Girls Can Race Too
today at 12:17 pm
Most kids only dream of driving a race car, yet, an increasing number of girls (as well as boys) are making those dreams come true. A fast growing segment of drag racing, for instance, is Junior Dragster, which offers young kids a lot of fun and friendship, as well as quite an experience. Kids 8-17 years of age are eligible to race in this division on sanctioned tracks throughout North America. Involvement in racing enables young kids to spend time with their family, as well as focus on a sport that teaches them about many of the facts of life. It also takes away negative aspects of the teenage years, such as struggling with where they fit in.
We all need to be involved in something that helps us feel successful, to be praised and to feel loved, notes international soccer star Mia Hamm, who grew up moving every few years and knows what it’s like not to have a history. She did, however, have soccer. To her the soccer team meant a familiar place and immediate friends. She found she could express herself on the field. When meeting new people or making new decisions, says Hamm, I keep a small core group of really good friends.
It is no secret that individuals with high self-esteem generally have greater, and more accurate self-knowledge. Do kids who enter racing have higher self-worth? Perhaps. This isn’t a sport for every kid, of course. The better someone feels about herself, the more actively she engages in daily activities. Self-esteem often goes down with adolescent girls. The decline throughout this development period is helped by participating in sports.
General self-worth allows an individual to feel good about whom she/he is, what she can do and gives her the necessary confidence to take on more challenges. The health benefit of sports have been clearly demonstrated. Achieving self-esteem involves becoming the person you want to be, enjoying others more fully, and offering more of yourself to the world.
Social and emotional learning starts with focusing and centering, communication and cooperation, conflict resolution and problem solving. Skills learned on the track carry over into all other parts of their lives. Learning to drive a race car and all that goes along with racing is very empowering; giving girls responsiblity for their own achievements.
Acquiring self-esteem involves becoming the person you want to be, enjoying others more fully and offering more of yourself in the world.
If learning more about getting into auto racing appeals to you, take a look at our 2009 book GirlsGoRacing: Driving to Esteems (Dani Ben-Ari, Susan Frissell, Authorhouse Press).