As girls enter their preteen and teenage years, they experience many physical and emotional changes, as well as gender-related challenges and stressors.
We know that boys and girls both experience stress in adolescence. We also know that sports can be a vital coping mechanism in combating stress. Yet studies and research suggest girls experience greater stress than boys and have less access to sports to cope with it. As a coach, you can use sports to help girls learn to manage and overcome stress.
Research shows that girls report significantly higher rates of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression and that girls with poor social support are more vulnerable to mental health problems than those with strong social support. Improving social support may serve as a protective buffer to stress and mental health problems . Sports can provide girls with social support.
This lesson will specifically focus on understanding how girls’ brains respond to stress. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the actions of the girls in your program, and when we understand how the brain works, we can better understand the origin of the behavior we see and hear.