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Ask Her: How To Address Girls Playing On Boys Teams

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Emily West joined USA Hockey (@usahockey) in 2017 as its American Development Model manager for female hockey. In that role, she works with local hockey associations and programs nationwide to support age-appropriate training, competition and long-term athlete development. West, who also played in college for the Minnesota Gophers, helped her team to two conference titles and an NCAA Division I national championship in 2012.

In this clip, West speaks about how every girls athletic experience is different, and involves a different path. Her advice when the question arises, if a girl should be playing on a boys team, is simply to ask the athlete. Ask her what she wants to do first because every response will be different. West references that the physicality of boys versus girls sports is a big deal, and once the physical play affects the athlete mentally or physically it is time to step back and ask her how she is feeling. She reiterates that every girls path is different, and there are so many factors that play into it but ultimately it is up to the athlete.