How to Help Girl Athletes Get Through Puberty

1.Relish the benefits. Experts stress that the physical activity of sports is an extremely important health benefit for young girls.
2.Expect some challenges. Girls drop out of sports at a rate six times higher than do boys, many of them during puberty.
3.Keep high standards. Despite certain effects of puberty on performance, puberty has no effect on skill development. Skill can increase with practice.
4.Don't be concerned with delayed menstrual periods. Delayed menstruation is not medically harmful as long as it occurs by age 18.
5.Consult a doctor. You can put your mind to rest concerning any aspects of sports and puberty. You're better off with a doctor who understands and is supportive of youth sports.
6.Make sports a positive part of puberty. With all of the physical, social, and emotional ups and downs, sports can give important focus and direction to a girl and her family.
7.Be on the lookout for inequality. Girls are still often not given the same opportunity as boys, despite great advances. Make sure they are, especially during this sensitive time. 
Get ready for the ride. Puberty may be difficult, but it can be made smoother if you accept its inevitability and know that it will pass.
Communicate. Resist any urge to take the silent approach. Encourage your daughter to talk about her feelings.
Seek out others. Encourage your daughter to find a role model or someone in whom she can confide.
Bring in the coach. Enlist the help and advice of a coach, preferably one with experience in this area.
Set goals. Keep your daughter focused on a long-term sports goal, such as making a desired team, to get her through difficult times.
Watch what she eats. Pay special attention to good nutrition, particularly avoiding fad diets. 
Overall Warnings: If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health-care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

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