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Participating in youth sports can empower women and girls for life
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Participating in youth sports can empower women and girls for life

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Being a woman in a male-dominated field can host a multitude of difficulties, yet being a woman in a male-dominated field can also host the most rewarding of all wins.

I have been asked many times in my life why I have chosen a career in sports (especially working with youth in sports), and I finally believe have the top two reasons as to why being female in sports means so much to me.

Being an advocate for myself and other women.

Sports reaches almost every corner of the world. I know that as a female advocating for my voice, my rights and well-being can be mentally strenuous. Sports have always made it easier to reach the number of people we need to make an impact. The web of strong and powerful females who all push for the betterment of women is such an empowering thing to see/be a part of. Us women coming together on a pitch, field, court, arena, or any other type of platform, to set an example of pushing boundaries and raising the bar for our rights as females is an experience like no other.

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Having an outlet in my life that allows me to grow socially, physically, and mentally aids me in a well-rounded life.

I grew up as a multisport athlete doing softball, dance, soccer, basketball and more. Although I narrowed my focus during high school to pursue college soccer, I still firmly believe that being involved in many sports helped me not only as an athlete but as a person as well. Being on a team in general gave me structure, friends, and resources. It also taught me how to trust and be trustworthy, be hard-working, communicate effectively, improve my time-management skills, have resilience, set and reach goals, and most importantly believe in myself. All these skills have guided me through school and into the professional world.

Although the path in sports (and life in general) is never linear, the bumps and curves that participating in sports entails has helped shaped me into the woman I am today. If my external personal life was running awry, sports were there to guide me. If I had a bad game or practice, my team was there to support me. If I had lack of understanding in a drill or situation, my coaches were there to mentor me. There are aspects of sports (beyond the game itself) that are always with me navigating through life.

Being a woman in sports has been the most influential and gratifying part of my life. I will forever be thankful and always advocate for females in sports.

Sign up for winter youth basketball through Dec. 13 at any YMCA location or online at metroymca.org. The season begins Jan. 22.

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