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Girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys by age 14. [1]

Coaches have the power to change that.


If you are here, it’s likely you will be coaching girls.

adidas and Up2Us sports have created this curriculum to help you overcome stereotypes and knock down barriers that stand in the way of girls’ participation in sports. While strides have been made in the past few decades, the road is long and we have a ways to go. Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys, and by age 14, they drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. [2]

You as a coach can help change these statistics. You can be the greatest influence in the lives of your female athletes. This curriculum will provide you with the tools to keep your athletes playing, to inspire them on and off the field, and to empower them to overturn stereotypes and charge through life with the skills, confidence, and experience to be successful.

Why we need to keep girls in sports:

When they’re shooting layups, blocking goals, hitting home runs, and clearing hurdles, girls learn to appreciate the power of their own bodies. [3]

Active, athletic girls have been found to have better self-esteem, more confidence, higher achievement in test scores, less depression, improved mental health, more academic success, and greater lifetime earning potential, according to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports report. [4]

Studies about the “confidence gap” between men and women show that “girls who play team sports are more likely to graduate from college” and succeed in their careers. [5]

On average, when girls play sports they score higher on achievement tests, graduate high school at a greater rate, and go on to have a higher earning potential than girls who don’t. [6]

Girls who play sports are 14% more likely to believe they are smart enough for their dream career. [7]

About 94% of women in executive positions have some background in sports. [8]

Why girls drop out of sports

“As far as I'm concerned, our definition of feminine has been terribly distorted. We need to expand it in a healthy way to include the qualities of strong, competent, independent, competitive, and aggressive.”

— Alan S. Goldberg, sports performance consultant [9]

The barriers that stop girls from participating in sports range from physical to emotional to cultural. These six barriers are especially detrimental:

  • A lack of education and awareness of the benefits of sport
  • Not enough coaches, mentors, and role models
  • Limited access and opportunity to play
  • Issues in safe transportation
  • A lack of spaces and facilities
  • Problematic stereotypes

Adults encourage boys more often than girls to be independent and competitive in sports. Because of this, more girls lack the confidence to play sports, particularly as teens, and think of themselves as less athletic than they are. It therefore falls on you and other adults to dispel this fallacy, and show girls that they belong in sports just as much as boys. [10]

Why you matter as a coach

"One barrier that has been recently cited that prevents more women from progressing in sport, is the inability of coaches to understand how to engage their female athletes." [11]

As cited in the report Why Children/Youth Drop Out of Sports, “Some coaches have poor communication skills, autocratic or authoritarian styles of interacting with young athletes, and are generally unable to relate to young athletes, which may lead athletes to choose to abandon participation.” [12]

You as a coach can promote and maintain girls’ participation in sports by helping them understand their experience better and avoid or overcome obstacles that arise.

Your voice is crucial in dispelling the myths about what girls’ bodies are capable of. Let your athletes know that girls can be fit, agile, powerful, muscular, and athletic. [13]


The following lessons are designed to guide you in creating a team culture that encourages young athletes to fully participate, learn, and thrive in sports so that they can reach their highest potential both on and off the field.

After completing this training, you as a coach will be able to:

  • Understand why relationships are important and how to cultivate productive relationships between coaches and athletes, as well as among team members.
  • Foster a positive and supportive team culture that encourages participation and growth.
  • Recognize different stressors for athletes and have the knowledge framework to respond in a personal and empathetic way.
  • Master tactics for cultivating sports and life skills for young athletes that can help them excel on the field and beyond.
  • Understand how girls who are athletic in their youth grow up to be healthy women.
Woman basketball players

The lessons learned in sports often have their greatest impact off the playing field. This curriculum will show you how.


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