Dads, Daughters & Sports
IT’S BASKETBALL TIME!
With the Women’s Final Four just around the corner, Dads & Daughters offers advice on how to spend time with your daughter during the Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship season.
March Madness is underway in women’s college basketball (and the start of the WNBA season isn’t far behind!). This is an exciting time for dads to watch or listen to the women’s game with their daughters and stepdaughters. Here are some tips for fathers and stepfathers during tournament time:
1. Remember that your daughter or stepdaughter hungers for your attention. Make popcorn and watch the tournament together for a great opportunity to talk about the game, or anything else on her mind! NCAA Division I games are on ESPN and ESPN2—the Women’s Final Four is April 1 and 3.
2. Fill out brackets together (find them at www.ncaasports.com/basketball/womens). Dads & Daughters’ Board member David Powers shares his story:
My wife, daughters and I all fill out the bracket and have a lot of fun tracking who won, who lost — and we even give prizes (for example, the winner picks where to have dinner next time we dine out). We learn about colleges they may not have known, talk about national (and sometimes international) geography, look at player profiles to see where they are from, what they are studying in school, etc. In short, a very low-cost way to connect with your daughter!
3. Celebrate these powerful women. Compliment a great shot, steal, or smart pass. Our daughters hear so often that men only care about women’s looks. Show your excitement for the game by commenting on their skills and physical capabilities. And if commercials objectify women (e.g., scantily clad women in beer commercials), call the station, the product manufacturer, and the NCAA to complain.
4. Talk about your basketball days, if you played. Talk about how hard it is to master, while still incredibly fun for anyone to play. Ask her opinion on game situations as they arise. Then get interested together in other women’s sports, like golf, soccer and volleyball.
5. Read articles together about the games you watched or missed in the newspaper or online. If your news source has inadequate coverage of the women’s tourney, write a letter to the editor to ask for more articles.
6. Learn about one or two players in depth—where they’re from, their family backgrounds, etc. That helps you and your daughter start to care about and relate to them. It also makes the games and the sport more interesting.
7. Come up with a fun activity or contest related to what happens on the court. (e.g.: If her favorite player hits a 3-pointer in the 13th minute of the first half, Dad has to help Daughter with her chores the next day.)
8. Talk about the positive trends in basketball (on-court hustle or its increasingly international flavor) as well as the controversial ones (recruiting abuses or the question of male vs. female coaches) and ask her what life lessons she learns from the game.
9. Go to a game in person (and bring Mom, too!) The Division I Regional championships are March 24-27 in Fresno, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. The Division II Elite Eight plays March 26-29 in Kearny, NE. There’s nothing like the atmosphere of a real tournament game.
10. When the game is over, go outside and shoot hoops together!
SUGGESTED READINGS FOR PARENTS
- 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent, by Joel Fish (2003)
- Games Girls Play: Understanding and Guiding Young Female Athletes, by Silby & Smith (2001)
- Go Girl! : Raising Healthy, Confident and Successful Through Sports, by Storm & Jenkins (2002)
- Good Sports : A Concerned Parent’s Guide to Little League and Other Competitive Youth Sports, by Rick Wolff(1993)
- Home Team Advantage : The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports, by Brooke C. de Lench (2006)
- Moms & Dads, Kids & Sports, by Pat McInally (1988)
- Parenting Your Superstar: How to Help Your Child Get the Most Out of Sports, by Rotella & Bunker (1987)
- Click here to review similar titles from your local Western MA library.
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