Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 12, 2013.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

Soccer has big benefits for girls. Risks too: concussions, bad coaching & blown ACLs. This film explores the right way to teach it.

“Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way” 

The Word Syndicate, a Massachusetts-based production company, is teaming up with the Boston Breakers, one of America’s premier women’s professional soccer teams, to produce a groundbreaking new film for girls called “Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way.” 

Please remember: Kickstarter funding is all or nothing – if we don’t reach our fundraising goal in 30 days, “Beautiful” will not be made.

Girls soccer: 

America is on top of the world when it comes to women’s soccer. US Women’s National Team stars like Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Hope Solo are regular favorites to win Women’s World Cups and Olympic gold medals. 

In fields and parks across the country, millions of girls are playing the game. On any given day, a girls’ team may be playing on one field, while a team of boys is playing on the one next door. The games look nearly identical in most respects – a ball, two goals, cleats, shin guards, jerseys. Sometimes it’s only the ponytails that give it away. 

Maybe that’s one of the reasons that there are so few resources for coaches and parents specifically about coaching and parenting girls who play soccer. 

What we’re doing:

I’m passionate about soccer. I recently joined a health club solely because the televisions on the elliptical machines get an obscure cable channel that televises Italian and Spanish professional games.

But as much as I love watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, I love the women’s game even more. To me it's truly the beautiful game. It’s more honest (less diving) and often played with more passion. And as the father of three daughters, what I love most about it is the sight of strong, confident women achieving collaborative greatness and competitive success in the greatest team sport in the world. In myriad ways, those women emulate the qualities I hope to instill in my own daughters as they grow. 

Soccer offers huge benefits for girls. I’ve seen it myself on the practice field – the self-confidence, the friendships, the joy taken in hard work and achievement. And those are just the results you can see. Studies show that girls who play soccer and other sports reap benefits that stay with them throughout their lives, including: 

  • Better grades in school 
  • Better jobs after college 
  • Lowered risks of obesity and other health problems
  • Lowered likelihood of involvement in early sexual activity

But girls’ soccer also has a lesser-known dark side. Young female players are different from boys in fundamental ways, both physically and psychologically – and the failure to address those differences has led to a rash of problems. Here are just a few:

  • Girls who play soccer are more likely to suffer a serious concussion than any other young athlete except boys who play tackle football (more than boys who play soccer, lacrosse, or hockey).
  • After puberty, girls are as much as six times more likely to suffer a serious knee injury (ACL, MCL) injury than a boy playing the same sport.
  • Inappropriate coaching and competitive pressure to win and train harder and longer are resulting in higher rates of burnout and girls quitting, potentially depriving them of a lifetime of benefits.
  • The top women’s coaches in the world all say that girl athletes process information and feedback very differently from boys – but that those differences aren’t widely understood or regularly incorporated into youth coaching. 

Too often, adults approach girls’ soccer as if it were the same as the boys’ game, or coach it the same way their high school coach coached them. 

“Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way” will explore the unique characteristics of the young female athlete, and examine proactive approaches to teaching girls the game the right way and to avoiding pitfalls like injuries and burnout. 

Aspects of the female athlete that are misunderstood can often be turned into advantages. Because girls mature socially faster than boys, they care more about their social standing in a team structure. Because they’re reluctant to stand out, they may seem less competitive. But when that early social development can be focused and harnessed for the good of the team, it turns into a powerful tool for collective success.

“Beautiful” will explore techniques for teaching the whole girl, the entire person, not just the player. 

Because of parents and coaches are the primary influences for girls who play soccer, and because of the wealth of information we've found in our search, each DVD will include two versions of "Beautiful." One will focus on information and advice most relevant to parents, while the other will be specifically geared toward coaches. 

Who we are: Boston Breakers 

The Boston Breakers are one of the oldest top-level women’s teams in the US and one of the original women’s professional franchises. 

Since they were established as one of the charter members of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), the Breakers have feature some of the top players on the planet on their roster, including US National Team legend Kristine Lilly and stars Amy Rodriguez, Heather Mitts, Amy LePeilbet, Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler, as well as international stars Kelly Smith (England) and Maren Meinart (Germany). The Breakers coaching staff has been led by luminaries such as Pia Sundhage and Tony DiCicco

The current team will compete in the newly-launched National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which is being supported by the national soccer federations of the US, Canada and Mexico. The roster features current and former US National Team members Sydney Leroux, Heather O’Reilly and Cat Whitehill and Canadian National Team star Rhian Wilkinson, and star Australian striker Kyah Simon

As part of a renewed commitment to promoting a healthy and development-oriented approach to girls’ soccer, this year the team established the Boston Breakers Academy for girls ages 8 through 12. The Academy focuses on the skills of the game, developing an appreciation for sport and a positive work ethic, and teaching basic principles that lead to success on the field and off.

Members of the current team and Head Coach Lisa Cole will be contributing to “Beautiful,” appearing alongside nationally-recognized experts in positive coaching techniques, sports medicine and girls’ athletics

Who we are: The Word Syndicate (Ralph Ranalli)

I’ve been a writer and content producer my entire adult life. Before founding The Word Syndicate, I was a television producer for PBS (WGBH-Boston), a multimedia producer and journalist for Boston.com and the Boston Globe, and a newspaper reporter and author. I am also an adjunct professor of digital journalism at Emerson College. 

I have a track record of throwing myself into projects and causes that interest me and that I care deeply about. For part of my career I covered organized crime and wrote a book (“Deadly Alliance”) about the FBI’s organized crime informant program. I co-founded a First Amendment advocacy project that held public events raising awareness about threats to free speech and expression. 

Now I’m a multiplatform storyteller for clients who are mostly nonprofits, including an agency that works with developmentally disabled adults, a regional skin cancer foundation, and a nonpartisan political think tank that promotes research-based, collaborative public policymaking. As a video producer, I specialize in buzz-worthy content and my projects have included a parody of the opening scene of “The Godfather” with Boston Mayor Tom Menino in the Marlon Brando role.

In the soccer world, I am the president of Newton Girls Soccer, the largest girls-only, nonprofit, town-based soccer program in New England. I have three daughters ranging in age from kindergarten to U12, who I have coached since they were old enough to play. 

Where your money goes: 

In addition to sweet rewards, you will receive the satisfaction of knowing that a talented team of videographers, producers, animators and graphic artists will be putting your donation to work on a truly groundbreaking film project. We also need funding for location and equipment rentals, footage and music licensing fees, web hosting, promotion and DVD production cost. 

Thanks for your support. 

Ralph Ranalli, Principal and Executive Producer, The Word Syndicate

Lee Billiard, General Manager, Boston Breakers

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

W.C. Fields once famously said: "One should never work with animals or children." Well, we've got the animals part covered, but we will be working with a bunch of kids whose dream is to win the Ballon d'Or, not an Oscar. It's worked out OK so far, but you never know. We will also have to juggle production around the busy schedule of a professional soccer team trying to train hard, be competitive, and build a new professional league all at the same time.

FAQ

  • A couple of people have asked this question, and it's nice to know people care about giving the Beautiful Project every chance of success. Unfortunately the answer is no - Kickstarter does not allow you to extend a deadline once a project is launched. We picked 30 days because Kickstarter's research says that's the most effective time period for getting a project funded. All we can do now is work as hard as we can to get fully funded and hope everyone who cares about this project donates and helps spread the word to others who care about girls, soccer and athletics.

    Last updated:
452
Backers
$36,542
pledged of $35,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    13 backers

    YOU'RE A KEEPER: Limited edition video thank you message e-mailed to you from Head Coach Lisa Cole and the Boston Breakers, plus name recognition on the Supporters Page on the website for "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way"

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    75 backers

    DEFENDER LEVEL: Digital download of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way" - plus a Supporter credit on the "Beautiful" website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    88 backers

    STRIKER LEVEL: Limited edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way" signed by Head Coach Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly. Plus a Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $40 or more
    You selected

    36 backers Limited (64 left of 100)

    THE SHIRT: Special edition Boston Breakers "Beautiful" t-shirt signed by Head Coach Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly. Plus a Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    30 backers

    STRIKER LEVEL: Limited edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way" signed by Head Coach Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly, packaged in a Boston Breakers nylon backpack. Plus a Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    23 backers

    FULL BACK PACK: Limited edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way, signed by Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly, in a Boston Breakers logo nylon backpack. Plus a Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $60 or more
    You selected

    16 backers Limited (34 left of 50)

    SUPPORTER'S SCARF - Limited edition blue Italian-style Supporter's Scarf proclaiming "FORZA RAGAZZE" ("Girl Power"). Ideal for parents and spectators who want to show their support for soccer girls while watching games on those frigid early April and late October sidelines. Includes a Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $65 or more
    You selected

    30 backers Limited (20 left of 50)

    THE SHIRT/DVD PACK: Special edition Boston Breakers "Beautiful" t-shirt signed by Head Coach Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly. Plus a signed limited edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way and Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $85 or more
    You selected

    22 backers Limited (28 left of 50)

    THE SCARF/DVD PACK - Limited edition blue Italian-style Supporter's Scarf proclaiming "FORZA RAGAZZE" ("Girl Power"). Ideal for parents and spectators who want to show their support for soccer girls while watching games on those frigid early April and late October sidelines. Includes a Limited Edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way" and a Teammate credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $125 or more
    You selected

    31 backers Limited (19 left of 50)

    THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK - Limited edition Boston Breakers official game jersey signed by Head Coach Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly. Includes a Premier Players credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    12 backers Limited (38 left of 50)

    THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK/DVD PACK - Limited edition Boston Breakers official game jersey signed by Head Coach Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly. Includes a Limited Edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way" and a Premier Players credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    13 backers Limited (7 left of 20)

    DELUXE TICKET PACKAGE: 6 game tickets, 6 signed t-shirts, plus Limited Edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Essential Lessons for Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way," signed by Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players like Sydney Leroux and Heather O'Reilly. Includes a Premier Players credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    TEAM SUPREME TICKET PACKAGE: 12 VIP game tickets, 12 signed t-shirts, plus 2 Limited Edition copies of "Beautiful: Essential Lessons for Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way," signed by Lisa Cole and Boston Breakers star players. Includes a Champions credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $2,500 or more
    You selected

    4 backers All gone!

    TEAM BEAUTIFUL WORKOUT - Private team workout with Breakers players and staff for up to 15 (players and coaches), each participant receives a limited edition signed t-shirt, plus a Limited Edition DVD copy of "Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way." Includes a Champions credit on the "Beautiful" web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (30 days)