Girls, do you want to have equal opportunities with boys? Do you want to have all the characteristics needed to be a ‘winner’ in life? To have a great career with great income?
If you want this chance, there is one thing every girl should experience and learn.
Learn to play a sport…especially a team sport.
Do you think I am crazy? There is one piece of research which will show you how important physical activity and sports are to your future. 94% of C-Suite (high level) women executives shared one thing – They grew up playing sports. But today, only approximately 30% of girls play a sport on a regular basis.
Is this 94% a coincidence, or is playing a sport a big factor? I can tell you firsthand that I’ve seen this throughout my career. While I was at Prince and then at Wilson, I saw women that I hired and worked who were successful and some who could not get things done…or fit in.
At Prince, I worked with two sisters, Tori and Lark Baxter, who were phenomenal athletes competing in sports throughout their lifetime. They knew how to win in the business world. They were great teammates. They helped make Prince the number one company in the world. They knew how to fit in, compete, communicate, overcome adversity, rebound from adversity, and woke up every morning to compete… just like athletes do.
There were also many women at Prince who didn’t have this athletic background. They were good workers but they were not leaders. They worked in lower positions and made less money.
At Wilson, I felt the same thing. Oh, how I remember Penny and the PR staff. These women were great teammates and grew up playing sports. They were winners. There was one person I won’t name who didn’t grow up playing sports. They didn’t know how to be part of our Wilson team. She was on an island. She only looked out for herself. And she failed at Wilson.
Sports is so valuable to girls as it prepares them for life…and the business world’s challenges.
This is a message to all the people out there that are pushing for women equality. They have to push girls to play sports. Sports teach, teamwork, camaraderie, healing, adversity, knowing how to win, knowing how to handle the losses, and rebounding to win the next day.
And if you don’t think teams are important in life, think about all these parts of life which are teams. Of course, businesses are teams. People work together to be efficient…and win. How about the military? If the military doesn’t work together, we will lose on the battlefield. How about the family? If you can’t communicate and work with family members, you will probably not be really successful in life.
Sports teaches you how to communicate. When you are on the team, you talk to your teammates, you talk to your coach, you know how to overcome adversity. Unfortunately, too many kids are stuck with their faces in an electronic device, and never even look ‘eye to eye’ at their peers. This is sad.
This is why my charity, PHIT America, has incorporated four life-time sports that women can compete in and do just as well as men. We have AMPED, a running walking program. We also have a PLAY TENNIS program, PLAY GOLF program and now a PLAY PICKLEBALL program. All of these come with Billie Jean King’s Sweet Spot Training system. If anyone knows women, it is Billie Jean King!
So if there’s anybody out there that really cares about women succeeding, you have to make sure girls are able to compete in sports early in their life.
Boys, it’s the same for you. I had also seen some ‘soft’ guys at Converse, Prince, and Wilson that just couldn’t win for us in the competition within the business world. Sure, they could do some soft jobs but, even if they were really smart, when it came to lead positions, they didn’t have the skills or characteristics that you have to have for leadership position in a company. Most of the guys that failed in my organizations had limited exposure to sport, especially team sports.
My charity, PHIT America, is doing some amazing things. We’ve helped over 850,000 elementary students with approximate 50% of them being girls who are learning the great benefits of physical activity and sport. They are also learning how to compete in life.
Join our team. Contact me at Jim@PHITAmerica.org. We need to help more schools and more kids learn life-time sport and fitness skills.
Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America
Jim Baugh is the former President of Wilson Sporting Goods. He has been inducted into two hall of fames – The Sports Industry Hall of Fame and Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. He was also the VP of Sales and Marketing at Prince. Jim has been a leader in the sports business world and for caring about the physical and mental health of children. Jim has studied children, how active they are and the factors to help them become more physically active. He has started two charities, PE4Life and PHIT America. PHIT America has already helped over 850,000 children in over 1500 schools. Ironically, Jim’s first job while he was in grad school was a PE Teacher. For more information on Jim, go to Jim.PHITAmerica.org.