23 June 2024
“If you see her, you can be her”

“If you see her, you can be her”

About importance of having a female role model, someone who girls can relate to and someone, they can look up to.

In 2nd episode of Women Changing The Game, I heard MaryKate Siegel saying “if you see her, you can be her” refering to important role of Paige Dimakos (CEO of The Draft Network) in the context of inspiring young women and showing them that women belong in all of the places, where decisions are made.

I find extremaly important showing to girls, women doing all kind of jobs in sport. It broaden horizons, shows possiblites, but as well gives a positive kick of motivation. If she can do that, so can I. As coaches, we have a big impact on what female role model girls can have. In long term – what that girl think and believe, that she can achieve.

However I would like to narrow this topic to badminton world. If we look into top 15 female single players, double players and mixt players, what do we see? How we can use those top players to motivate girls, to break stereotypes and make girls dream big?

We should all think about how often do we say something dismissively about female face of badminton? I can tell you one thing. I have heard countless times, that women doubles is the most boring game ever, because the only stroke they play is clear. I also have heard that it is boring to watch women singles. And as a role of woman in mixed doubles? Many times I heard that girl, shouldn’t disturb boy and let the boy take a lead. I also heard many times, that it is difficult to work with girls and coaches find it hard to motivate girls to train.

Have you ever thought about how do they feel if you repeat your statement about women doubles? Is it possible that your way of thinking about those categories influence motivation and attitude of your female players?

Everyday girls are struggling with many expectations. There is big cultural pressure to look feminine, but on the other hand, looking too feminine in sport is not welcome. What is not welcome as well is to look and behave too masculine, have too much muscles, be too competitive or too agressive. Why? Becasue stereotype is to be nice and well-behaved girl.

That is why, I use top players to fight with those stereotypes. I help girls find their own way into sport and accept themselves.

single players - "If you see her, you can be her"

In the moment, when I write this article, those are TOP 15 female single players. When I work with girls I like to show two kinds of players. Those who preffer more aggresive behaviour (shouting, showing a lot of emotions) and those who are calm on the court. I show Carolina Marin and Mia Blichfeldt to show, that it is okay to be aggresive. You still can be successful and be respected if you decide to pursuit your dreams. There is nothing wrong with you. We can also show those players, considering if our player is right or left handed. So they can relate more.
I also like to show different single players regarding, how they dress on and off court. I show women, who plays in dresses, skirts, shorts, with long hair and short hair. I show sucessfull players like Tai Tzu Ying, who plays in shorts and Pusarla V. Sindhu, who wear skirst and dresses.

You might think that this is silly. But let’s be honest. For girls in age 10-18 this is really important. No matter, how often you will tell them, that how you look doesn’t matter. So let’s help and show them through female role model, that every style is a good style, as long as it is their own. You could ask, how do I do it, or when it is a good time to talk about it. I would recomend to chose videos carefuly and use them smart. If you practise delay strokes from rear court choose 2 different players like Carolina Marin and Tai Tzu Ying. Say positive things. Point out that they are both great players.

So next time, if you find coaching girls in some areas challenging, take a moment to reflect: how you can normalize the challenge for them. For example, if there is a thought in your head, that it is difficult to motivate girls to learn tricks, dives and what so ever, think to show them not one player who is doing it, but few. So this obsticle won’t be a challenge anymore.

Remember, if she see her, she can be her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *