Sports are the best way to feel awesome about
your body. Trying out different sports is a lot like trying
on clothes; you may have to try on several until you've found
the one that fits just right.
QUIZ: Discovering Your
For each question, please check the one response that best
fits how you feel about sports.
1) If you're indoors for a period of time, you:
a) Feel cozy and happy to be protected from the outside
b) Feel cooped up and run for the door
c) Don't even notice, you're simply concentrating on whatever
you're doing in the moment
2) Being out in the snow and the cold makes you:
a) Want to run inside immediately, dry off, and warm up
b) Want to put your gloves on and play around
c) Shiver and tolerate the cold
3) When you're in a swimming pool you:
a) Flap and flail your arms around, swallow water and
call for help
b) Swim around like a fish at home
c) Paddle around for a little while and soon, you're ready
for the next day's activity
4) When you're listening to the radio and a dance tune
comes on you:
a) Change the station
b) Get up off your seat and shake your booty
c) Barely notice
5) If you're playing a sport or exercising and you sweat,
a) Feel totally gross and embarrassed, and run to the
shower as quickly as you possibly can
b) Enjoy knowing that you're body's getting a workout and
your face is glowing
c) Don't pay any attention to the sweat.
6) If you're playing a sport and another player dives
for the ball, bumping into you accidentally, you think:
a) "Hey, shove off-give me some space"
b) "All right, now we're getting into the game-let's
c) "I'm glad I didn't fall over"
7) When you're playing an athletic game that has a ton
of rules you think to yourself:
a) "Give me a break; I'm just trying to have some
b) "Send on the rules-I'll figure them out and master
them in no time"
c) "Rules, schmules, who cares either way, let's play"
8) You're playing on a team and whether you win or lose
depends on your teammates and they're depending on you, you:
a) Wish you didn't feel so much pressure to play your
b) Feel excited to be part of group trying to achieve a
c) Are focused on the task at hand-getting the ball where
it needs to go
9) You're playing a ball sport and as you're watching
the ball fly towards you, you think:
a) "This ball, man. Why can't it stay in one place-it's
b) "I love the challenge of nailing this ball"
c) "I wonder what I got on my history test"
10) You're about to compete against a girl of similar
ability and you:
a) Feel like running away as fast as you can
b) Can't wait for the match to begin
c) Are just happy being able to play what you enjoy
Scoring the Quiz:
To map out your sports rhythm, match your answers to the
10-question quiz to the following 10-point checklist. If
you answered "a" to an item, then write "a"
for the question. If you answered "b," write "b".
And if you answered "c," then leave that item
- a) Indoors b) Outdoors
- a) Out of the snow b) In the snow
- a) Out of the water b) In the water
- a) In the quiet zone b) Moving to music
- a) Dry as a sunny sky b) Into high action sweat
- a) In your own space b) In physical contact with others
- a) Free from rules b) Being guided by plenty of rules
- a) An individual player b) On a team
- a) Not chasing a ball around b) Having a ball with a
- a) Only pushing your own limits b) Competing against
In Your Body: The Girls’ Guide:
“Chapter 4: Have a Blast—Find Your Personal
Sports Groove” helps you bust through the awkward
phase of sports and dress to sweat. “Chapter 5: Competition—Go
for It” makes the case for why striving to win is
good for you.
101 Sports: From In-Line Skating, To Swing Dancing, Soccer,
Check off the sports that fit your preferences and give
them a try.
Keep in mind that some sports can be tailored to fit your
needs. For instance, martial arts can be high contact sport
or no contact; bowling can be an individual or team sport;
hockey can be indoors or outdoors, on ice or on a field.
FACTOID: What's the fastest self-propelled
sport? Speed ice-skating; they go up to 35 miles per hour.
1. Acrobatics: Like circus performers, you can
fly on the trapeze and walk on the tightrope
2. Aerobics: Move to music, using a step, hip-hop
dance, or just jumps
3. Archery: Shooting an arrow toward a target builds
muscle and hand-eye coordination
4. Backpacking: Trekking out into the middle of
nowhere to camp under the stars.
5. Badminton: Hit a birdie (light plastic cone)
using a racquet back and forth over a net
6. Baseball: Girls can play softball or baseball;
there's even a professional women's baseball league
7. Basketball: One of my personal favorites-passing,
dribbling, going for the shot
8. Beach volleyball: You can dive for the ball
with all your might and land safely on sand.
9. Bicycling: Alone, with a friend, or on a team;
for sport, transportation, or across a country
10. Billiards (pool): Fun, but you don't sweat,
unless you're in an un-air-conditioned pool hall in summer.
11. Bocce Ball: Teams try to toss their balls closest
to the small center ball, like bowling on the grass.
12. Boogie-Boarding: Surfing the waves on your
stomach on a small board.
13. Bowling: Getting a strike-what a feeling! Try
the rock 'n' bowl joints and bowl to the beat.
FACTOID: Bowling was invented 7,000 years
ago in ancient Egypt. The alleys were similar to the ones
14. Boxing: There are professional female boxers-one-two-three
punch, jab, block.
15. Canoeing: This sport you can take anywhere
in the world and explore the back territory.
16. Canopying: Up in the treetops with the monkeys
exploring the rainforests of the world.
17. Capoeira: A Brazilian martial art that blends
dance, music, acrobatics, and fighting.
18. Cheerleading: Gymnastics plus dance, and your
own band. Boys cheerlead too.
19. Cricket: Like baseball, except the ball is
pitched with a roll and hit with a paddle.
20. Croquet: Using a mallet (big wooden hammer)
to whack a ball through a series of hoops.
21. Cross-Country Skiing: Hiking through the snowy
woods with skis on your feet-you glide.
22. Dancing: There's ballet, jazz, modern, tap,
swing, salsa, folk, country, belly dancing, African, flamenco,
23. Darts: There are teams and rules to this game;
it's not just dart throwing mayhem.
24. Dodge Ball: Throwing a light ball to hit people
on the other team; they hurl it back at you
25. Downhill Skiing: From sliding down the bunny
hill to zipping down a mountain
26. Diving: Diving combines gymnastics and swimming.
27. Fencing: Using lances as weapons is outdated,
but mock fighting is not.
28. Field Hockey: This high action sport can be
played on ice, pavement, or grass.
29. Figure Skating: Dancing and performing amazing
feats on ice skates, like in the Olympics.
30. Fishing: Fish from a boat; fish in a stream;
catching a big one is everyone's dream.
31. Football: Go for the tackle. Girls can play
contact sports too! Or play touch-to no tackling allowed!
32. Golf: While getting the ball in the little
hole on the beautiful green golf course, resist golf cart
33. Gymnastics: Tumbling, the balance beam, the
uneven or parallel bars, and more. (If you do a summersault
or cartwheel right now, that counts too.)
FACTOID: Cheerleading used to be the height
of girls' athletic achievement. Now, females have their own
sports teams and by law, must also have their own squad of
cheerleaders to spur them onto victory. Guys can be cheerleaders
34. Hackey Sack: A circle of people keeps a small
beanbag in the air using everything but their hands
35. Handball: All you need is a wall, a little
rubber-ball, and an opponent.
36. Hang Gliding: Soaring off a cliff while maneuvering
a big flying machine.
37. Hiking: Walking through the woods, up a mountain,
along a stream, or through the desert (bring a map, a friend,
a compass, and enough water to get you there and back).
38. Horseback Riding: Whether jumping, racing,
or just riding, this sport can be thrilling.
39. Horseshoe Pitching: Tossing a horseshoe so
that it falls around a stick.
40. Inline Skating: Play basketball on blades,
dance, and even go down mountains.
41. Inner-Tubing: You climb inside a tube that
looks like a tire and off you go down the river.
42. Juggling: Practice outdoors, and put out a
hat, you just might earn some extra spending money.
43. Jumping Rope: Want a real challenge-try Double
Dutch: two ropes going in different directions.
44. Kayaking: Tiny boats that fit you just right
and require the use of a two-headed oar.
45. Kickball: It's like baseball, except the ball
is much softer and bigger and you kick it.
46. Kickboxing: A combination of martial arts and
47. Lacrosse: Like soccer, except with sticks that
have small nets to catch a small ball.
FACTOID: American Indians invented the game
48. Luge: Serious high-speed sledding in a track
with a team; look for it in the Olympics.
49. Marching Band: Play an instrument while you
exercise. Why not? And get a cool uniform.
50. Martial Arts: Many styles to choose from: There's
Aikido, Judo, Karate, Kung fu, Alejandro, Tai Chi, and more.
There's fluid motion, hard kicks, combat, no combat.
51. Miniature Golf: Want the most challenging courses?
Try the ones with moving parts.
52. Mountain Climbing: On a mountain face or an
indoor wall, skills, equipment, and partners are a must.
53. Orienteering: With teammates, you use a compass
and map to find your way around the wilderness
54. Ping Pong (table tennis): This can be a serious
sport-they hold international championships.
55. Polo: Hockey played on horseback.
56. Power Walking: Walking with vigor, as if you're
perpetually late for a class, yet with proper form.
57. Racquetball: hitting a small ball with a racquet
so that it ricochets off of all four walls of the court.
58. Rock Climbing: Mountain climbing on a smaller
scale, using special shoes but little equipment.
59. Rodeo Riding: Roping cows while on horseback
is just one of the many challenges.
60. Roller Derby: You race other skaters; elbowing
61. Rowing: Row in a boat with a team; the trick
is to be in synch (but not to sink).
62. Rugby: This combination of soccer and football
is a real tension releaser.
63. Running: You can run alone, with a friend,
with a group, or race in marathons.
64. Sailing: For leisure or in a race; your own
little boat or a larger boat with a team.
65. Scuba Diving: Become certified to dive down
deep into the ocean and swim with the fishes.
66. Shuffleboard: Using a long stick, you shove
a puck down a board to land on numbers.
67. Skateboarding: Think of all the tricks you
FACTOID: Skateboarding classes at school?
It's happening in Russia. Since bicycles are expensive and
take up a lot of storage space, school instructors taught
kids how to ride so that they could skateboard to and from
68. Skydiving: Jumping out of planes. Please
remember your parachute.
69. Sledding: Whether you're on a tray or a Flexible
Flyer, a hill full of snow provides the fun.
70. Snorkeling: Using fins, a snorkel, and goggles
to sneak a peek at the underworld.
71. Snowboarding: Surfing down a snowy mountain.
72. Snowshoeing: Hiking with special foot gear
so that you can walk on top of the snow.
73. Soccer: Yeah for the U.S. Women's Team 1999
World Cup winners!
74. Softball: Baseball, but with a larger and softer
75. Speed Skating: Racing on ice skates against
the clock-like roller derby but no elbowing allowed.
76. Spelunking: Exploring caves-pretty wild. Cool
word too. Try using this one in a conversation.
77. Squash: Like racquetball except the ball has
a deader bounce and you only use three of the walls.
78. Step Squad: Like cheerleading but with a lot
of stomping and hand clapping.
79. Stilt walking: There are groups of stilt walkers;
look for them dressed up in parades.
80. Stunt Biking: This very small bike enables
you to do tricks, including spins and pop-a-wheelies.
81. Stunt Kite Flying: Make a stunt kite do figure-eights
in the air.
FACTOID: Kite flying as a big-league sport
with a national championship? In Thailand, kite competitions
have teams, official rules, and umpires. Teams of up to 20
men control the kites during the fighting competition.
82. Surfing: Girls surf too. Grab a board and
a wet suit, take a lesson, and head for the ocean.
83. Swimming: Whether you crawl, butterfly, breast
or backstroke, swimming is healthy.
84. Tether Ball: Like volleyball, except the ball
is tethered to a rope that's tied to a pole.
85. Tennis: This is the sport that helped the world
take women athletes seriously.
86. Track and Field: There's sprinting, cross country,
long jump, high jump, and more...
87. Triathlon: Running, bicycling, and swimming
all in one race.
88. Ultimate Frisbee: A fast-paced game of frisbee,
played with teams, like a mix of soccer and football.
89. Unicycling: This sport will get you a lot of
attention; everybody will want to know how you do it.
90. Volleyball: This professional sport involves
a team effort to get the ball over the net.
91. Waterpolo: Like soccer, except you're in water
and use your hands.
92. Water Ballet (synchronized swimming): Rent
an old Esther Williams movie; you'll get the gist.
93. Water-skiing: Being pulled by a boat as you
glide on top of the water using skis.
94. Weightlifting: Tone your muscles. To be safe,
get a personal trainer designs a regimen just for you.
95. Wheelchair Racing: This is just one of many
sports in the Paralympic Games for disabled athletes.
96. Whiffle Ball: Baseball, but with a plastic
ball and bat
97. White-Water Rafting: Hold on as you go down
the river rapids!
FACTOID: There are official competitions for
most sports, including yo-yo'ing. In the LumberJill World
championship, wood chopping, sawing, and tree falling.
98. Windsurfing: Gliding over a lake on a surfboard
with a sail attached.
99. Wrestling: Not the free-for-all it appears
to be; there are rules and techniques.
100. Yoga: Relaxing stretches and special breathing
that can make you as flexible as a pretzel.
101. Make Your Own Sport: By combining two existing
sports or creating one from scratch. Let
me know what you come up with. I know somebody who put
wheels on cross country skis and glides through the park
in summer. Another friend invented soccer on in-line skates
and promotes the sport all over the country. You too might
start a national craze.
If you have a physical disability there is no reason why
you can't participate in athletics and even make sports your
life's goal. Every year disabled athletes from all over the
world compete in the Paralympics. Wheelchair racing, the long
jump, and mono-skiing are just a few of the sports involved.
Videos: Roller-Dancing and more
I talk enough about roller-dancing in my book, or what? Click
the picture to take a peek and, please turn up your stereo
so I have music to dance to.
the book, I promise you can see me shoot some hoops. While
I may get the ball in the basket, my form needs work, and
clearly, I need sneakers.
Check Out These
Curious about what's happening in professional women's sports?
Click to find a list