Sisterhood in Sports:  How Female Athletes Collaborate and Compete- interview with Dr. Joan Steidinger

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Our on-going interviews with Cool Authors, Cool Books

Joan’s book Sisterhood in Sports explores how there is far more to athletics than we think.

Sisterhood in SportsCompetitive sports are about achieving positive performances.   The stories in the book  provide examples of inspiration, show how women support women, and how together, we can perform better than we think.  I also emphasize how the women in the stories model behavior that is helpful to all women both athletic and non-athletic. Our emotional and intimate relationships with other women lead us to greater success. That is true for all of us.

A good team collaborates to compete. “Collaboration occurs when a group is working toward a common goal.  Competition is when two or more people are striving to win a specific result and there are a limited amount of winners, such as in a book contest.  Competition comes more easily to men as they have ten times the amount of testosterone.  Women tend to have much higher levels of oxytocin, considered by some to be the love hormone.  This influences women’s need for collaboration and social bonding.  This is the reason that I created the term “female collaborative competition.”

I develop a model for female collaborative competition for all women (both athletic and non-athletic) containing five key points. These points consist of talking, collaboration, cultivating positive relationships, embracing competition, and fun.  This model means that these points are important to include along with pushing and challenging yourself to strive for fully developing and stretching to achieve larger goals while becoming more psychologically solid as a human being.

The primary point of the book is about normalizing the emotional and intimate nature of female relationships.  Each chapter focuses on a different type of “relationships” that women have.  These “relationships” include BFFs, athletic moms, our body image, romantic, the family-parents & sibs, teams, coaches, looking to older mentors.

My definition of success would include achieving your personal bests with friends, work, children, and sports, feeling and thinking positively.  Women, especially, need to be encouraged to take risks; otherwise we don’t truly grow.”

For more on Sisterhood in Sports:  How Female Athletes Collaborate and Compete

For the full WNBA interview

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