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Considering that we live in a society where about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, I strongly believe that youth sports are more important than ever. So when I heard about the Active Family Project’s newest initiative “Play For A Change,” I had to get involved.

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Designed to encourage families to break sedentary routines and make play a priority, while also having a positive social impact, the Active Family Project has teamed up with both the US Youth Soccer Association & World Cup legend, Olympian, wife and mother, Brandi Chastain. Together, they will be supporting US Youth Soccer through a donation of soccer equipment to under served communities, giving more families the opportunity to be active together through soccer!

This is right up my FitGirl alley, since I spent my entire childhood and adolescent years on the soccer field. So I am not only a living witness to what this sport has and can do to the health of our youth, but also their emotional well-being and self development. I had a blast recently chatting with my teenage FitGirl idol, Brandi Chastain and I am so excited to share what playing youth sports taught me about being an adult.

#1 Teamwork Really Does Make The Dream Work

When I asked Brandi what life experiences she’s gained (beyond the physical) by playing soccer, we both agreed the number one thing was teamwork. When children play on a team, it immediately instills in them the value others bring to the table and helps them constructively identify their own strengths and weaknesses. The byproducts of this union: trust, confidence and vulnerability– all which are highly attractive qualities worth having no matter your age.

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