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Growing Athletes: A Father's 15-Year Journey from T-Ball to Hard Ball

583 pages9 hours


This book offers a father's personal account of his experiences in shepherding his two sons through the baffling, wacky, frustrating, disappointing yet often wonderful world of youth sports. The book takes a chronological accounting of what they went through as a family, from the earliest days of T-ball all the way through varsity participation in high school. Over the course of the book, the author introduces the reader to some two-dozen powerful principles of behavior that help explain: what makes a good (or bad) coach, why practice (and what kind of practice) is so important, how parents can help support their youth athlete without smothering them, how to acquire and use information to help foster one's child's success, and most importantly, how to keep it fun. While the primary focus is on baseball, the author's family experiences with other sports (basketball, football, soccer) are also covered. Recent research on such topics as why kids quit sports, sports injuries, types of playing opportunities (e.g., club teams, All-Stars) is also discussed. The prime focus of the book is to give parents some useful tips on keeping their kids interested in continued sports participation, having fun and achieving success, all the way through high school. A child doesn't have to be a superior athlete to have success in sports, if his or her parents adhere to the basic principles of behavior management outlined in this book. Along the way, the author recounts his own experiences as coach, cheerleader, advocate, therapist, and always - parent. Though grown now, the author's sons have continued to reap the rewards from having played organized sports on a year-round basis from the age of 5 until high school graduation, and beyond. The book describes what things worked, and what didn't work and why, as our family went through this unforgettable journey.

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