Let's Coach
Body Confidence

This initiative was created to help girls and young people of all gender identities feel more comfortable being active and participating in sport. The aim is to empower coaches and athletes around the world to celebrate the truly awesome things active bodies can do.

By coupling coach education with easy-to-use program curriculum and guides, coaches will be equipped with the knowledge, tools and inspiration to build body confident athletes.

Who's a Coach?

When we say "coach", that includes volunteers, teachers, parents, guardians, caregivers, siblings, and coaches. Any caring adult who guides or supports young people to move and find success both on and off the field.

Who's an Athlete?

When we say "athlete", we mean anyone who moves their body in a way that makes them feel comfortable and confident. Whatever their age, gender, body type, or ability, anyone can be an athlete.

We've designed this online program for coaches like you. These interactive training modules focused on Body Confident Coaching will help you inspire athletes to feel more body confident while playing sport. The program will help you recognize and tackle negative body image in your athletes and promote body confidence in your athletes and on your teams.

Start Learning

INSPIRE BODY
CONFIDENT ATHLETES

Ready for action? We’ve designed the Body Confident Athletes program to be delivered by coaches like you. Through this program, you’ll educate athletes about appearance ideals and how they can impact athletes’ body confidence and enjoyment in sport.

You’ll help athletes to feel more body confident, shifting away from “what does my body look like?”, towards “what is my body able to do & experience?”.

Ready to kick off your body confident athletes program?

These session guides are designed to be delivered by you, the coach, in three consecutive sessions with your team or group. Watch the introductory videos to help get you started and utilize the resources to support your sessions.

Body Confident Athletes
Coach Session Guides

Body Confident Athletes
Coach Session GUIDES

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Body Confident Athletes
Coach Session GUIDES

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Activist

Someone who works to bring about political or social change.
We’re activists for activity!

Advocacy

Promoting the interests or rights of an individual or a group of people. Advocacy can involve helping others to find their own voice and speak up for themselves.

APPEARANCE IDEAL

What society shows or tells us is the ideal or ‘best’ way to look.

ATHLETE

When we use the term "Athlete", we mean anyone who moves their body in a way that makes them happy. Whatever their age, gender, body type or ability, anyone can be an athlete.

ATHLETic Ideal

What society shows or tells us is the ideal or ‘best’ way to look as an athlete.

BODY CONFIDENCE

Accepting and appreciating our bodies and what they can do, no matter what they look like. When we have body confidence, we’re likely to have better self-esteem; stay active; and do better at school and in our relationships. Body confidence matters!

BODY Functionality

Focusing on and appreciating what the body can do, rather than what it looks like.

BODY IMAGE

How you think, feel, and behave towards your body, including the way it looks and how it works. This can include negative and positive thoughts, feelings and behaviors, such as shame, guilt, pride, self-acceptance, and avoiding or enjoying certain life activities—like sport!

NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE

Many people worry about diet, weight and attractiveness. This can lead to unhealthy preoccupations with body shape and eating, affecting self-esteem, mental health, and physical health.

Body Talk

Positive and/or negative comments that reinforce appearance ideals. Whether it's intended as negative (e.g., "my thighs are too big") or positive (e.g., "you look good—have you lost weight?"), all body talk has the potential to be harmful. This is because it places emphasis on appearance at the expense of valuing our intrinsic qualities, actions, interests and activities.

Body Talk Free Zone

A commitment between teammates and teams to create a space where people avoid body talk and/or challenge this behaviour when it occurs.

Coach

When we use the term "Coach", we mean any coach, volunteer, teacher, parent, guardian, caregiver, sibling or person who coaches or supports girls who move.

DISCRIMINATION

When a person is treated unfairly because of some aspect of their identity such as their age, sex, ethnicity, skin color or shade, sexuality, gender or weight.

GENDER

Sex and gender are often used interchangeably. But they're not the same. A person's sex is assigned at birth. Gender, however, is a socially constructed concept. Gender refers to the behaviors, roles and identities of girls/women, boys/men and gender diverse people. A person may not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Regardless of a person's sex, they can identify as girl, boy, woman, man or non-gender specific.

GENDER Stereotypes

Thinking that someone will look, think or act a certain way because of their gender. These stereotypes may hold people back from living a life that they want, including pursuing their interests, career aspirations and relationships.

Girl

When we use the term "Girls", we refer to someone under the age of 18 who was assigned female at birth, or who identifies as a girl.

Inequality & Inequity

These words are often used interchangeably, but their meanings differ slightly. Inequality describes differences between groups (e.g., based on race or gender), while inequity refers to an unfair situation resulting from these differences.

Intuitive Movement

The practice of connecting with your body and its internal cues and using that to determine the type of movement you'd like to engage in, for how long and at what intensity.

Non-Binary

Used to describe people who feel their gender cannot be defined within the margins of the gender binary. Instead, they understand their gender in a way that goes beyond simply identifying as either a girl/woman or boy/man.

SENSATIONS

Feelings or sensory experiences associated with one's body including warmth, fatigue, perspiration, pain.

Sex

Used to label a person as "female" or "male" at birth. This term refers to a person's external genitalia and internal reproductive organs. When a person is assigned a particular sex at birth, it is often mistakenly assumed that this will equate with their gender. It might, but it might not.

Sport

When we say "Sport", we're talking about any type of movement, including physical activity, exercise and sport. This can include walking, dancing, swimming, surfing, playing catch, taking part in a PE lesson, playing football or competing at the Olympics. We believe that all movement is valid and it's all important!

FAQ

Body Confident Sport is a global initiative that aims to stop girls from dropping out of sport because of body image concerns. It includes two programs: Body Confident Coaching and Body Confident Athletes.

The programs were designed collaboratively between girls and coaches, with leading experts and brands in body image and sport. They are informed by the latest scientific research and have proven to work.

Body Confident Coaching is a web-based, self-guided program that provides coaches with the knowledge and skills to create positive body image environments for their athletes.

Body Confident Athletes is an in-person, coach-led program that provides girls with the knowledge and skills to feel body confident when playing sport.

The programs are complementary, but they can stand alone. For example, a coach might complete Body Confident Coaching before delivering Body Confident Athletes to their athletes; but, this is not compulsory nor necessary.

Anyone who works closely with girls or who is an influential role model within girls’ sport, can and will benefit from Body Confident Coaching. This includes coaches, physical education teachers, strength and conditioning trainers, athletic directors, referees, parents and caring adults.

The program was designed to be delivered by coaches or trusted adults within girls’ sport environments (e.g., physical education teachers, athletic directors). The program can be delivered by coaches of any gender; the important thing is that the person delivering the program is trusted and respected by the athletes.

To create a cohesive and safe learning environment, we encourage that the same coach or trusted adult delivers all sessions in the program. The program comprises a combination of activities, including group discussions, writing and movement. Therefore, we ask that coaches familiarize themselves with the Introduction and Overview section of the Coach’s Session Guide, which outlines how to prepare for each session and ensure that appropriate resources and equipment are in place.

In the event that coaches cannot deliver the program in-person, it is possible to deliver the program online; however, this is only recommended if in-person delivery is not possible and would result in the program not being delivered.

Body Confident Athletes was designed for girls aged 11–17 years who play sports. The program topics have been carefully designed to address concerns that are relevant to girls within this age group. For non-binary athletes or young people who are questioning their gender identity, please explore their comfort and relatability to the content, as this will inform whether they participate and potentially benefit from the program.

The content, structure and format of Body Confident Athletes were informed by the scientific evidence on girls’ body image and sport experiences. It was also tested with girls aged 11–17 years. Therefore, we recommend not delivering this program to young people outside of this demographic, including boys, girls aged 10 years and younger, and girls with Disabilities (e.g., Hearing, Vision or Intellectual Disabilities).

The programs are intended to be completed once; with girls and coaches encouraged to revisit the content as and when necessary. For example, a coach may choose to complete the Body Confident Coaching modules including engaging with the additional resources (e.g., read books, listen to podcasts), and then complete the modules in another 12 months. In the case of Body Confident Athletes, coaches may choose to deliver the program to each new cohort of athletes that they come into contact with. Overall, how coaches and sport organizations engage with the Body Confident Sport programs will require a level of judgment that is based on their specific situation and context.

A program is considered evidence-based when it undergoes rigorous scientific testing to ensure that it has the intended impact on the user(s).

We used the latest scientific research on girls’ body image, sports participation, mental health and wellbeing to inform the topics and activities used in the Body Confident Sport programs. Second, our programs have been reviewed by girls and coaches to ensure that they meet their needs. That is, we ensured that the topics were relatable, the activities were easy and enjoyable to complete, and that the programs could be easily embedded into girls' and coaches' current schedules. Third, we used scientific methods to test whether the programs changed girls’ and coaches’ attitudes and behaviors towards body confidence and sport - and guess what? They did! Both Body Confident Coaching and Body Confident Athletes have been scientifically proven to positively impact girls and coaches.

Based on this rigorous research journey, we can assure you that participating in the Body Confident Sport programs is both an enjoyable and impactful experience!

What Coaches said:

“I think all coaches should be trained on this.”

“I liked that it provided a space for the female athletes within our organization to talk freely and where they felt heard.”

“If I worked within an organization that has numerous coaches, I could imagine that this could be a powerful tool to jump start conversations about how we coach young women, how our words impact them, and what we can do better to improve their overall experience with sport.”

“I learned so much and feel better equipped to coach female athletes.”

“I really liked the format of starting with definitions to make sure everyone’s on the same page. I also really liked the checklist format because it was clear, rather than having a ton of huge paragraphs. I saved some of the articles and will go back to them throughout the year.”

“Overall message of the program is amazing.”

What Girls said:


“The program gave me new information on my body I hadn’t thought of.”

“I liked it because it gave us space to write down our thoughts when it was sometimes hard to put our answers into words.”

“I liked hearing other girls talk about similar struggles and knowing I'm not alone.”

Sport can be a powerful force in a girl’s life. Yet, around the world, 45% of teenage girls are dropping out of sport – at twice the rate of boys – because of low body confidence.

That’s why Dove, the world's biggest provider of self-esteem and body confidence education, has teamed up with Nike, the biggest champion of athletes and sport, to launch the “Body Confident Sport program,” to build body confidence for millions of girls and make sport a place where they feel like they belong.

Body Confident Sport is a first-of-its-kind, scientifically proven set of coaching tools to build body confidence in 11–17 year old girls. It was co-developed by Dove and Nike, in partnership with world-renowned researchers and experts – the Centre for Appearance Research and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport – and includes input from girls and coaches from six countries, including France, India, Japan, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.

Body Confident Sport provides coaches with the materials they need to increase girls’ body confidence, body image and self-esteem through sport.