Parents: Here’s how to keep your daughter in sports | HOW TO COACH GIRLS

It’s always fun for me when I review and book and I also actually know the author or authors!

That is the case with this much-needed book published by my client, Audrey Press Books and co-written by my friend and team member, Mia Wenjen.

Mia and I have worked together for over 5 years on Multicultural Children’s Book Day and I can tell you that this amazingly savvy mom of three has more energy in her pinky than I do in my whole body. Alison Foley I have not met in person yet, but am looking forward to giving her a big hug when I fly to Boston for these awesome ladies’ book launch of their book, HOW TO COACH GIRLS.

Driven to find the answer to why girls were dropping out of sports at a rate 6 times that of boys, sports mom, Mia Wenjen, and Boston College Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Alison Foley created their book HOW TO COACH GIRLS to help keep our girls in sports.  Both Mia and Alison are keenly aware that coaching girls need a different mindset and also the key ingredient of making sure they are improving…but also having FUN.

It was early 2017 when co-author Mia WeNjen, the mother of two girls involved in sports, had a conversation with her daughter’s coach that planted a seed of an idea.

“My oldest daughter had an amazing volleyball coach who was so positive that even when they lost every game in a tournament,” Mia recalled. “He emphasized their improvements so it left feeling like champions. I was walking next to him for a team dinner and he told me that early in his coaching career, he was that coach that yelled more at the most promising player. It took him a long time of trial and error to learn how to effectively coach girls.”

That revelation inspired Mia to then reach out to neighbor and friend, Alison Foley and together the dynamic duo cultivated a plan to create a blueprint for coaches that would help shed light on the intricacies of coaching girls and how they could keep girls active ins sport.

“Alison, as my neighbor and friend, was always my go-to for any sports-related drama for my girls,” Mia shared. “I wanted to write this book with her because coaching girls is a learned skill, not an innate one. We are hoping to share this knowledge to help keep girls in sports. So Alison and I set to work looking for answers online and also spent time interviewing other successful coaches. What we learned is that research shows that the number one reason why kids play sports is to have fun. But for girls, “fun” means being valued and respected. Interestingly, kids do not care about winning!”


How to Coach Girls provides the most comprehensive guide available to the many issues associated with coaching girls teams across the spectrum of sports, from soccer to lacrosse, field hockey to softball. Volunteer parents and experienced coaches alike will find invaluable advice on the process of making a successful team, encouraging girls to stay in sports beyond the middle school years.

Twenty-two chapters cover all the major issues, including how to pick captains, the importance of growth mindset, issues around body image and puberty, as well as the intricacies of coaching your own daughter.This invaluable guide is the brainchild of Alison Foley, Head Coach of Women’s Soccer at Boston College and Mia Wenjen, a parenting and education blogger at PragmaticMom and mother of two daughters, who provide personal accounts to illustrate issues discussed throughout the book. The combination of Mia’s voice of parental experience coupled with Alison’s professional expertise provides an innovative and highly accessible approach to considering potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.In the final section, a broad range of experienced college coaches, including former Olympians, give crucial guidance on what it is that girls need from a coach to allow them to flourish in sports, and most importantly, have fun.Amazon

About The Authors

Mia Wenjen

author Mia Wenjen

Mia is also a blogger at PragmaticMom.com, a mash-up covering education, parenting, and multicultural children’s books. Her blog receives over one million views a year. She is a co-founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, January 27th, a non-profit which celebrates diversity in children’s literature. In just three days, the event generated over 3.6 billion social media share impressions!

A mother of two daughters and a son who play sports year round, she experienced first-hand how girls react differently than boys as athletes. It is from this, and her husband’s experience coaching their kids as a volunteer parent soccer and golf coach, that this book was conceived.

Alison Foley

Coach Alison Foley

Alison Foley is the Boston College Women’s Soccer Head Coach. Her team’s success has led them to the NCAA Final Four and Final Eight in 13 consecutive playoff appearances. In her 20+ year career, she has coached many national team level players.

Alison started playing soccer at a young age, receiving ODP regional and national invitations. She played for Keene State College where she was an All-American, and earned a degree in psychology, focusing on sports psychology of female athletes. She still enjoys playing the game and can be found on the pitch both as a coach and a player.

“As a coach, you are in a leadership role and how you act sends a message and influences your players,” Alison noted. “If you are a coach that gets sent off the field for arguing with a ref, that’s what your players will emulate. On the other hand, you have the organization in the form of a team, to help others.”

What Readers Can Expect with HOW TO COACH GIRLS


The Big Picture

  1. Differences Between Girls and Boys
  2. Keeping It Fun!
  3. Promoting a Growth Mindset
  4. Developing Team Chemistry
  5. The ‘How to be a Good Teammate’ Game
  6. Positive Reinforcement
  7. Developing Good People, Not Just Good Players
  8. Social Awareness

Solutions to Specific Issues

  1. Coaching Your Own Daughter
  2. Playing Time
  3. Building a Player’s Confidence
  4. Cliques on and Off the Field
  5. Pitfalls of Choosing Captains
  6. Handling a Losing Streak
  7. Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes
  8. Body Image, Puberty, and Sports

Pre-Season Planning

  1. The Player Code of Conduct
  2. The Parent Code of Conduct
  3. Creating a Medical Emergency Plan
  4. Player Goals and Evaluations
  5. Pre-Season Logistics

Grab Your Copy of HOW TO COACH GIRLS!

Purchase a copy of HOW TO COACH GIRLS on Barnes & Noble or Amazon

To learn more, please check out How To Coach Girls websiteInstagramTwitter, and Facebook.


Shelly Bean the Sports Queen-February 22

Wise Owl Factory-March 1

The Conscious Kid– March 2

Jump Into a Book-March 3

Books My Kids Read-March 4

Ms Yingling Reads-March 5

Youth Literature Reviews-March 6

All Done Monkey-March 7

Miss Panda Chinese-March 8

Biracial Bookworms-March 9

Mom of all Capes-March 10

Author Gayle Swift-March 11

Randomly Reading-March 12

Here Wee Read-March 13

DawnDavis.com-March 14

The Pragmatic Parent-March 15

Audrey Press March 16


Did you know that 70% of all kids quit organized sports by the age of 13, with girls quitting at 6x the rate of boys?
Alison Foley, Boston College’s Women’s Head Soccer Coach, and Mia Wenjen, parenting blogger at PragmaticMom.com, help coaches — both parent volunteer and professional — crack the code of how to keep girls in sports. As a mother of two daughters who played a lot of sports, Mia provides personal accounts to illustrate issues discussed throughout the book. Alison, also a mother of a young female athlete, has hands-on advice from coaching young women professionally for more than two decades.

Volunteer parents and experienced coaches alike will find invaluable advice on creating a successful team that motivates girls to stay in sports beyond the middle school years. Twenty-two chapters cover major issues, including how to pick captains, the importance of growth mindset, issues around body image and puberty, as well as the challenges of coaching your own daughter.
In addition, fifteen professional coaches from a range of sports, including former Olympian athletes, give their advice on what girls need from a coach to allow them to flourish in sports, and most importantly, have fun. This is a hands-on manual to help coaches keep girls in sports! Go HERE to read more about this much-needed resource for parents and coaches.

Please share!