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Smart Woman: Girls & Sports - Building Future CEOs

When's the last time you sat down and watched a women's sporting event? This year, record numbers of people watched women's basketball and the women's Final Four. Analysts say that if the media would branch out and cover more women's sports, young girls will reap the benefits. In Smart Woman, Vanessa Welch explains why active girls have the edge.
Micaella Riche sets her goals high. She's a six-foot-three center and she averaged thirteen points and eight rebounds per game last season for the University of Minnesota.

While girls are twice as likely as boys to drop out of sports by the age of thirteen, life is still dribbling and drills for Micaella. "Wanting to be the best, that's definitely, at the end of the day, that's what I want."

Nicole Lavoi, with the University of Minnesota, studies girls and sports. "We have record numbers of girls participating in sports at every level." In 1972, one in 27 girls played high school sports and now it's one in three. Still, we face more hurdles. Girls see female athletes on television less than 2% of the time. "So, what does that tell young girls? My athleticism isn't as valued as my male counterpart's."

Lavoi says that in thirty years of Sports Illustrated, females appeared on less than 4% of the covers. Lavoi believes girls need successful athletes to emulate.

New reports show 82% of women executives played organized sports after elementary school, and 60% said it gave them a competitive edge over others in the business world. Athletes not only learn to compete, they build work ethic, ability to handle pressure, build teamwork, and confidence. As for Micaella, she's learned the value of playing sports and she's well-positioned to succeed on and off the court.

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