How to help your daughter get into sports

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This is part of a sponsored collaboration with JCPenney and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

I joke that my tween daughter was born an athlete.  She is naturally competitive, has the desire to work hard and she enjoys sports.  I never had to encourage her to play sports.  She wanted to.

As a child, I was completely different.  I had no desire or interest and my parents never encouraged me to play.  I wish they had.

Did you know that 82% of women executives in Fortune 500 companies played sports as children?

By playing sports, my daughter has blossomed into an outgoing, goal-oriented, team player – all important skills to posses as she becomes an adult. But, the most important thing she has learned is the ability to interact and respect children from all different backgrounds, ethnicities and socio-economic levels.


I realize it is challenging to encourage children to get into sports.  But it is not impossible.

Monica Gonzalez

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Monica Gonzalez partners with JCPenney to bring the love of sports to girls. Photo credit: Getty Images

JCPenney recently teamed up with ESPN reporter Monica Gonzalez and Gonzo Soccer to host a free soccer clinic for Houston-area tween and teen girls.  During the clinic, Monica shared her advice on getting girls motivated to participate in sports.   Here are her and my tips:

Tips to help your daughter get into sports:

  • Find a sport your daughter likes. My daughter played soccer, basketball and volleyball.  She ran cross country and swam.  By allowing her to experience all of these different sports she was able to pin point the one that she liked the best.  Let your daughter explore her interests.  Also, take into consideration whether she prefers team or individual sports.
  • Encourage her friends to join.  There is no better motivator for a tween girl to join a sport than if her friends are doing it.  Talk to the moms of your daughter’s friends and get everyone motivated to join a team.
  • Find a team or league at or just above your daughter’s level.  Monica Gonzalez recommends parents seek out a team that is just above their daughter’s current skill level that way they’ll be challenged to improve.
  • Spend time with the ball.  Whatever sport your tween or teen shows an interest in, purchase a ball and equipment so you can practice at home.  Monica Gonzalez suggests, “Get as many touches to the ball as possible – the more you practice, the better you’ll become.”
  • Set a goal with your daughter.  Is she going to be playing for fun?  Maybe she is playing for exercise or maybe she has dreams to become a professional athlete.  Whatever the reason, set clear goals on what your daughter wants to accomplish and help her along the way.  This will not only motivate her to play sports but also continue.
Los Tweens Basketball Team

The Los Tweens’ Girls Basketball Team

Another great way to encourage girls to join sports teams is by seeking out fun clinics and interactive sessions such as the one that JCPenney hosted with Monica Gonzalez in Houston.  During the event, girls between the ages of 8 -16 learned about Gonzo Soccer Academy, the importance of physical fitness and received decision-making advice.

Remember, by encouraging girls to participate in sports, we are building future leaders!





$50 JCPenney Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

What?  $50 JCPenney Gift Cart

When? October 6th through midnight EST on October 14th

How to Enter: Leave a comment below sharing why you think it’s important to help support girls in sports and education AND input your information into the Rafflecopter widget.  Be sure to check for additional entry options.

Rules: Limit one entry per household.  Open to U.S. residents 18 years of age and older.  Winner will be notified via email and have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

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66 thoughts on “How to help your daughter get into sports

  1. I think it has a lot to do with confidence. It lets them know that they are equals to the boys. It really seems like girls get short changed here. My daughter plays softball for her school and on a travel team. The baseball field at their school is well taken care of, watered daily and that sort of thing. Nothing is ever done for the softball field. It looks awful and is really not a good place for the girls to play. My daughter sees this and it makes her upset but she knows that she and her sport is not any less than boys and baseball. She feels that she could out hit or out play any boy out there. Education is important also in that it allows girls to get the same jobs as boys. Sex should not be a factor in acquiring a position in the working force. Being educated and having the skills needed should be the deciding factor.

  2. Education is the foundation of your lively hood and sports teaches life skills in some areas of life that you would not get if you didn’t play sports

  3. Sports are great opportunities for leadership skills, communication skills, team building experiences, socialization, self-esteem building potential, hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, developing a love of exercise, and of course just because it can be fun.

  4. Being an athlete in high school and college, it was so important for me to be a leader to the younger girls, enjoying working as a team, staying fit, and making life long relationships!

  5. I think it’s important because it teaches life skills like working as a team, caring for others- looking out for others and instills confidence in decisions!

  6. Both girls and boys are human being and both are capable to do great things in any field. Girls should be given equal chance to represent the confidence they have and the sportsmanship they hide in themselves.

  7. It’s important to lay a strong foundation for health and also to help build confidence in young women.

  8. Girls need to be encouraged and supported to be active because it will help them be achievers later in life.

  9. Girls seem to be overlooked by those that focus on boys sports. It’s important that they receive the same opportunities than boys.

  10. I feel like any outlet that makes girls feel empowered – and equal to boys in ability and worthiness – should be supported 100%, having seen first-hand how biases and lack of equity can eat away at girls’ self-confidence and self-belief.

  11. I think girls should feel confident and empowered.They should knoe that no goal is too big.

  12. I think it’s important to help support girls in sports so that they could feel strong and confident about themselves. Empowered too! So they could have a healthy life! So they could be more better in Team work and team participating! Plus, it can help them learn to communicate more often and better with other people!

  13. it’s important to support girls in sports and education so that they know that they are capable of doing whatever they put forth an effort to do!

  14. i think it is very important to stay active,it is good for the mind and the body to stay on healthy track.

  15. I think it is a wonderful idea for young women to get involved with sports. It teaches them confidence, team building skills, and keeps them fit.

  16. It’s important because it helps empower young woman, give them self esteem and a great way to make friends.

  17. it’s important to support girls in sports and education because it helps to build their confidence and self esteem

  18. It is very important to support girls in sports and education for there development for there futures, self confidence, and endurance.

  19. My Dad was a football coach, then later in life a golf coach so I was brought up in an athletic environment. I learned at a very young age the importance being involved in sports can have on your life. I was involved in sports all through elementary, middle and high school and throughout my college years and I am passionate today about teaching younger girls how sports can help with their confidence, interpersonal skills, good health and the importance of working together as a team and bonding together to form relationships of substance. Thanks so much for the chance to enter.

  20. I think it is important to support girls in sports and education because it helps build their confidence and self esteem. It also empowers them as young women to believe that they can do anything that set their mind to do.

  21. It is a great way to stay active and fit. It also helps to learn how to work in a team with other people.

  22. It is important to support girls in sports and education so they can grow up confident and successful.

  23. It is important because girls are told all of the time that they can’t do something or that they shouldn’t be a certain way. Empowering them through sports and education will build self confidence, respect, discipline and so much more

  24. i was always told girls were not as athletic as boys and girls could not do science and math. it warped my sense of self growing up. i dont want to see that for the future generation!

  25. OH I think sports and education are so important for the girls! The sports I think helps teach team work, self confidence, and about staying healthy! The girls will be our future so education is so important!

  26. I think this is a great way to empower young woman and give them self confidence and create friendships.

  27. I read that girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image so I think this is a great reason to support girls in sports.

  28. I had my daughter play sports every year since she was 8 and up through highbschool. Not only is it healthy, I believe it builds confidence and enables they to work with others.

  29. It is very important to support and encourage them. It helps to build their self esteem and self worth.

  30. I have a daughter, so it is important to me that she be confident & healthy. Sports are a great way to exercise, learn teamwork & have confidence. If she is told she can only play certain things because she is just a girl, she will feel that boys are superior which is just not true.

  31. Both are important, as are many other things, to impress on girls that they have value far beyond “pretty”, “sexy” and other shallow values forced on girls today.

  32. it is important to keep our youth active so that they keep it up when they are older, also education so they can become strong and be able to stand on their own feet

  33. Team sports seems to be the one place in school were girls are truly cooperative instead of clicque-y. It teaches cooperation and that everyone has a place.

  34. Girls need to be empowered to know that they can do anything they set their mind to, just as boys do.

  35. I feel it’s import for girls to participate in sports because there are great opportunities for team building experiences, socialization, self-esteem building, hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, developing a love of exercise, and of course just because it’s fun

  36. I think supporting them is important because it gives them confidence that they are just as capable as their male counterparts

  37. I feel it’s important to support girls in sports and education because it improves both physical and mental health, improves confidence and build strong social skills.

  38. I think it helps them feel more confident and empowered that they can do anything with hardwork

  39. Sports are good for girls and they tend to give more confidence! Even though I didn’t play sports, I would of like to play soccer but I was shy!

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