USE CODE "NEWGIRL" FOR 15% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER!

Currency

Back to School Bittersweetness

Remember the Staples TV commercial from a few years back? Dad skipping along the aisles, flanked by droopy kids, while "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays overhead? Back-to-school can be bittersweet for everyone. As she starts her 12th year of school (13th counting kindergarten), Emma calls it "the best and worst time of the year." Seeing friends, making new ones, and starting soccer season are big pluses. Homework assignments, college applications, and less sleep can take its toll. In her latest blog post, she's got some great tips for making the transition as smooth as possible. Check it out and leave a comment with what helps you keep a positive outlook at school. Remember to SUBSCRIBE to Emma's blog so you'll be notified by email each time she posts.

Say Hello to Emma and Sarah!

We're thrilled to introduce two new Dragonwing girlgear bloggers: Emma and Sarah. Emma, who's now blogging here as EmmaH, is a high school senior who loves soccer, socializing with friends and family, watching Netflix, exercising, and lots more! She joined the Dragonwing team this summer and is helping us with marketing and retail partnerships.

I love to dabble in lots of other forms of exercise including hot yoga, group workout classes, swimming, biking, hiking and sometimes, although rarely, running.

Sarah, blogging here as SarahG, is a self-proclaimed "swim mom," runner, writer, and former track and field athlete. As the mother of two teens, she has lots of great insights plus a big dose of humor.

s an athlete myself I knew all the benefits of training and competition—camaraderie, friendships, challenging yourself, making a commitment and sticking with it, dealing with disappointment, taking care of your body and honoring its strength and power.
Subscribe to their blogs so you'll get an email whenever they have a new post. You'll be glad you did -- we promise.

US Women's Soccer Stars Highlight Risks of Heading

We applaud that three members of the 1999 World Cup championship US Women's Soccer team are speaking out on the risks of brain injury from heading. Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, and Cindy Parlow Cone -- who's a Dragonwing girlgear spokesperson -- have joined forces with the Sports Legacy Institute and the Santa Clara Institute of Sports Law to form Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer and are pushing for rules changes to prohibit heading by players under 14. In a recent New York Times article on the effort, Parlow Cone, who ended her playing career in part because of concussion-related headaches and fatigue, says, “Soccer might not be football, but we do know now that brain injuries in soccer is a huge issue, and is a very serious issue.... We need to do better for our kids.”

Proud Sponsor of CASL Soccer

My inspiration for Dragonwing was sparked on the sidelines of the beautiful North Carolina soccer fields, so when given the opportunity to become a sponsor of the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL - pronounced "castle"), we didn't hesitate.

Lots of Dragonwing girls play with CASL, and we're happy to be able to support them on and off the fields. After all, empowering girls to play with confidence is what Dragonwing is all about!

If you get the chance to visit the WRAL Soccer Center in Raleigh, one of the country's largest outdoor soccer complexes, make your way over to Field #7, now known as "Dragonwing girlgear Field." That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?!

Power of Shared Language of Soccer

Last month, the Jordanian U15 Women's National Soccer Team came to the US to train and engage in American culture. Some Dragonwing soccer girls here in North Carolina were among those fortunate enough to be able to scrimmage with the team, share a meal, and get to know a bit about the similarities and differences between their lives as teen girl athletes. Former USWNT member and Olympic gold medalist, Cindy Parlow Cone, was one of the girls' soccer coaches who met with the Jordanian girls' team. A spokesperson for Dragonwing girlgear and ambassador for Goals for Girls, an international nonprofit that helps girls worldwide through cultural exchange and soccer, Parlow Cone noted the power of sports "diplomacy":
Every time…I'm a sports envoy to another country, it just reiterates how much power…this sport of soccer has . It's amazing how this game can bring so many people together.
I can say quite confidently that this experience has changed my daughter's life -- and those of all the girls on the field that chilly December evening. To meet and interact, both casually and on the soccer field, with girls from another country, opened their eyes to the similarities and differences they experience as teen girls.
Despite language differences, they communicated perfectly in their shared "language" of soccer, where each girl knew what to do and how to play.
They relished the competition and joy of the sport! Most of the girls are now connected via social media and sharing parts of their daily lives -- tweets, photos, and updates -- with their new friends across the globe. The members of the U15 team will be the first team to represent Jordan when it hosts the 2016 FIFA U17 Women's World Cup in 2016. The Jordanian team's visit was part of the US State Department's Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative and the University of Tennessee Center for Sport, Peace and Society.

Sweet Senior Soccer Season

girls high school soccer teamSpring soccer has started for Dragonwing ambassador Emma, and wow, is she excited! In her recent blog post -- complete with ALL CAPS and 4 exclamation points!!!! -- she recounts the somewhat surreal feelings of the spring semester of senior year.
Senior night will be for me. It’s my last year in the CA jersey. Whaat.
Despite twinges of nervousness after not playing for 10 months -- "I had no idea how good or bad I would be getting back into it" -- her overwhelming feeling was how much she loves the sport and the competition. Emma has high hopes for the team's season. "I think our team is pretty stacked, and I personally believe a state championship is in our future." Isn't that how every season should start? Subscribe to Emma's blog so you can follow along.

Girls Athletic Wear "Made in the Carolinas"

I recently spent several hours with a film crew from TWC's "Made in the Carolinas" series for a featured story on Dragonwing. We traveled to the North Carolina manufacturing plant where our seamless sports bras are made and then to a soccer scrimmage and practice with our spokesperson Cindy Parlow Cone and a team of amazing teen girls. We're all delighted that TWC's "Made in the Carolinas" profile captured our mission and spirit perfectly. And we take pride in our seamless sports bras being Made in the USA, right here in North Carolina.  Reporter Richard Green explained part of what makes our girls athletic wear perform so well, "Dragonwing incorporates elements that wick away moisture, prevent chafing and essentially allows girls to compete without worry." Soccer great Cindy Parlow Cone echoed that Dragonwing's sports bras, compression shorts, and other athletic wear "empowers girls to be free and not worry what they're wearing under their uniforms." Soccer star Cindy Parlow Cone: Dragonwing empowers tween teen girls to be free & not worry about what they're wearing under their uniforms "Girls on the field who wear Dragonwing clothing are sold on the benefits," said Green. Teen soccer player Sarah agreed, "It's nice having something locally made, locally created, and

something that actually fits." I was pleased to have the opportunity to highlight our mission of empowering girls to play -- and be -- their best. "We want to give girls an advantage. If their gear performs better, they will play better."

Dragonwing athletic clothing empowers girl athletes Please help spread the word by sharing this post with your friends and family -- by email or social media.

Nutrition for athletic girls is a source of confidence!

March is National Nutrition Month and we'd like to share tips on good nutrition for girl athletes. Balance is key. It is important to include lean protein, nutrient rich carbohydrates (whole grain, non GMO if possible), low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables in an athlete's diet. It is essential to be properly hydrated, so drink your water throughout the day! Some folks say 1/2 your body weight in ounces - shoot for at least eight glasses. To prep for a game, start out with a hearty breakfast rich in carbohydrates to keep your energy up, move on to a balanced lunch containing protein vegi, carbohydrate combination, spread out protein consumption throughout the day, try to avoid bad fatty foods (eat the good ones like avocado), and eat your last meal two to three hours before game time to be sure you have digested it. For our recommendations for post-game recovery foods check out our guide here! Join the conversation and leave us a comment on what food routine works for you. 

 

Nutrition for athletic girls is a source of confidence!

March is National Nutrition Month and we’d like to share tips on good nutrition for girl athletes.  Balance is key. It is important to include lean protein, nutrient rich carbohydrates (whole grain, non GMO if possible), low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables in an athlete’s diet. It is essential to be properly hydrated, so drink your water throughout the day! Some folks say 1/2 your body weight in ounces – shoot for at least eight glasses.

To prep for a game, start out with a hearty breakfast rich in carbohydrates to keep your energy up, move on to a balanced lunch containing protein vegi, carbohydrate combination, spread out protein consumption throughout the day, try to avoid bad fatty foods (eat the good ones like avocado), and eat your last meal two to three hours before game time to be sure you have digested it. For our recommendations for post-game recovery foods check out our guide here!

Join the conversation and leave us a comment on what food routine works for you

Concussions important issue for girl athletes-updated info here

There have been many articles and efforts to improve safety on the soccer field for women and girls. As an update to our posts of six years ago, I provide new information on prevention and training alternatives from Cindy Parlow Cone and Excelle.com

Our original articles are here:

https://www.sideline-chatter.com/dont-be-fooled-by-common-misconceptions-about-concussions/

https://www.sideline-chatter.com/a-great-article-on-concussions-from-taylor-twellman/

https://www.sideline-chatter.com/recovering-from-a-climbing-concussion/

and new information can be found here:

http://www.excellesports.com/news/womens-soccer-concussion-protocol-nwsl/

Check out these excellent video on the what Cindy Parlow Cone's experience learning to head the ball at 18 -and still being a World Cup Champ and Olympian!

http://bit.ly/2t0FV3P

http://bit.ly/2u5o9MP

The "why" of Dragonwing girlgear.

kickstart_bannerPeople often ask me why I am so passionate about sports and girls and I have a simple, important reason – we need this generation of girls, now more than ever, to reach their potential. Sports participation at any level is one path to actualizing potential –it is established and proven – we don’t need to create a new program or study its benefits. But social expectations and social media are getting in the way of girls. When I realized “the underwear experience” could have an impact, I had an aha moment that I could do something about it. Let’s take Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid. On one level of the pyramid is community or village – we all know and accept that it takes a village to grow a strong confident girl. We are happier with friends, family, a team, a tribe. Belonging is important. Connections give life meaning (Brene Brown). Sports provide a natural community. The next level of the pyramid is self-esteem. Sports build self-esteem in so many ways, such as setting and achieving goals, graciously winning, building resilience, pushing your comfort zone for what you think you can do and then exceeding it – just to name a few. For more on this, check out this TedEx talk by Alisa Herr. Unfortunately, feelings about breast development are a top reason girls drop out of sports. According to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, "three quarters of school-aged girls report breast-related concerns regarding exercise and sports." 75%!!! That’s just not acceptable. Starting and normalizing conversation about body changes can improve this. Sports programs frequently recommend protective gear for boys, like cups, or compression shorts, but there is no comparable list recommended for girls. At Dragonwing girlgear, we provide girls that list and more. Having an excellent-fitting, high-performance sports top – whether it is a bra, cami or thermal tee-shirt, that is designed especially for the athletic girl’s figure, can eliminate worries about underwear malfunction. Embarrassment about changing bodies can alleviate concerns about body image. At Dragonwing, we strive to free up emotional energy– so girls can focus on their game – and everything else they want to achieve... because when girls are confident, the possibilities are endless.

Happy Birthday Cindy Parlow Cone

Happy birthday to Cindy Parlow Cone, three-time NCAA Women's Soccer Champion and founding member of the Women's United Soccer Association, former head coach for Portland Thorns FC and in her first year as coach in her first year as head coach of the Portland Thorns, led the Thorns to the NWSL Championship. Parlow was a member of the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic, and 1999 and 2003 Women's World Cup, teams. Parlow Cone played professionally for the Atlanta Beat for three years and was the Coaching Director of 13-18 year-old girls' programs at the Triangle United soccer league. Cindy is a co-founder of Goals for Girls. Birthday --May 8th.