Monday, March 12, 2018

Blog Tour: How to Coach Girls by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley

From the Publisher:
How to Coach Girls provides the most comprehensive guide available to the many issues associated with coaching girls teams across the spectrum of sports, from soccer to lacrosse, field hockey to softball. Volunteer parents and experienced coaches alike will find invaluable advice on the process of making a successful team, encouraging girls to stay in sports beyond the middle school years. Twenty-two chapters cover all the major issues, including how to pick captains, the importance of growth mindset, issues around body image and puberty, as well as the intricacies of coaching your own daughter. This invaluable guide is the brainchild of Alison Foley, Head Coach of Women's Soccer at Boston College and Mia Wenjen, a parenting and education blogger at and the mother of two daughters, who provide personal accounts to illustrate issues discussed throughout the book. The combination of Mia's voice of parental experience coup0led with Alison's professional expertise provides an innovative and highly accessible apporach to considering potential pitfalls and how to avoid them. In the final section, a broad range of experienced college coaches, including former Olympians, give crucial guidance on what it is that girls need from a coach to allow them to flourish in sports, and most importantly, have fun.

I am not the least bit athletic, although I did play right wing on my high school field hockey team for four years. We had two coaches, and I and my teammates remained part of the team mostly because we all liked the coaches, but I never thought about it beyond that until I read How to Coach Girls.

I was not the least bit surprised to learn that 70% percent of kids give up organized sports by the time they reach middle school, and that girls drop out 6 times the rate of boys. Why? Well, according to Wenjen and Foley, coaching girls is different than coaching boys. In short, they conclude that girls need a social emotional relationship with their coaches, whereas boys don't. The way to achieve this kind of connection is called the Whole Child Approach. Once the players feel comfortable, safe and engaged, they are willing to take the kind of risks on the playing field that boys just seem to automatically take.
Authors Alison Foley and Mia Wenjen

This is a slim volume divided into three sections. Each section deals is devoted to ways a coach can  achieve a winning team of girls. The first section, The Big Picture, looks at the ways a coach can makes team sports fun, but also how they can develop a team chemistry, using positive reinforcement and, most importantly, have a team of good people, not just good players.

Section two, Solutions to Specific Issues, offers some really helpful how-to ways for different situations, such as coaching one's own daughter, building confidence in players, how to handle a losing streak, and issues around body image, puberty and sports.

Section three, Pre-Season Planning, is a really helpful section for new coaches, especially for volunteer coaches who may not be very experienced, and let's face it, with budget cuts, girls' sports get slashed first in school and sometimes the only way to play is if parents help with the coaching. Here coaches will find some very useful guidelines, such as creating a player code of conduct, a parent code of conduct, putting together that all important medical emergency plan, setting goals and evaluations, and finally, pre-season logistics.

When I began this, I said that me and my teammates continued to play field hockey for four years because we liked our coaches. It turns out that many of the approaches I read about in How to Coach Girls were actually many of the reasons why we remained. We were lucky, but so often girls continue to drop out of sports because their coaches don't understand the difference between coaching boys and girls, and girls begin to feel like just a player expected to win, and not a person playing a sport that she enjoys being a part of. 

How to Coach Girls is an invaluable guide for all coaches, offering suggestions, strategies, and guidance to help make each girls' team, regardless of the sport they are playing, the best they can be.

To learn more about this book, please visit the  How to Coach Girls website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page

Be sure to visit these stops on the How to Coach Girls Blog Tour:

February 22  Shelly Bean the Sports Queen   
March 1        Wise Owl Factory                       
March 2        The Conscious Kid                     
March 3        Jump Into a Book                   
March 4        Books My Kids Read                 
March 5        Ms Yingling Reads                     
March 7        All Done Monkey                     
March 8        Miss Panda Chinese                   
March 9        Biracial Bookworms                 
March 10      Mom of all Capes                     
March 11      Franticmommy                         
March 12      Randomly Reading                   
March 13      Here Wee Read                         
March 14                       
March 15      The Pragmatic Parent               

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Alex for your support of How To Coach Girls!!!


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