Raising Female Student-Athletes

First of all, raising a kid is a challenge. From being an infant to the terrible 2s AND 3s (!), elementary school to hormonal teenagers! Yep, parenting is a challenge but SO WORTH IT. B U T when you add in athletics and extra curricular activities, life gets really busy really FAST! My girls started their athletic careers in ballet and tap classes once a week (oh, the good old days), now it's soccer, soccer and SOCCER and lots of running and track strategies to discuss.

Remember when you were a kid and you could try out for your favorite sport at the local high school? Everything was right there, with very little travel unless you won the conference title. Now, there is a club for every sport imaginable and clubs require dedication, time and money. 

For me, raising young female student-athletes was a requirement. If they wanted to do theatre or music, no problem, but in the meantime I wanted a sport to keep them physically challenged. 

 All American 800m/Ivy-League Champion | Regional Soccer Champion/National Runner-up Surf Soccer

All American 800m/Ivy-League Champion | Regional Soccer Champion/National Runner-up Surf Soccer

Even though there's a 1 in 3600 chance of becoming a "professional" female athlete (in basketball alone), the benefits of being a female athlete are awesome.

BELOW I HAVE LISTED 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN RAISING FEMALE ATHLETES:

  1. Find a sport that your daughter loves to participate in. When your female athlete loves her sport, she will perform better, learn new techniques faster and will constantly search for ways to improve.
  2. Be supportive. This is always a hard one for parents (even myself at times). Whether your girl wins or loses, she has to know you still support her. As a parent, we will do anything to protect our girls but when they under-perform, parents can display disappointment quickly. Let it go and love them anyway.
  3. Wins are AWESOME, loses are learning opportunities. My girls LOVE to win and HATE to lose. That's normal. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, I have them write down what went right and what can they do different next time. It holds them accountable and helps shape what they want out of the sport.
  4. Allow rest, recovery and "girl-hood". When your girl finally gets a break, LET HER TAKE IT or in my case, MAKE HER TAKE IT. Between school, sports, peer-pressure and parents...it takes a toll on our girls. When they get a day off, let them sleep in, hang out with their girlfriends and do things they love to do. This will prevent burn-out, injuries and melt downs.
  5. Stick to the plan, schedule and goals. This goes back to being supportive. This is also where a lot of sacrifice happens with both parents and the student-athlete. Your student-athlete should have a clear plan, schedule and goal they want to reach. It's up to the parents and the student-athlete to stick to all three and if something doesn't benefit them, then do not allow "whatever it is" in their life. 

Remember, being a student-athlete is hard but extremely beneficial. Student-athletes learn time management, a solid work ethics, team work, physical endurance and responsibility. These are all great aspects they will carry with them in their future, real-life settings. 

San Diego International Triathlon Relay

 
 Ondry Leavitt-swim | Martina Maddox-bike | Nicol Hodges-run 1st Place Women 4th OVERALL RELAY TEAM

Ondry Leavitt-swim | Martina Maddox-bike | Nicol Hodges-run 1st Place Women 4th OVERALL RELAY TEAM

 

My duathlon training continues.  This past weekend I participated in my first Triathlon "RELAY". The last time I ran a relay was Big 12 Championships back in 1991? or 1992?. Let's just say, it's been a minute! The distance for this event was a 1K Swim, 30K Bike and 10K Run. I, of course, ran the 10K and I have to say I was a little NERVOUS. There were a total of 12 relay teams and, I THINK, 5 all female teams.

I was nervous about the run because I wasn't sure how long I could hold a fast pace for a full 10K run. I did surprise myself by clocking a 7:34 minute pace and my team won the female category! The ladies and I placed 4th overall! So, that was pretty exciting! 

While running the 10K, I mentally broke the race down mile by mile and chased a lot of ponytails. I felt really strong and I kept telling myself "do NOT slow down"! 

The athletes that did the full event on their own, I have so much respect for. It's not easy to jump on a bike after a 20 minute swim and then switch out of your bike shoes into running shoes and run like the wind after being on the bike. So, the pace is different, the mentality is different and it's challenging in a good way! 

When competing in endurance races, it takes a toll on your body...quickly. Here are a few suggestions that I recommend AND have worked for me.

5 THINGS TO DO POST-EVENT #selfcare 

1. Protein. Your muscles need protein and oxygen to rebuild and recover. Yogurt, smoothie or your favorite protein powder will do the job.

2. Vitamin C. Your immune system breaks down after every endurance event. Vitamin C builds and repairs tissue. Talk to your doctor first but it's a great way to keep you on track and in front of those minor colds after a big race. 

3. Massage. Oh my goodness! Your muscles will L O V E you post race if you can get a massage. This is a great way relax muscle tissue, improve circulation, remove toxins and improve your range of motion.

4. Pedicure. Not only is this a great way to get good looking feet, it also helps improve blood circulation in the feet and calf muscles. Your feet and legs take a beating when competing, say "thank you" with a nice pedicure.

5. Hydrate. Before, during and after an event DRINK WATER. You lose so much water while racing. To prevent muscle fatigue and de-hydration, you need to drink as much water as possible post workout. 8-10 cups a day on average, athletes 10-13+ a day.

GLOBAL SPORTS BRA DAY...JUNE 24TH

 
 

TOMORROW is GLOBAL SPORTS BRA DAY and it's still CHILLY in San Diego! SDIT is also happening and I am a part of a TRI-RELAY team with TEAM HERevolution. Of course, I am going to be the runner in this mix and I have to say, I am nervous! Running 6 miles isn't the problem but running a good time is what I am worried about. So, I will be doing some praying, meditating and some positive thinking for tomorrow's race. What do you do when you get nervous before a race? What's funny about me being nervous, I haven't been this nervous in years...BUT...I am ready! So, bring it on SDIT relay teams! LOL!

Carlsbad Duathlon

Run Bike and Run again...

The Carlsbad Duathlon has come and gone. As always, I had a great time and I am so happy to finish with no injuries or regrets. I am already training for my next event in July.

Check out my lists of what I loved, my "not so much" list and training tips for those considering a multiple sport. Oh and next time, someone gotta let a gurl know...I tried out a new headband that covered my entire head and let me tell you, it did NOT help my overall aesthetics this go-round. Hey, I gotta look CUTE! LOL! Thank the Lord for my team gear.

LOVED

  • The course was fast. 
  • The duathlon contained a small group of people, both men and women.
  • I loved that I ran stronger, after the bike, in this event than I did my last event.
  • I placed 4th overall female. 
  • The weather was perfect. 
  • I love being around other runners, swimmers and cyclist. It was great to see my friends out there competing and cheering each other on!

NOT SO MUCH

  • Not a completely flat course
  • Transition to bike was good but the start of the bike, not good. It was up hill.
  • I need to be faster on the bike. I need more bike training. 
  • The duathlon course was not easy to understand. 
  • I was not happy that the three ladies in front of me were in MY age category! LOL!

TRAINING TIPS

If you want to be good at this event, it's important to be strong. Strength training 2-3 times a week is A MUST.

Brick training is necessary to prepare your body from transitioning from the BIKE to your RUNNING FEET.

Track workouts are beneficial in improving your speed and maintaining your race pace.