Sports Strengthens Bonds Between Girls and Their Fathers

Courtesy bustedcoverage.comSarah Hendrickson was first on skis when she was two years old – and started ski jumping at age 7. Now she’s a world champion and and representing Team USA in Sochi. What makes female athletes first take an interest in sports? A new survey indicates that it’s not so much a “what”, as a “who,” and the answer is clear – Dad! Sarah’s father, Bill, was also a ski jumper and shared his love of the sport with his daughter. Sarah’s sponsor, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, uncovered that dad/daughter bonding over sports is common and that sharing sports helps to bridge the generational and gender divide.

Here’s what the survey found:

  • Sharing the Love  More than half (53%) of female student athletes say their dads were the single most important influence in creating their love of sports. Dad was cited four times more often than any other influencer including friends, moms and coaches.
  • Good Times  Young female athletes report that almost half (46%) of their quality time spent with dad involves sports.
  • The Best Days  36% recall their favorite memory with dad has to do with sports.
  • Stronger connection  85% of daughters say that they feel closer to their dad when they are playing or talking about sports together.
  • Big Benefits  Nearly four in ten young women who play sports say it’s made them feel closer with their parents: nearly three-quarters say they are more confident because of their involvement with sports – and two-thirds say they’re happier.
  • Dads as a Trusted Advisor  54% of female athletes said that they will often go to their dad for advice around sports, behind only “schoolwork” (56%) and “jobs” (55%) and nearly three in ten say dad taught them their most valuable lessons in sports – more so than in traditional dad domains like finances or fixing things.

Following in Dad’s Footsteps

  • Like Father, Like Daughter  60% of female student athletes play the same sport that their dad played when he was younger.
  • Friendly Competition  68% of female student athletes say they could outperform their dad in their sport – even when he was in his prime. (Yeah right!)
  • Sticking With It  Of those young women who considered quitting sports, but decided to keep it up, a “supportive dad” was the second most important factor in their decision (31%), behind only their own ambition (41%) – dad’s support was more influential than that of mom, friends or coaches.
  • Passing it On  96% of female student athletes say it’s likely they will encourage their own children to get involved with sports.

A Special Connection

  • “Daddy’s Girls” – when asked if they made the Olympic Team and could only invite one person to cheer them on at the games, half said that would have to be a dad.  Mom were second, for 23% of those surveyed. MOMS WERE SECOND!


For Bill Hendrickson, seeing his daughter perform in the Olympics is like a dream come true,  “I am thrilled that sharing my passion for skiing has helped lead to this incredible moment – my daughter is nominated to represent Team USA in the Winter Olympics.  While not every dad gets to be dad to an Olympian, every dad can share the things he loves and create memories that will last a lifetime.”

For more on the Hendricksons check out this video from Kellogg’s

Kellogs reached out to us to share this information and since it showed fathers in such a great light, we were more than happy to oblige.




The Beginning
About Daddysincharge

After 15 years as a News Photographer in the fast paced world of television news, I am now knee deep in Legos and laundry as the stay at home dad to to little boys. It was my choice to stay at home, so don't look at me like I am some kid of freak show. We're all parents just trying to raise our kids the right way. Some might be better at it than others, but if our kids love us for who we are, who cares.

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