Girl's Basketball (Middle/High School) Perceptions
After an exhaustive search through credible sources, we were unable to provide an analysis of the market of girls in middle or high school in the United States who play basketball due to the lack of recent or relevant studies on the group's motivations, challenges, or aspirations.
US basketball players
- The rate of high school participation in girls' basketball is diminishing.
- According to a report from the White House, girls comprise only 12% of high school basketball players.
- As reported by the Associated Press, the primary reason for this decline is a lack of free time.
- According to Alicia Abernathy, a coach from Hickory High School in North Carolina, social media is also negatively impacting girls' participation in basketball, as a fear of public embarrassment is present.
- Basketball is the third most popular sport (412,407) among high school girls, after track-and-field and volleyball.
- Only 0.9% of female high school basketball players will play at the professional level.
- According to a 2017 study, basketball witnessed the second lowest overuse injury rate among girls.
2017 Czech study
- In a 2017 Czech study, 12 female basketball players aged 15 to 18 were consulted on factors that motivate and challenge them to play the sport. Some of the factors identified are as follows:
- Things such as the ability to rely on team members for support and team spirit were stated as leading factors that motivate female basketball players
BASKETBALL AS PART OF LIFESTYLE
- Participants of the study stated they are unable to envision doing another activity outside of basketball as it has become part of their routine. If they do not play basketball, participants stated they feel inattentive and unsatisfied.
- Participants in the study claimed they enjoy playing basketball because they are attached to the sport and have grown up playing it.
- Individuals also stated that basketball provides them with an escape from school and everyday problems.
SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT
- Participants of the study noted that basketball provides them with the chance to experience achievement and prove to everyone, including themselves, that they are doing something exceptional. Adoration from others was also listed as a motivating factor for the participants.
BASKETBALL AS A SPORT
- Basketball is a dynamic and tactical sport, which is another factor participants of the study reported enjoying, stating that it motivates them to play the sport. Another reported factor is that basketball helps players remain healthy and experience less health problems.
- A challenge the individuals in the study have claimed to face involves the need for coaches to establish a "dual relationship" with players, meaning there should be a work relationship while on the court. Additionally, they stated that both the mental stability and the attitude of the coach are important factors as it improves outcomes.
- The consulted basketball players have also listed the ability to advance to a career and earn a living playing basketball as factors that motivate them.
- Time management is another challenge basketball players face. Their studies, family, friends, and work often prevent them from participating in the sport frequently.
Our research began by searching through consumer opinion sites such as Ipsos, Mintel, and McKinsey, hoping to find reports on the attitudes, motivations, and challenges of US middle/high school girls surrounding basketball or at least surveys that consult female players in this age group psychographically when it comes to basketball players. While we found statistics on the watching of high school sports and the popularity of basketball across age groups, there was no information available regarding aspirations, challenges, and attitudes in female high and middle school players.
We then searched for interviews with high and middle school female basketball players, hoping to find relevant statements that we could use to provide an analysis. To locate these interviews, we explored various publications such as Forbes and Fortune, as well as local publications such as local radio stations, who often conduct such interviews. We also searched basketball-specific publications, such as Breakthrough Basketball. Nevertheless, this research strategy did not yield the results we were seeking. Instead, we found interviews with high school basketball coaches, college basketball players, and former basketball players, with no focus on high and middle school players.
Afterward, we checked marketing analysis sites, such as Adage and Quarts, to find reports on marketing campaigns by companies like apparel brands explicitly aimed towards high school basketball players. Our goal was to locate statements from companies that have specifically targeted female basketball players aged 14 to 18, or marketing campaign analyses that could provide clarification on why the companies targeted the age group. This strategy also failed as we were unable to locate reports on marketing campaigns targeted at high school female basketball players. Though reports on companies that targeted women in general were available, there were no insights on middle and high school players.
Finally, we searched academic databases hoping to find studies on the topic. Sites we explored included Google Scholar, Researchgate, and Semantic Scholar. With this strategy, we discovered some outdated studies, with the most recent dating back to 2005. We came across a 2017 study that focused on motivation factors among female basketball players aged 15-18, but it does not focus on the United States.