Three Reasons Your Daughter Needs Strength Training
…Written By A Biased Male Strength Coach
…….With Killer Testimony By Some Pretty Badass Females!
This post could easily be my own rant about increasing power and strength, metabolic adaptations, and bone and tissue resilience leading to lower injury rates but I’m almost positive nobody clicked on this to read about that.
While all of those things are fantastic and get the strength coach in me fired up there are a whole host of other reasons young girls benefit from strength training that can’t quite be measured by vertical jump or PR’s.
I understand that I don’t have the same feelings, experiences, fears, or societal expectations that comes with being female so rather than list off all the reasons I believe in strength and conditioning education we are going to delegate to the BADASS women with first-hand knowledge on why THEY believe education around training is important:
Current College/High School Athletes
- Strength training helped me feel more confident on and off the ice. On the ice I knew that I could come out of any battle with the puck, catch that girl on the back check, and rip a shot, giving me confidence I could play at the next level. Off the ice strength training became a release/coping method and not only made me feel better about my body but made me mentally tough and prepared. – Division III Hockey Player
- Strength training has been important for me as a young girl. It has helped on the court where I now jump half a foot higher, get to every ball quicker, and hit the ball harder than ever before. Off the court strength training has helped significantly with my self-image and confidence. As a young girl its easy to feel insecure about my body but through strength training I am given the opportunity to feel powerful and proud of my abilities. I have learned how a healthy body influences a healthy mind as well. Starting at a young age has been so beneficial because I know I will prioritize my physical health for the rest of my life. – High School Volleyball Player
- I started seriously weight training when I was around 15 after I moved away to go to school for hockey. Ever since then I’ve felt like being consistent in the gym has given me an upper hand on the ice because I don’t have much size to me. A lot of girls aren’t necessarily too tall so the only way to make up against competition, especially when playing in combined age groups, is becoming as strong and fast as you can. For any youth girl considering the benefits of the gym, even if it’s every once in a while to begin with, the results are soon to come! – Division I Hockey Player
- I started strength training specifically for volleyball in 7th At the time I was being moved up to varsity but I lacked the strength of a varsity athlete. Once I began strength training I started to surpass my teammates physically because I was able to hit harder, jump higher, and move efficiently. When I came to college I was the average height of a division 3 volleyball player. After physical testing I had the highest vertical on the team. When testing verticals its not about how tall you are, its about how much effort you put into every rep when strength training to make you a better jumper. Strength training requires you to be self-motivated and mentally strong. I find myself taking on hard classes or projects because its just like adding more weight to the bar. Its tough but I’ll get through it. Strength training for young women benefits both physical and mental health and gave me the skills to be the best athlete and student I can be. – Division III Volleyball Player
Parents of Athletes
- To establish a lifelong habit of having a strong body and strong mind!! Empowerment! Self- confidence! Strength in everything you do! Acceptance! Knowing that a STRONG body comes in many different shapes and sizes! In a world where girls are judged so harshly on how they look, and the “ideal” body is based on outrageous things like “thigh gap”, it is crucial that girls begin LOVING themselves early. And strength training is an incredible way for girls kick ass!
- So they can feel strong and be confident with their body… no matter the size or shape. I think any female should have positive role models in their lives and participating in strength training also gives them a coach who is there for them. It can do them a huge service and set them up for a lifetime of making the right choices.
Adult Female Clients
- Confidence building, break stereotypes of what being “a girl” means, creating positive female relationships that don’t encourage mean girl attitudes, and to have FUN.
- Confidence!! As a young female myself I wished I had found strength training sooner. SO many young women struggle with body image and trying to conform to who they think they should be. The weights helped me more than I’ll ever be able give them credit!
- Build self confidence and have a positive self image. Girls are “required” in society to look a certain way and if they don’t they’re bullied and their self esteem dwindles. It helps with daily stress and anxiety. Girls that age experience a lot more now these days and working out helps.
- Mental toughness. Unlearning the notion that women need help with things that require strength. Learning that women can be strong and powerful, and that can define you instead of focusing on superficial nonsense. Self-confidence. Discipline. Work ethic.
- That’s the age where “girls” and “boys” are socialized into a certain gender role and are most vulnerable to society’s influence on their body image. Strength training isn’t something traditionally viewed as “feminine” and its critical for them to experience, not only hear, that they are just as capable as their male counterparts. This lesson will translate to other areas of their lives and they will become more confident, outspoken and comfortable with their abilities. I think it’s equally as important that boys their age experience this same lesson.
College Coaches/Strength & Conditioning Coaches
- It teaches them that nobody else is in control of their effort and therefore, the harder they work, the better they will get. You don’t have to be the best at something to get the best result. Coming from someone who really picked up exercise during college when I was a volleyball player working out amongst mainly football players, I quickly learned that just because I wasn’t the best at lifting or working out, I could bust my ass harder than anyone to become so much better. Then the obvious one, confidence. This comes from the feeling of being in control, the feeling of getting better and ultimately the feeling of hard-work paying off over time. This is something that I really saw with my volleyball and soccer girls as they progressed. – Division III Volleyball Head Coach
- So many females I talk to are nervous/scared/clueless how to use weights or machines and are embarrassed to try to figure it out or nervous they are going to get hurt. A HUGE thing for me was my dad implementing working out at an early age. My dad used to take me to the Knights of Columbus when I was younger. Because of that I feel so empowered in the gym. I feel confident to walk into the weight sections (where 99.9% of the people in it are men because all the ladies are on the treadmills). If this could be introduced to more females at a younger age, they would be SO empowered to own the gym floor. Not to mention all the other mental, physical, and injury prevention benefits that come with it… – Gym Owner
- Through my personal experience with playing on all girls teams for 1,000+ years, I found that with females- if you can connect on an emotional level and take the time to understand them, they will trust you. If you can conquer this first- they will better adjust to the training and give more effort. What they give in training is a direct result of how comfortable they feel. Once you establish that trust with them the rest is the easy stuff. – Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Gosh! There are so many benefits! Confidence, positive self image, learning healthy habits in a healthy environment. Camaraderie of other strong girls! Self-confidence/image is extremely important during that age! And of courses to gain skills and strength for desired sports/athletics! – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Rereading those quotes gets me fired up but also forces some critical thought.
Why are so many females feeling similar feelings?
What have we done as a SOCIETY to create this scenario?
What can we do as Strength and Conditioning professionals to combat these fears and help to mold stronger and more confident females?
The common themes I get from all of these beautifully written insights are:
- Training is a CONFIDENCE BUILDER
- Effort and hard work will lead to RESULTS both inside and outside of the gym
- Learning at a young age sets up skills and habits helpful for their whole LIFE
By no means is providing strength training education a “one size fits all” solution but testimony from women of all ages and backgrounds leads me to believe it is certainly a step in the right direction.
The knowledge and excitement needs to come at an early age at home, with parents and family and friends setting ideal examples for what they want their daughters to grow up to be.
Once that foundation is established it can be built upon through societal relationships, most commonly found in sports and school. While helpful and caring coaches and teachers are still out there they are rare, with the majority focusing more on wins and losses and standardized testing than on the betterment of the people they are supposed to be leading.
If we as a Strength Community can attempt to fill in the gaps and provide a more welcoming atmosphere we can have even more of these heartfelt stories about strong and confident women, and the world could certainly use more of them.
If you or someone you know wants to give strength training a shot, get in touch with us at O.B. Training.