Sharks v. Happy Feet

By Tracee Sioux

Good Job! You can do it! Get that ball! You’re not afraid of her.

Good try. It’s alright. It’s okay to lose sometimes. I saw you run really hard after that ball.

Did you try hard and have fun? That’s what’s important! I’m so proud of you.

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Attack! Attack!

Watch the ball.

Get in there and get the ball!

Attack! Attack! Attack!

Take a wild guess which dialogue is coming from the girls’ coach and which is coming from the boys’ coach.

There is plenty of evidence that five-year-old boys and girls have equal athletic abilities. Yet, the differences between these two soccer teams are startling.

Practice twice a week for boys, once a week for girls.

Encouraged to practice an hour per day for boys (by both parents and coach), no extra practice encouraged for girls.

Team names: Sharks for boys, Happy Feet for girls.

Focus on trying hard and having fun for girls, focus on winning for boys.

What do you think the consequences of these differences are?

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