Teenage females need best friends, especially athletes. Athletic teenage girls look for bonding, support, and talking about their respective sports in positive ways.
In team sports ( such as basketball, volleyball, and soccer), this is essential for effective teamwork and camaraderie. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation at age fourteen, girls are dropping out of sport at twice the rate of boys. Before the teen years, girls look more to their parents and sibs for their foundation. Peers and boyfriends make up the major reason for teenage girls dropping out of sport. Without like-minded girlfriends and boyfriends, teenage girls get pulled in a variety of directions. Sometimes, parents even interfere. Since sports take a major time commitment, female teen athletes are torn between focus on sports and social opportunities.
In working with a talented Marin County teenage swimmer, I discovered she had mixed feeling when it came to her inability to do more social activities. She swam for both a high school and club team. Her non-athletic friends questioned why she was so busy all the time with swimming. This dilemma was between swimming, other sports, and non-athletic social activities. She worked with me and improved her performance skills, but struggled with her dilemma. She lacked athletic girlfriends which contributed to the problem. Her controlling mother did not help the situation. Eventually, her mother pulled her out of work with me. This is just one example when a teenage girl got help for performance but was still at risk of dropping out of swimming.
Best Advice to Parents: Encourage and support by talking to your athletic daughters about their sports.