What Needs to be Said.
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Why is this still a thing?
Recently, I heard a baseball coach joking with his athletes, calling his group a team of girls and then attempting to motivate them by saying, “You play like a bunch of girls.”
Hearing this phrase is growing tiresome.
Here are a few reasons why:
When used, it’s specifically intended to offend the recipient(s) – as if to say, females can’t do it as well. Think about the wrongness of that.
“You Play Like a Girl”, it’s use shows complete ignorance. I’m not sure anyone who has ever watched female athletes in an unbiased way could feel that’s a fair or informed thing to say.
It suggests that male athletes are superior to females. How about stepping in the batter’s box? I know more than a few pitchers who will humble you, quickly.
I’m assuming the baseball coach I referenced has never seen a “bunch of girls” play or he wouldn’t be falsely and ignorantly stereotyping his baseball team.
Here are a few reasons why:
Female Athletes Play Hard.
I’ve coached both male and female athletes and can unequivocally state that female athletes work just as hard, if not harder than male athletes. There is nothing that will stand in the way of a motivated athlete (male or female) and most female athletes are internally motivated and intrinsically give it their all to achieve goals.
Female Athletes are Skilled.
You want to see fast, strong, skilled, determined athletes expressing maximum effort? Attend a softball game. After arriving as a softball coach from a baseball career, I remember being absolutely awed at the speed and skill for which softball players executed fundamental aspects of the game. It was and continues to be a sight to behold and appreciated.
Female Athletes are Worthy.
There’s zero reason and should be absolutely no tolerance allowed for people who refuse to understand that females can flat out play. As it pertains to softball, the uninformed would be wise to learn that the game is fast, exciting, and entertaining. For the viewer, games are fun, packed with emotion, and loaded with competitiveness.
Ten Rules for those who negatively use the phrase, “You Play Like a Girl”
1) The DNA of a Female Athlete should never be the punchline of a joke.
2) The DNA of a Female Athlete shouldn’t be saddled with negative connotations.
3) The DNA of a Female Athlete is inspirational.
4) The DNA of a Female Athlete is to be respected.
5) The DNA of a Female Athlete is inherently competitive.
6) The DNA of a Female Athlete is predetermined to be loyal.
7) The DNA of a Female Athlete predisposes her to be eager to learn, eager to succeed.
8) The DNA of a Female Athlete is beyond reproach from those too ignorant to understand.
9) The DNA of a Female Athlete is the molecular foundation that allows her to be great.
10) The DNA of a Female Athlete is equal to that of a Male Athlete.
To be clear, I am not a female athlete, but I’ve coached females for more than two decades. I have learned who they are, how they compete, and why they should be respected, appreciated, and valued in the way they approach the games they play.
Female athletes deserve respect – they’ve earned it in a man’s world. They’ve done it with grace, on their own, despite obstacles and prejudicial treatment.
I don’t feel the need to disparage my own gender to lift that of the other but without doubt, that baseball coach who sought to belittle his athletes by labeling them girls would be extremely lucky if they actually did “Play Like a Bunch of Girls”.
Jerrad Hardin is a championship coach who has spent more than two decades bridging the gap between college coaches and athletes. His nationwide camps are widely-considered the top softball camps available for athletes who want to improve their skills and showcase them with college coaches. To find a location near you, please visit: www.jerradhardin.com
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