Because girls have to learn to run after a ball

We are on the eve of the European Women’s Football Championship, which will be held in England from 6 to 31 July. The Italian team, led by coach Milena Bertolini, is qualified and will play a tricky round with France, Belgium and Iceland. On the occasion of the 2019 French World Cup, matches such as Italy-Brazil had more than 7 million spectators and in total the women’s World Cup exceeded one billion worldwide.

Rai and Sky Sport are betting again this year on the recovery of the blue matches and will broadcast the matches live. But what is happening at Italian sports clubs in the meantime? The enrollment of girls in mixed teams, up to the age of 12, is increasing and not just in football. In rugby, for example, there are more new entrants than new entrants worldwide. A trend that, in any case, will have to last at least a decade to bridge the gap that exists, at least in Italy, between the percentage of girls who practice team sports and that of boys.

Why choose a team sport?

Playing a team sport doesn’t just mean learning to run with the ball (in the hand or between the legs), dribble, throw in the basket, stop a shot, make a third, attack a rival, intercept a pass or a rebound . under the basket. Learn soft skills and abilities useful in life and at work.

For example, you learn what a coach is: someone who chooses the players, explains the schemes, and weaves the strings so that the individuals become a heart. He is the one who studies the playing field, the other team and the conditions of his players and then chooses the strategy of the match. You learn, then, that coaches don’t question themselves, even if you think they’re really wrong. Because coaches always have a reason behind their choices (at least in most cases).

quino-al-uwu5qhetnvc-unsplashYou learn what a team is: a set of individuals who have not been chosen, but who are working together for the same goal. There are some nice ones, but with which there is no agreement on the pitch. The really hateful one, but one that understands you on the fly and anticipates your intuition. The one who is as if he is not there, so that you are indifferent, but that in the field he has the blink just when you need him. And you find yourself facing something that goes beyond personal relationships. Because on the field we all play with the same goal: to score more points than our rivals. The rest, everything else, is left out.

You learn to play a role. It is the coach who decides where you play and how you play. You may or may not like it, but you can’t choose. Sometimes you don’t even understand why you’ve been assigned this position in the field. Sometimes the role you have is not that of your aspirations and accepting it is not for everyone. Having a role means having discipline on the pitch and knowing what your place is in the schemes that are convened during the match. It means taking responsibility for what is expected of you.

You learn that there are patterns: you can call them by female names like Coach Carter in the movie or by numbers, but they work if everyone can move like the gears of a clock. Only with the schemes do not step on your feet and find companions when you pass the ball. But at the same time we learn that games are not won only with schemes. Games are won with inspiration, creativity and instinct. Features that can only arise if the rest works.

To many, this may seem trivial. On the other hand, for most women and girls it is not at all. Just look at the numbers: the percentage of girls who play team sports, compared to individual sports, is still low in Italy. Not to mention the age range from adolescence to the age of twenty, which sees a vertical abandonment of sport by girls (either individually or as a team).

Why should girls do team sports?

State data tells us that six out of 10 children between the ages of 3 and 10 play team sports. On the other hand, 5 out of 10 girls play individual sports. Mostly dance and artistic gymnastics. But why is it important for girls to learn to run after a football? The things I’ve discussed before (coach, role, schemes, common goal, team) and what they involve allow you to develop skills and abilities that aren’t limited to being useful only to athletes, but can also make a difference at work. in life.

vince-fleming-azvpxrydijk-unsplashLet’s take an example. In individual sports, as well as in team sports, the coach encourages, supports and motivates. So what’s the difference? Because there is a difference between rhythmic gymnastics and rugby. In dance and in artistic or rhythmic gymnastics, as well as in ice skating, for example, we work to achieve the perfection of gesture, movement, expression. In ball sports you learn to try: just think of all the times we’ve heard a coach shout from the band “Pull!” to your own player. A small difference? No, if we are going to see what happens as we grow up. Studies show us how men get promotions and increases in their future growth prospects. Women are more often engaged in their work because they believe that doing the best they can will sooner or later be rewarded. And those who achieve promotions and increases, achieve it for the results achieved, not for the development expectations of their potential.

A concrete example of this different predisposition arose in Bank of Italy during selective testing. In the evaluation, unanswered responses were counted as incorrect responses. From an internal investigation they realized that this favored men. Faced with a question whose answer is not known, men are still trying to give an answer and it may happen that they give the right one. Women, in uncertainty, do not respond. The Bank of Italy decided to change the evaluation of the evidence to solve the problem.

The same thing happens when you have to apply for a job, a promotion, a role of responsibility. Women do not show up if they do not meet all the requirements, while men believe that it is enough to have fifty percent of the skills needed to apply for a place or promotion. This creates (along with a myriad of other factors) the distortions between men and women that we then find between results in studies and results in the world of work in terms of career and pay. Also in this case the numbers photograph reality and give us concrete results to reflect on: almost eight out of ten graduates continue their studies, while among boys only six out of ten. And even in college the results of women continue to be better both in terms of the regularity of studies and in grades. The proportion of women who are currently graduating is higher than that of their peers. Not only. The average graduation mark of female doctors is higher (103.4) than that of female doctors (101.3).

However, the job market rewards men. Among two-year master’s graduates, 5 years after graduation, the female employment rate is 8 out of 10, while the male is again out of ten. And only 52 out of 100 women have an indefinite contract, compared to 61 percent of men.

Not to mention the wage gap. Five years after the two years of the master’s degree, men earn on average 19% more than women: 1,637 euros a month compared to 1,375 euros. Of course, it can also depend on the different career paths taken. However, even under the same conditions, the male salary is still higher by 159 euros net per month compared to the female. In addition, five years after graduation, only 47% of women have a highly specialized job, compared to 56% of men.

audi-nissen-u1caj5hjzo4-unsplashCertainly, men cannot be said to earn more because they have played football. Measuring the gender pay gap is complex, but one factor that contributes to creating a pay gap could be having practiced sport. Sports graduates showed greater income potential than their less active peers, according to a study by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS). The study finds this graduates who play sports in college they earn an average of £ 32,552, while those who have not earned an average of £ 26,728. This is, therefore, an average difference of £ 5,824, or 18 per cent, more per annum. Thus, if on average men do more sport than women, they are more likely to earn more. And this thanks to the skills acquired: more than half (51%) of the graduates interviewed in the study stated, in fact, that sport has helped them to develop leadership skills and quality of teamwork instead of work.

Why not learn by playing?

These are just two examples of skills that are trained with sports activity and can then be useful and successful even in the world of work. In fact, the hours of training, the sacrifices to improve their results, the tension of the matches, the support of the teammates have added skills to the curriculum vitae of the athletes. Naturally from know how to work in a team: learning to work with others, knowing how to pass the ball, knowing how to make one’s own individuality a piece of equipment, knowing how to work for a common goal are skills that are valued in companies.

pexels-img-2116469Not to mention the leadership skills: make difficult and timely decisions; know how to inspire, motivate and guide classmates (colleagues); know how to build relationships of trust; know how to listen and know how to communicate; know how to resolve conflicts. All of these are qualities that lead to emerge even at work. Added to this is the ability to manage time to reconcile studies and sports commitments; the ability to accept defeats and learn from one’s own mistakes; know how to manage party pressure and role responsibility; know how to achieve results with dedication, sacrifice and determination. These are just a few examples of what sports practice can teach and then can make a difference in life, not just professionally.

Breathing sport and playing sport from childhood, in addition to studying music or being listened to in any other way, is equivalent to acquiring superpowers that we can use when we need them. It is a mentality that gives us more possibilities. A resource that can be acquired by playing and that can make a difference.

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