Low body confidence is the biggest global driver of quitting sports among teenage girls, who drop out at twice the rate the boys do. Tackling this, Dove and Nike are prioritising interactive training modules, designed to help coaches instil self-esteem in young athletes – as 69% of American girls claim they would be more body confident if they had stayed in sports for longer. Ideas for group discussions, mindfulness exercises, videos and workbooks are available in various languages and address how to challenge harmful body talk in sports, understand bodily functions and how to apply this to practical activities.
Coaches serve as influential role models, playing an essential role in fostering self-esteem and shaping young people’s experiences in sports, determining the creation of a positive and empowering atmosphere.
“In sports, girls often face a tremendous amount of pressure – not just around performance and abilities, but also because of unrealistic expectations around their appearances,” said Venus Williams. “Sports have the potential to make girls feel confident and strong, yet for so many, the judgement and criticism they face within the sports environment is damaging their confidence and limiting their self-belief,” added Alessandro Manfredi, chief marketing officer at Dove.
Progressive coaching techniques that focus on confidence as much as performance will provide an all-inclusive approach to helping young athletes celebrate their bodies and nurture a positive self-image.
For more on how brands are empowering beauty consumers through sports, see Active Beauty: Gym to the Great Outdoors and Active Wellness Brands to Know.