Healthy Kids

Why I’m Letting My Daughters Play Sports

Remember this ad from the mid-90’s?

I had it pinned to my cork board in my room when I was in my early 20’s.

The small print says:

If you let me play…
I will like myself more;
I will have more self-confidence,
I will be 60 percent less likely to get breast cancer;
I will suffer less depression.
I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me.
I will be less likely to get pregnant
I will learn what it means to be strong.
If you let me play sports.

There was also this corresponding TV ad from Nike released around the same time:

Now that it’s Spring and time to register our daughters for the summer soccer and softball season, this ad seems especially important. I don’t know what made me think of it, or search for it online, but I’m glad I did. In my exhausted mom state, I needed this reminder of why I run around to practices and games all summer. Instead of dreading our super busy summer, I’m really looking forward to it as an investment in my daughters’ futures. Watching them play and have fun has another added bonus: It’s fun for me too!.

Funny – It doesn’t seem so crazy to be busy driving the girls around to their sports every night after all, now does it?

Question/Sharing: What sports did you play as a child?


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  • AmyC
    April 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I was a soccer junkie growing up. My stepdaughters play it now, and I love, love, love every minute spent watching them play! It does make life hectic for us, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Too many benefits. Enjoy those games =)

    • Janice
      April 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      Yes – even though bringing a toddler to the games is a challenge, I still make sure I go and show my support.

  • Tara Burner
    April 29, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I used to love that ad!
    as for me, I played field hockey, softball and ran in cross country
    and twirled baton (is that a sport?! LOL)

    • Janice
      April 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Baton is definitely a sport, I twirled too!

  • Heather
    April 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Oh, wow, I don’t remember those ads at all! I grew up as a dancer and that was my life, although my parents made sure to let me try every sport to man before I decided: soccer, softball, track, ice skating, etc. So glad they did 🙂

    • Janice
      April 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      They were in Seventeen Magazine. I remember it clearly bc it motivated me to stay active. Why I was still reading that magazine in my University days is beyond me.

  • Whitney
    April 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I love this ad! By far my favorite Nike has ever done. In high school my super sporty best friend had this up in her room and I was always a little jealous of it. I wasn’t into sports/fitness then but I am now and one day when I have kids they will be playing sports.

    • Janice
      April 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      You are now and that’s all that matters 🙂

  • Dave E Wilkes
    April 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    That is a great ad. And a great principle – to encourage our children to take an active part in sport’s activities.

    Living in Spain and England, I don’t remember the ad, and I’m wondering if it was shown over here.

    I don’t know if the laws are the same over in America, but in England we are not allowed to take photographs of children when they are taking part in sports unless written permission is first obtained from each of the other children’s parents.

    I was shocked at this when I went to watch my 12 year old grandson play football recently.

    • Janice
      April 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      I live in Canada, and when we sign kids up for sports we sign a release saying it’s ok for their pictures to be taken. I guess they figure that it’s easier to do that then to have the league/coaches policing the parents with their cameras.

      • Dave E Wilkes
        April 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

        Hi Janice, first of all – sorry for “putting you” into America (it’s nearly midnight here at the moment and my bed is beckoning me – obviously my brain is slowing down in anticipation).
        Your way of signing a release upon sign-up sounds a much more positive way of doing things. I was made to feel like a pervert when I got my camera out to take some snaps!!

  • Laura Williams
    April 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Oh my gosh! Love this! Sports are soooo important for girls. Boys, too, of course, but girls especially. What I’m noticing is that there’s a growing gap in health and fitness between girls involved in sports and girls who aren’t in sports (I did a paper on this for my master’s degree) – if girls aren’t in sports, they’re MUCH LESS LIKELY to get the activity they need to be healthy. As FitFluential people, it’s so important to spread the word about the impact of sports on young women’s lifelong health. Bravo for bringing this up!

  • Elizabeth
    April 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I love this campaign, and I love that my parents were so involved in our athletic pursuits growing up. My dad coached many of my soccer teams which, looking back, was pretty awesome. I hope I can set a similar example when I become a mum one day. 🙂

  • Charlotte
    April 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    LOVE this!!! children absolutely should be playing sports growing up! I’m a huge believer of it. I did so many various sports as a child. I started with soccer, then when I was 6 I started doing gymnastics and did that all the way until I was 17. In middle school I ran track & played basketball, though neither of those actually went anywhere after 8th grade.. & I danced a good portion of my life too.


  • Miz
    April 30, 2012 at 5:54 am

    I blame it on my age 🙂 but also it simply was NOT valued in my family.
    we were all brains over brawn.
    now you can be both.

  • jennydecki
    April 30, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I was not allowed to play sports as a child. I did take tennis lessons for a month and was really good, but never went back. I was on the badminton team in HS but not allowed to go varsity..

    My daughters have been in dance class since they were 3. When my 7yo came to me and said she didn’t want to be in dance anymore and wanted to be in art, I told her that we have to work on our bodies, too, so she had to pick a sport. “Yoga” she said. Ok, we’ll find kid yoga classes then 🙂 The 6yo is much easier – she’s going from 2 to 4 hours of gymnastics a week in the summer.

    I would never let my daughters not be in a sport. It’s critical not only for their long term health and their view of fitness as part of a “normal” life, whatever sport they end up in will give them an immediate potential community wherever they go, especially during those critical pre-teen and teen years.

  • Christine
    May 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I love that Nike ad. Playing sports was a big part of my childhood. I was never the best or the fastest but it taught me a whole lot about friends and working together and being strong and capable. I played field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball, water polo, ran track, swam – pretty much everything under the sun and am so glad that I did. Now, as a mom to two young boys, it’s important to me that they also have the opportunity to play sports and be active. Yes, it’s a pain in the neck to shuttle them around but so worth it.

  • Weight Loss Trainer
    May 2, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Love the ad!

    I was always involved in sports as a kid and teen, whether it was on the playground or after school programs.

    Sports taught me a ton of what I know now about health and fitness. Can’t wait to have kids and get them involved!


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