Over the past decade, the stakes in youth sports have reached startling heights; the pressure to win often eclipses the desire to have fun. Sports injuries have increased tenfold; aggression on and off the field&#8212between kids, parents, and coaches&#8212is at a fever pitch; and drug and alcohol use among young athletes is on the rise. While there are plenty of books that help the best-intentioned parent, most of them are written by men, for men. They do not address concerns specific to mothers, nor ...

See more details below
Home Team Advantage

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


Over the past decade, the stakes in youth sports have reached startling heights; the pressure to win often eclipses the desire to have fun. Sports injuries have increased tenfold; aggression on and off the field&#8212between kids, parents, and coaches&#8212is at a fever pitch; and drug and alcohol use among young athletes is on the rise. While there are plenty of books that help the best-intentioned parent, most of them are written by men, for men. They do not address concerns specific to mothers, nor empower them to confidently step onto the out-of-control playground to assume whatever role they choose&#8212spectator, advocate, administrator, coach, fund-raiser, or team mom.

Home Team Advantage is an essential resource manual that will inspire women to confidently tackle some of the issues preventing their kids from enjoying sports. Brooke de Lench authoritatively covers issues ranging from ensuring playing time and confronting out-of-control coaches to countering the "winning at all costs" mentality. Packed with real-life anecdotes and information from experts, Home Team Advantage provides constructive, practical, and forward-thinking advice to help mothers understand the critical role they can play in putting the words fun, game, and play back into youth sports.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061746888
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 757,675
  • File size: 1,013 KB

Meet the Author

Brooke de Lench is the founder and editor-in-chief of MomsTeam.com, an online publication for mothers parenting children active in youth sports. She also established Teams of Angels, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to reducing catastrophic injury in youth sports. She is the mother of three sons and lives in the Boston area.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Home Team Advantage

The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports
By Brooke de Lench

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Brooke de Lench
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060881631

Chapter One

A Mother's Voice

The Missing Piece of the Youth Sports Puzzle

Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of character.
--Hosea Ballou

A Chance to Play

One by one, eighteen sixth and seventh-grade boys entered the gym, barely making eye contact with me or one another. I extended my hand to each as he arrived, and introduced myself. I asked each to find a soccer ball and kick it around until practice started.

As the boys sullenly tossed their sports bag on the gymnasium floor and began to kick the soccer balls, I detected a lot of negative energy. From talking with their mothers, some of their fathers, and their previous soccer coaches, I knew how embarrassed most of them were: embarrassed to have been cut from the travel soccer program in our town because they weren't offered a spot on one of the top three teams, embarrassed because there were supposedly not enough boys or a coach to field a fourth team, and embarrassed that their coach was a mother.

Past coaches and the director of the soccer club had tried their best to dissuade me from coaching. "Don't expect to win anygames," they said. Some of the boys have attention issues, they said; several chronically misbehave. Some lack talent or are slow footed. So-and-so's mother is a pain in the you-know-what and will make your life miserable.

To make matters worse, some of the parents, once they learned that I was to be the coach, immediately challenged my ability as a forty-three-year-old mother to coach a team of twelve-year-old boys. One father had called to tell me his son was going to sit out the season rather than play for me: "He deserves better. He deserves a top-level coach," the father said. Most told me not to be surprised if their son quit after the first few practices: "he is angry and embarrassed to be on a team of also-rans, especially one coached by a mother," they told me. The only glimmer of hope they gave me was that their sons loved soccer, and that they thought that they had the potential to be good players.

Instead of scaring me off, however, all the negativity simply strengthened my resolve to turn what everyone expected to be a disastrous season into something special; to give this group of outcasts a season to remember, to give them a reason to keep playing soccer by making it fun again, to show them the very best that sport had to offer, and to teach them lessons through sports that would enrich their lives.

After I let the boys play for twenty minutes (as the mother of three energetic twelve-year-old boys I was well aware of the need for boys this age to burn off steam), free play had turned into a frenetic game of dodgeball. I shouted for the boys to take a break, grab their snacks, and find a seat in the bleachers.

Once they sat down, I introduced myself. Before I began explaining my coaching philosophy, expectations, and goals for the upcoming season, Todd* blurted out the question that seemed to be on most of their minds: "Why don't we have a man for a coach?" Instead of answering, I suggested that they eat their snacks and drink their water while I did the talking, after which I would answer their questions.

No such luck. They bombarded me with questions. Finally, Jared insisted that I answer his question: "Why are you coaching us? What do you know? You are a girl."

After taking a couple of deep breaths, I began again. I had not scripted what I was going to say; instead, I spoke from the heart. "Most of you know that a month ago you didn't have a team to play on. I was the one who asked the men running the program to give you a chance to play. When they told me that no one had volunteered to coach a Division 4 team, I told them I would find someone with a soccer license who was an expert on eleven and twelve-year-old boys like you, and who loved sports as much as each of you."

The team was finally quiet.

As hard as I tried, I told them, I couldn't find anyone with the credentials, the time, or as much love of the game of soccer as I did to be the coach. "So, guys, I am your coach."

I went on to tell them that during the upcoming season they would learn a lot about soccer and teamwork; that, above all else, they would not only have fun but, by the end of the season, they would be holding their heads up high.

The rest, as they say, is history. A group of angry boys with attention, aggression, communication, and self-esteem issues became a group of boys who respected themselves, one another, and me; a group of boys able to effectively communicate with one another and me; a team that held its own in scrimmages against the town's Division 1 and 2 teams; a team awarded a trophy for sportsmanship at a Memorial Day tournament; a team that went undefeated until the semifinal of the league's postseason tournament; and ultimately, a team I was invited to take to a sportsmanship tournament in St. Andrews, Scotland. One parent later told me that I was the best coach her son had ever had. The director of the soccer club said he had never seen a team play together so well as a team.

It was my dream team. I took my wish list of what I felt made a good coach, and what I felt was important to teach boys on the cusp of puberty, and made it come true. I gave the team a safe, nurturing environment in which to do what boys . . .


Excerpted from Home Team Advantage by Brooke de Lench Copyright © 2006 by Brooke de Lench. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)