Becoming a Stand Out Female Athlete

Written by Katie Coleman, Girls Program Director Illinois

Standing out as a female athlete in an ever-changing and crazy world can be difficult. Then you add on pressures that come along with being a female athlete, and it can almost feel impossible. There is no denying that being a female athlete has its challenges. Society has a certain perception of what female athletes should look like, which is usually not realistic. For some, the athletic thighs and that 3,000 calorie diet that fuels your body after hours of training don’t quite fit into it. It can feel uncomfortable to go outside of the mold or your own comfort zone to stand out, but every female athlete deserves a chance to stand out. So, here are some helpful tips for standing out as a female lacrosse player.

  1. Own who you are and what you bring. Do not compare yourself to the people around you. Challenge yourself to own your differences. Whether that’s your left-handed shot, ability to see the field, strong arms that are an asset on defense, or anything in between, own it. Never try to hide what sets you apart from others. If you want to be heard or seen, make a statement that can’t be ignored. Invest in yourself and what you have to offer, day in and day out, and I think you will be surprised by the result.
  2. Be coachable. Never stop learning the game of lacrosse and perfecting your craft. Whether you have been playing for one month or six years, there is always something you can learn from those around you. Be curious, ask questions, and above all, be a sponge to the knowledge that surrounds you.
  3. The most valuable player is the player who makes the most players, valuable” – Petyon Manning. Be a teammate who shares success. Be able to not only recognize your strengths and weaknesses but the strengths and weaknesses of others. Set your teammates up for success as much as you do yourself. Share the ball, communicate, and celebrate the teams’ success as much as you do your own.
  4. Hold fast and stay True. Well done is always better than well said. While it’s powerful to be able to say the right thing at the right time, it makes more of an impact to do the right thing at any time. Sometimes this will be easy and mindless. Other times it will be a harder and more conscious choice that you have to make. Hold fast and stay true is a Navy Seals mantra that comes from an old story of sailors. Have something to hold on to and be stable during the storms. There will come times in your lacrosse career where you face adversity with your team. Be the kind of teammate that brings people back together through your actions. Stay after practice to do extra reps, encourage teammates who are stepping up, and spread kindness through your words and actions.
  5. Mountain tops are small, and the air is thin. Success, the dream we put on top of the mountain top of a season, is temporary. It’s big enough to soak at the moment and appreciate what got you there, but someone is always right behind you, gunning to stand where your feet currently are. Never settle to stay on one mountain top. Don’t take your success for granted. Live in the moment, but always be ready to set your sights higher the next day. Build on you what got you there, and own the failures and downfalls that made the climb a little harder.

It can be difficult to be a female athlete trying to make your mark in the world. But, don’t give up. Keep going and stay the course. Be True to yourself, your team, and the game.