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School Library Journal11/01/2014
Gr 4–7—Top-notch writing, colorful photos and sidebars, fact boxes, and diagrams combine to make this series a standout. Many readers dream of athletic stardom: these books offer an overview of the less glamorous side: what players must do to reach the professional level of sports, athletes' daily routines, and how they avoid injuries. With their busy schedules of games and travel, pro-basketball players frequently take naps to catch up on much-needed rest, while football players need more than just sleep to recover from the toll exacted by game day, which one former linebacker likened to being "in several car crashes." Sleep, diet, and a year-round fitness regimen are essential for players. Descriptions of training exercises are also included, such as the "crossover lunge" practiced by many hockey players and Gold Grove second baseman Brandon Phillips' fielding exercises. A great series that sheds light on the reality of life in professional sports.