THE LFL IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST AN ENTERTAINING SPORT
(United Kingdom- Tuesday, October 25th, 2016)
It’s amazing that so many people are quick to judge this sport based solely on common misconceptions they may have heard without even taking the time to actually watch a game or engage with the players before casting their aspersions. With that in mind I took time to speak with a handful of the players in the league to demonstrate what it actually takes to be an LFL Athlete and what they are trying to achieve.
On average, each of the players interviewed are in the gym five times a week and their workouts consist of strength training, cardio, and specific football movement workouts. Some of these players actually spend up to fourteen hours a week in the gym and have also played sports at a collegiate level, yet people still question whether or not LFL players are real athletes.
Of course as with any top athlete it is not just about the number of hours you spend in the gym but the extra training you do on top of that. The LFL players are no different because along with their gym sessions they also spend between 6 –10 hours a week training with their team and this includes both field work and film study. Some of the players then spend another couple of hours on their own studying further game film in addition to their full time careers.
Now that we have settled the issue regarding whether or not the LFL has true athletes, let’s move to the discussion of the uniforms. When it comes to this issue there is no one better to answer this question than the players themselves and this is what Hall-of-Famer Monique Gaxiola had to say:
“Many people think we’re “forced” to play in what we wear, but really I love it. I don’t know if I can speak for the other athletes, but I feel that it’s empowering. Being a beauty and a beast is bad ass in my opinion. I know I have the option to play football elsewhere but I choose to play in the LFL.”
When asked to describe her first impressions of the league, Tai Emery replied “I saw it as the most beautifully aggressive, yet feminine act of sport I had ever seen. Now I create that art instead of watching it.”
Moving on from two of the biggest misconceptions about the league, let’s instead turn the focus to the bigger picture which is what these athletes are actually trying to promote. Believe it or not every player asked wants to encourage more female participation in sports particularly those sports which are often thought of as a man’s sports. Not only are they promoting female participation in sport but they are also using the league as a platform to inspire the next generation of young female athletes.
Here are a few quotes received when asking the players for their advice to any young females wanting to play American Football:
“Be a student of the game. Soak up as much information as you can from the terminology to understanding each position. Watch as much football as you can; whether it be going to a game or watching college or NFL on TV or even looking up YouTube videos on your favorite players; all are great ways to learn the game.” Jessica Hopkins
“Start understanding and studying the game. Having a knowledge and understanding of football is a huge part in becoming a successful player. Football is not only a physical sport, but a tremendous mental game as well. Not only study, but also get in the gym and get your body in top shape. This is extremely important because your body takes beatings during practices and games, and also plays a factor in the match-ups on the field. If it can’t hold up or you are weaker than the person across from you, the road will be much longer in your football career. And one last aspect is to truly appreciate and be grateful for the opportunity you have to participate in American football.” Dakota Hughes
One final thought on these misconceptions that surround the league. No matter what personal views you have regarding the LFL, at least understand female sports are on the rise and its time we all started to support that cause rather than trying to belittle those who are trying to make a difference. Recognizing the competitive spirit of these athletes and celebrating their performances will continue to help build a foundation for the next generation of female athletes.