The inspiring victory of our Womens World Cup soccer team took me back to my days coaching girls 13-16 softball in the late 1970s. I coached some tremendous athletes. However, the opportunity to maximize their talents was restricted by attitudes about females in sports and by limited resources.
My players got only T-shirts and caps for uniforms. They received less time during off hours for practices on mediocre fields. There were no paid umpires; we had to pry untrained parents or high school kids out of the stands to ump. Girls got limited, tiny trophies, about the size of your forefinger. Few expected them to be any good at the game. And their skills lagged because there were no early age girls training leagues.
Boys, meanwhile, got full uniforms, trained umpires, Pee Wee leagues, foot-high awards and high expectations.
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