Former U.S. Ski Team racer Libby Ludlow has seen the Olympic
Winter Games from all sides: as a young fan from far away, growing up;
as a competitor in Torino in 2006; and as a spectator, blogger and analyst at Vancouver 2010. But during the Sochi 2014 Games, she has her
sights somewhere else: on young female athletes who need to sharpen
their mental skills for athletic and personal successes.
That’s the mission of ; Girls, which Ludlow founded in 2011 with a collegiate racing friend, and then expanded in 2012 to a national program.
“Sports are 80 percent mental, yet young athletes rarely spend any time
developing their mental game,” explains Ludlow. “; Girls teaches girls
the mental side of sports in a fun and interactive way.”
The curriculum covers confidence, goal-setting, body image, positive
self-talk, communication, support, and sports nutrition, with six 60-min-
ute sessions typically following a team’s regular practice. (; Girls’ sports
umbrella now also covers soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, running, gymnastics, lacrosse, figure skating and more). All programs are led by college to Olympic-level athletes, who travel to work
with young athletes around the country.
Some of the most recent ; Girls sessions include a U1; and U14 program in Summit County, Colo., with athletes from Okemo Mountain
School, Stratton Mountain School and Burke Mountain Academy.
A ; Girls alum named Sarah reports a newfound ability to vanquish negative thoughts. “When I tell myself that I can’t do something, it happens;
I can’t do it,” she explains. “But when I tell myself that I can do this, it really made me a lot more confident. I’ve really had to notice and observe
my thoughts. Once I have [noticed my negative thoughts] I’ve been able
to replace them with more positive thoughts. It has helped a lot, and it
showed in my skiing.”
For more information, visit zgirls.com or email email@example.com J U
How Olympian Libby Ludlow is giving back to girls BY SR STAFF
Burke Mountain Academy
learns the ABCs of Z Girls.