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Celebrate National Girls and Women In Sports Day!

Courtesy Flickr user basheertome, CC Licensed 

If your daughter isn't already involved in sports, now is a perfect time for her to join a winter sports team (check at your school or rec center) or to prepare for summer sports like softball. She'll get physical benefits, learn teamwork, and increase her self-esteem.

Need help piquing your daughter’s interest? Try these proven methods:

Take her to a women’s collegiate athletic event. Tickets are cheap compared to the money you’d shell out for professional events and there are tons of sports to choose from. The University of Tennessee women's basketball team began this year as two-time defending NCAA champions. Stanford has won three of the last five tennis titles. And the University of Georgia gymnasts have placed first at the last four NCAA championship meets. You'll also find swimming, volleyball, golf, and track events to attend.

Read about great female athletes or watch their heroics. I remember when Kerri Strug, despite a sprained ankle, nailed her last vault to help the U.S. win gold at the 1996 Olympics and when four-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track and field) became Sports Illustrated's Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century. Want someone moms can relate to? Dara Torres. She has a toddler and, at 41, became the oldest swimmer to win an Olympic silver medal in Beijing this summer. Find book and movie reviews about other athletes who overcame hurdles at the Women's Sports Foundation site.

Enroll your daughter in a gymnastics class or sign her up for a team sport like volleyball, basketball, or softball. Talk to other moms if she's hesitant, most leagues will let beginners register together. Added benefit: You've got a pre-arranged carpool person.

Join her for tennis lessons or rebound when she shoots hoops. Bonus: You'll get a workout and seeing you sweat gives her a role model she can relate to—unless she's a teenager and has already stopped talking to you!

 

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