Do you have an athlete in your life that struggles with courage and self-confidence? Do they worry about being accepted by their teammates? Are they crippled by a fear of making mistakes?
If so, they are not alone (recent examples include Simone Biles or Naomi Osaka) and you’ve come to the right place. One of the greatest joys of my life is helping female athletes reach their full potential! Welcome to my Win Like a Girl® program!
What is Win Like a Girl®?
Win Like A Girl® is a proven courage, confidence, and self-leadership program for female athletes and teams. It’s founded in my consulting practice with over 1,400 athletes and coaches at the middle school, high school, college, and Olympic level. The purpose of the Win Like a Girl® program is not to win trophies, though many of my teams are championship teams. I have a far more important goal.
Success for Win Like a Girl® is training and nourishing female athletes so that they feel strong and powerful, grow into brave women who understand how to leverage their power to overcome adversity and become champions at the game of life.
The Win Like a Girl® journey is comprised of simple (but not easy!) steps that can be taken by coaches, parents, and athletes.
The Confidence Crisis in Female Athletes
One of the most astonishing outcomes of my work with female athletes is the low amount of raw courage and confidence they possess, especially when compared to male athletes. I measure it using an online talent assessment called CliftonStrengths® which is more commonly known as the StrengthsFinder®. It measures five “pistons” that comprise an athlete’s internal motor. My data collected from over 500 female athletes established that less than 2% had self-confidence in their top five strengths. This data point was underscored by my observations of what female athletes required to perform well under pressure.
If the Win Like a Girl® project has taught me anything, it has taught me this: We must, must include building courage and self-confidence exercises into our development models for athletes, especially for female athletes.
I began to adapt my Destination Unstoppable® program with specific exercises to support female athletes and the Win Like a Girl® offering was born. At a high level, it includes:
- Measuring their strengths. This step is particularly effective with young people because they are less self-aware. It also shifts coaching conversations from fixing what’s wrong with someone to harnessing what’s great about them.
- Exploring what female athletes fear, why they fear it, and what to do about it.
- Defining what improves or undermines their confidence. This is helpful to athletes and provides valuable insight to their coaches.
- Exercises on how to intentionally leverage the talents they do have (never quitting or working hard, for example) to overcome fear and obstacles to performance.
The great news is that if we train female athletes to improve confidence (just as they train physically and technically for sport) they get better at it! Below is a text from an athlete who made this journey. She sent it to her coach, who forwarded it to me.
“I feel so much more confident in going into the goal and having a vision of where I need to go and what I need to do. I played swing so I played every JV game and every varsity game. I played 7 games this weekend! My teammates are trusting me more and getting the ball to me and I am passing to them.”
There are multiple victories in that text. Increased risk-taking. Imagining her success before she attempts it. Feeling nourished by the increased trust and engagement with her teammates. But there is something even more important at play.
Champions At the Game of Life
Someday, it will not be the fear of going to the goal or passing the ball that the athlete will overcome. It will be taking a hard course in college. Or reaching out to someone to connect in a business context. Or saying no to drugs. Or starting her own company. Now, this young woman is armed with a process entirely within her control that she can replicate no matter the situation. This is what success looks like for Win Like a Girl®. And that athlete’s text is what a powerful girl on the rise sounds like. That’s what a burgeoning champion at the game of life feels like.
In my upcoming book, The Win Like a Girl® Project, I share research indicating that many female corporate executives were athletes, and they in turn seek to hire athletes for traits like determination, teamwork, and work ethic. Rarely do we help young athletes connect the dots between success in sport and success in life. Let’s work together to fix that!
Interested in the Win Like a Girl® program?
Help your team or athlete win at the game of life
CliftonStrengths® and StrengthsFinder® are registered trademarks of Gallup, Inc. Win Like a Girl® and Destination Unstoppable® are registered trademarks of Maureen Monte Consulting, LLC. All rights reserved.