Pour que les filles continuent à faire du sport, nous avons besoin de meilleurs entraîneurs.  Voici comment Nike aide

Pour que les filles continuent à faire du sport, nous avons besoin de meilleurs entraîneurs. Voici comment Nike aide

Til ne fait aucun doute que nous vivons une période passionnante pour le sport féminin.

Plus tôt cette année, la Coupe du Monde Féminine de la FIFA a enregistré un nombre record de spectateurs et un nombre record de buts marqués. La popularité de la Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) et de la National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) semble atteindre son paroxysme. L’ultrarunner Courtney Dauwalter a même impressionné les non-coureurs via les réseaux sociaux alors qu’elle remportait trois courses emblématiques de plus de 100 milles en seulement 10 semaines cet été. Et il y a quelques semaines à peine, l’équipe de volley-ball de l’Université du Nebraska a joué un match dans un stade de football et l’a rempli à ras bord, établissant ainsi le record du monde de participation à un événement sportif féminin.


Experts dans cet article
  • LA Mumar, entraîneur de l’un des meilleurs programmes de basket-ball universitaire féminin des Philippines à l’Université Ateneo de Manille
  • Mariana Lopa, directrice générale de Girls Got Game

Mais être quelqu’un qui se soucie du sport féminin, c’est constamment célébrer ces victoires tout en déplorant le chemin qu’il nous reste encore à parcourir. Les joueurs de la WNBA et de la NWSL, par exemple, ne gagnent encore qu’une fraction des salaires que rapportent leurs homologues de la NBA et de la MLS, et les histoires de sport féminin ne représentent que quatre pour cent de la couverture médiatique. Mais ce qui est peut-être le plus alarmant, c’est que les filles abandonnent encore le sport deux fois plus que les garçons à l’âge de 14 ans, selon la Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF). Ces filles ne manquent pas seulement le plaisir du sport, ou la possibilité d’obtenir des bourses universitaires ou une carrière d’athlète ; faire du sport est également lié à une meilleure image corporelle et à une meilleure confiance en soi, à des niveaux plus élevés de satisfaction familiale, à de meilleurs résultats en matière de santé et à des compétences de vie telles que le travail d’équipe et le leadership, rapporte le WSF.

Certains des obstacles les plus courants au sport pour les filles sont évidents : le manque d’opportunités, la stigmatisation sociale, le nombre réduit de modèles. Mais celui que vous ne devinerez peut-être pas ? Le manque de bons entraîneurs, et en particulier d’entraîneurs spécialement formés pour garder les filles dans le jeu.

« Un entraîneur peut vous faire gagner ou vous défaire, en particulier pour les femmes », déclare Mariana Lopa, directrice générale de Girls Got Game, une organisation philippine à but non lucratif qui vise à autonomiser les jeunes femmes grâce au sport en les entourant d’entraîneures et de modèles féminins puissants. J’ai rencontré Lopa lors d’une récente visite à Manille avec Nike, dans le cadre de leur travail visant à accroître l’accès des filles au sport, à la fois en leur offrant plus d’espaces pour jouer et de meilleurs entraîneurs pour faciliter ce jeu.

The Philippines has a fervor for basketball, to say the least, and yet, there is no professional women’s league, and at neighborhood courts where local stars are born, women and girls are often either implicitly or explicitly unwelcome, or forced out.

“There are so many courts in the Philippines—problem is, everyone loves to play basketball,” says Lopa. “So to get time on the court, my experience was that I had to be there right after lunch, or else the boys would arrive after school, and you get eased out.” Other players I spoke to said it’s common for girls and women to arrive at the courts at the crack of dawn just to get some playing time in.

Nike’s answer to this problem? The Courtyard, an epic, colorful space in one of Manila’s most vibrant neighborhoods featuring two and a half courts made of recycled Nike sneakers. The Courtyard is home to a program called Her Hoops, dedicated time where only girls and women are allowed on the court. “For Nike to create The Courtyard and have specific hours for girls is huge, because nobody can interrupt our playing time,” says Lopa. Nike is also working with Girls Got Game to run free basketball camps for girls of all ages at the Courtyard, because you can give girls free reign of the court, but without supportive coaches to foster their skills and love of the game, they’ll still be left at a disadvantage.

Girls playing in Nike's coaching girls basketball program in Manila, Philipphines
Her Hoops at The Courtyard in Manila. Photo: Nike

Of course, it isn’t just in the Philippines that girls deserve more from their coaches: Nike’s recently-published Coaching Girls Guide, created in partnership with the Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport, lays out guidelines intended to keep girls playing sports, and has already been used to train more than 17,000 coaches worldwide. Here’s what I learned about coaching girls from the guide and from my time at The Courtyard.

It’s key to understand *why* girls need what they need from their coaches

When we say that girls need something different from their coaches, we run the risk of perpetuating dangerous stereotypes about girls and sport, like that they aren’t as naturally gifted as boys, so they need more help, or that they’re somehow delicate or overly-sensitive, and need to be coddled.

These stereotypes are not true. But, the fact that they still exist speaks to why so many girls drop out of sports in the first place. Even coaches with the best intentions may accidentally send the wrong message. What girls actually need are coaches who actively resist these ideas by focusing on girls’ talents and skills, and showing them how physically and mentally strong they truly are.

When coaches are intentional about modeling that girls belong in sport just as much as boys, they can make a powerful impact, especially on young players who haven’t yet digested as much stigma. “With these girls, it’s fresh—they have no preconceived notions of what basketball is,” says L.A. Mumar, coach of one of the Philippines’ top women’s college basketball programs at Ateneo de Manila University. “They think, this is normal, I can play ball.”

Girls bring their full selves to sport

Because girls aren’t always supported in their love of sports in the way that boys are, personal connections between coaches and players are all-the-more important, Nike points out in its guide. Lopa says that, in her experience, this looks like understanding that girls often bring their whole selves to practice. “When you have a coach that has a good enough relationship to the player, they can say, Hey, I know you’re going through this, but can I have your attention for 40 minutes?” she says. “And then after 40 minutes, let’s talk about it.”

Girls cheering at a Nike coaching girls event in Manila
Photo: Nike

Language matters

“Without meaning to, we are all responsible for perpetuating a culture of masculinity in sport through language,” reads Nike’s Coaching Girls Guide. It may seem obvious or unimportant, but even referring to girls as “guys” can feel unwelcoming. (One study cited by Nike found that in a classroom where teachers called all the students “guys,” girls were significantly less likely to raise their hands because they thought the teacher wasn’t talking to them.) Name-dropping women’s professional teams and role models across the gender spectrum is also key, according to Nike.

“It makes girls feel more comfortable,” says Lopa, who regularly uses Nike’s guide to train Girls Got Game coaches. “It makes them feel like, oh, this program is specifically for me. And I’m gonna keep wanting to go back.”

The stakes are different for girls

In the United States, girls who love sports can dream of a career in a pro league like the WNBA or the NWSL. Yet even then, they’re unlikely to make enough money for it to be their full-time job. In many countries like the Philippines, even that’s not an option. “It’s so easy for girls to quit because there’s nothing to look forward to,” says Lopa. “It’s so easy to say—I’m done, I’m just going to study.”

With athletes who can’t dream of becoming the next Lebron James in the way that boys can, girls’ coaches must work twice as hard to keep girls playing—and to demonstrate the many benefits of staying in sports that have nothing to do with someday making it as a pro.

Mots clés : Conseils de remise en forme, Corps sain, Autonomisation des femmes