Studies show tween girls drop out of sports at approximately twice the rate of boys at the same age. As parents, we know the benefits of athletics goes far beyond health and fitness, it develops leadership skills, self-confidence, and critical thinking.
So why are teen girls leaving the sports they love? Here are two common reasons given by teens.
- Breast discomfort
- Self-consciousness about their developing bodies
Of all the reasons being cited, these two should not be on the list. Sports bras provide support, reduce breast movement, and can provide a comfortable fit on and off the field. Your daughter may not have enough experience or information to know what she needs, but she does know how she feels. Parents can help by approaching the topic in a factual manner and by providing a supportive environment to address their concerns.
So when is the right time to introduce sports bras to your daughter?
It's not about age. It's about development -emotional and physical.
At younger ages, before breast tissue develops, training bras and cami's are perfect protection for sensitive nipples and provide modest coverage underneath clothing. Coverage and fitting in help with awkward feelings. Once breast tissue emerges, even at smaller sizes, running and motions typical to many sports may become painful.
Confidence. Comfort. Support.
As your daughter develops, confidence, comfort and support come into play and determine what type of support bra or top girls need and when.
Talk with your daughter about her sports gear and what she'll need as she continues playing. If you're taking the time to find the best fitting cleats and gear, her base layers need to have the equal consideration. And, like sporting equipment, investing in high-quality garments will provide a better performance, resist staining and odors, and will last longer as it goes through multiple washings.
Look for moisture-wicking and stretchy performance fabrics to increase comfort and reduce chafing.
How to find the right sports bra for your athletic daughter.
Start the selection process before shopping. Sports bras come in a variety of styles and support levels. Talk about what she likes - everything from color, to fit and design. Then, review options to get an idea of what works for her body and her sport. Please keep in mind two important factors to excellent support. 1) the amount of fabric on the back. 2) the width of the bottom band.
To find the right fit, measure the bust and chest to determine the best size to start and be prepared to try adjacent sizes until you find one that doesn't pinch, gap, or slide. If your daughter won't let you measure the bust, at a minimum do the bottom band of the chest. It will give you a starting point.
Dragonwing Girl Gear Founder, MaryAnne Gucciardi says "your daughter might have you hand them back and forth as she tries them on, until she finds one that she likes,".... "Be patient. If you let her control the conversation, then she'll feel in control of her body.”
Find your Dragonwing Size
Use this easy sizing guide to help find the best fit for Dragonwing bras and support base layers.
Sports are as much a psychological exercise as it is physical. Removing distractions of poor-fitting bras, bounce due to lack of adequate support, and providing coverage boosts confidence and lets your daughter focus on what she loves -the skill-building fun of sports and being active.
Dragonwing has styles designed to go from school to the field, accommodating afternoon practices without giving up style or comfort. Extra side coverage on our bras removes the worry of being exposed when uniforms are too big or cut for boys and lets your daughter focus on strength and not worry about underwear malfunction.
Girls are also going through rapid growth spurts during their pre-teen and tween years, and you may need to check the fit of their sports bras regularly to ensure a good fit.
1. Girls should begin wearing a sports bra when breast tissue emerges
2. Talk to your daughter about style and performance preferences before shopping
3. Measure before shopping
4. Look for quality fabrics and construction
5. Be prepared to try different styles to find what's right for her
Tre Harrington from NonperfectParenting.com shares what makes Dragonwing Girl Gear different.
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