it means taking responsibility for your gear, showing up to practices on time, encouraging one another whether you win or lose, and continuing to show up even when it gets tough.
For our family, flag football means my husband and I get involved, too. My daughter has already asked me if I’d be her coach because she’s grown up seeing my husband coaching. In a time when we are slowly seeing more female representation in coaching positions, it’s so amazing that she doesn’t think twice to ask me to coach. She sees it like this–she can play, and her mom can coach. And that’s that!
And it’s not just in our family.
Locally, we have a high school football linebacker who was also recently crowned her school’s homecoming queen. How amazing is that? My daughter can look up to this high school student and really dream big. My hope is that she will see that this girl plays football just like she does, and she’s so much older. You know how fascinated our little ones are with the “big” kids!
I want her to know that football can become a passion that she carries with her for the rest of her life. It doesn’t have to just be for right now. And it can really empower those who follow in her footsteps.
More recently, we’ve been able to see so many examples of children and young adults who are paving their own way on a path to their future. They’re doing the things they want to do, because they want to do them. They aren’t worried about what others might think. And that kind of self-confidence is really inspiring.
My daughter wants to play flag football because she’s seen others play and she wants to give it a try. She doesn’t have a second thought about failure, or what others might think. And we will absolutely support her in that for as long as she wants to play.