Study Shows Football is confidence builder
A UEFA report has confirmed that football has a hugely positive effect on the self-confidence of teenage girls who play. The study was the largest conducted by UEFA in recent years and involved over 4,000 girls. Specialists were looking to investigate the psychological and emotional effects the sport has on young female players.
Data for the study was collected from Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland, and Turkey. According to the official UFEA site, the study examined the impact football had on: “self-confidence, self-esteem, well-being, feelings of togetherness, motivation and life skills.” The results were compared to other sports.
The outcome of the study showed several positive benefits of teenage girls playing football. This included:
- 80% of teenage girls exhibited more confident behaviour thanks to playing with a football team/club vs. 74% of those who played other sports.
- 54% of young footballers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I am less concerned what others think about me as a result of playing my sport” compared with 41% of those who played other sports.
- 58% of the 13–17 year-old female footballers questioned, said they had overcome a lack of self-confidence as a result of playing football, compared with 51% of girls who play other sports.
- 48% said they are less self-conscious as a result of playing football, compared with 40% of those who play other sports.
In their report on the study Sky Sports wrote that UEFA’s women’s football advisor, and former FIFA World Player of the Year, Nadine Kessler said:
“I can’t emphasise enough how important this is when you are growing up. I am certain that we can change perceptions and make it cool for teenage girls to play football. If we manage to achieve this, we will be on our way to achieving our goal of making football the number one sport for girls around Europe.”
Women’s football in England has been growing in popularity, particularly through the successes of the English national team. In the 2015 Women’s World Cup the team were agonisingly close to reaching the final of the tournament (a feat that the male team haven’t come close to since Euro 96). A freak last minute own goal by Laura Bassett knocked the team out of the tournament.
“If the aim of the Lionesses was to establish women’s football in our collective consciousness then they couldn’t have done a better job this summer.”
If the England team continue to be this successful then support for the game will only increase.
The gap in funding and public awareness between the men’s game and the women’s is huge. Yet studies such as this one will only increase the popularity of the game. Hopefully this study will encourage more girls to take up the sport and have a healthier and happier lifestyle.