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The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life

The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life

4.0 5
by Mike Matheny, Jerry B. Jenkins

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 “Nothing worth doing right is easy.”
–Mike Matheny

   Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.


 “Nothing worth doing right is easy.”
–Mike Matheny

   Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason three times in his first three years, people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results. Instead, it’s based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached, a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.”
   The tough-love philosophy Matheny expressed in the letter contained his throwback beliefs that authority should be respected, discipline and hard work rewarded, spiritual faith cultivated, family made a priority, and humility considered a virtue. In The Matheny Manifesto, he builds on his original letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports−hint: it starts with parents and coaches−and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manager to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility. 
   From “The Coach Is Always Right, Even When He’s Wrong” to “Let Your Catcher Call the Game,” Matheny’s old-school advice might not always be popular or politically correct, but it works. His entertaining and deeply inspirational book will not only resonate with parents, coaches, and athletes, it will also be a powerful reminder, from one of the most successful new managers in the game, of what sports can teach us all about winning on the field and in life.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This memoir in the form of a manifesto draws its origins from a letter Matheny wrote to parents who asked him to coach a local youth baseball team. In it, he laid firm ground rules not only for how the team would operate but also how parents would participate. The letter went viral and has been touted as a vision of how youth sports in the United States can be improved. Matheny, a former major league catcher and current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, expands on topics found in the manifesto, using experiences from his childhood and coaching career. He suggests ways youth sports could be made more enjoyable for children while aiming to improve their skills. He also takes moments to talk about how his experiences and views of sports can be used to create a more fulfilling and peaceful life. VERDICT Matheny does a lot of, "I don't claim to have all the answers, but" which is usually a qualifying statement that comes before acting like you have all the answers. Still, he has a proven method to improve youth sports, and a lot of his views on life come from famed college basketball coach John Wooden.—Matt Schirano, Magnus Wahlstrom Lib., Bridgeport, CT
From the Publisher
“Beautifully readable and morally meaty.” Christianity Today

“Mike Matheny has some tremendous lessons for coaches but mostly for parents…. You’ve got to know someone who could use this book. You’ve got to know 10 people who could use this book. They’ll thank you for getting it.” –Peter King

[The Matheny Manifesto] should be read by every parent of every youth league player in this country.Providence Journal 

"Lots of coaches write inspirational books, but this one has a lot of interesting stuff in it...It's an important book." —Mike Francesa

"A must read for parents, coaches, teachers all who work with young people" —Jim Harbaugh

“[T]his book should be read by anybody who coaches a kids team, as well as the parents of those kids.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Every parent who has a son or daughter that plays sports, dances, plays in the band, is in theater, or does anything as team or group, must read The Matheny Manifesto." —Quad-Cities Online, The Dispatch

“You win, or in this case, lose, with class.  With integrity.  You play hard.  You play smart.  You respect yourself, your teammates, your opponents, and your craft.  It’s a game and it should be fun.  It’s a business, and those realities are there, too.  But it can be more than just that.  It can, at least for some, be an expression of principles…. In many ways, Matheny’s still new, but already extremely successful, tenure with the Cardinals is an ongoing example of those principles writ large.”
—From the afterword by Bob Costas
The Matheny Manifesto illustrates a perspective we need not only in youth sports, but in our culture as a whole. By teaching the importance of respect, character, and a team-first approach, Mike Matheny gives our kids, and those who set an example for them, a positive outlook on healthy competition—and demonstrates how the most powerful lessons of baseball apply to their futures beyond the diamond.”
—Joe Torre
“Readers agree there are ‘must read ‘ books.  The Matheny Manifesto, inspired by Mike's letter is one and much more. After you read it, you ‘must consider’  and then  ‘must act’ on its core principles—principles that benefit coaches, parents, success seekers, and especially young players.”
—Tony La Russa
“I once told Mike Matheny that if I ever became a big league manager, I’d want to manage just like he does. The Matheny Manifesto will show you why. Mike approaches the game as the ultimate competitor, but totally with class and dignity.”
—Orel Hershiser, Los Angleles Dodgers broadcaster, 18-year big league pitcher, Cy Young Award winner, World Series champion
The Matheny Manifesto is mandatory reading for coaches, parents, and athletes of every age. The book is packed with winning insights and practical advice for all to use. A powerful read!”
Pat Williams, Orlando Magic co-founder and senior vice president

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
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Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)


Meet the Author

Mike Matheny played thirteen years as a catcher for four Major League teams, won four Gold Gloves, and holds the MLB record for most consecutive games without an error; 2017 will mark his sixth year as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Matheny led the Cardinals to the postseason in each of his first four campaigns, winning the National League pennant in 2013. He and his wife, Kristin, are the parents of five and live in St. Louis. For more information about Mike’s Catch 22 Foundation, and to keep up with his blog, visit www.MikeMatheny.com.
Jerry B. Jenkins is the author of twenty New York Times bestsellers, including the Left Behind series. His writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. He has collaborated on as-told-to autobiographies by Hank Aaron, Orel Hershiser, Walter Payton, Nolan Ryan, Mike Singletary, and Billy Graham. For more information about Jerry, visit www.JerryJenkins.com.

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The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
equiners More than 1 year ago
An excellent book relating to leadership, especially to the younger generation. Mike Matheny explains and demonstrates how teaching baseball skills along with character skills can stay with the student far after the baseball part of his life is finished. He also shows very clearly how winning at all costs is not needed to be successful not only in baseball but in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Important book for all parents and coaches.
gccbookworm More than 1 year ago
I do not play baseball nor am I follower of baseball. Yet for some reason I was prompted to read "The Matheny Manifesto"  by Mike Matheny. I figured I might be bored but was pleasantly surprised as Matheny captured my attention holding it throughout  the book. Yes, there were some stats and explanations about baseball I did not appreciate as some baseball fans,  nevertheless, so much of what he wrote held truth I could relate to as a parent. He talks about eight keys that lead to success:  humility, leadership, confidence, character, faith, teamwork, class and toughness.  This inspirational story can teach us "about winning on the field and in life." I think that is why I enjoyed it so much. I received this book for free  to review from blogging for books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Rating:   4 of 5 stars (very good) Review: Mike Matheny has enjoyed success in his baseball career, both as a player and as the current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He holds many views about the game that would be considered “old-school” and has applied those thoughts to both baseball and life when he has coached youth baseball.  These beliefs and what he does with his young players has been communicated in a letter he gives all parents titled the “Matheny Manifesto.”   It has become an Internet sensation, but more importantly, it has become a code by which other coaches and parents of youth sports participants would be well to follow.  The book has many pieces of advice that nearly everyone involved in youth sports has heard, such as let the kids make mistakes without being overly critical and that the coach is always right, even if he or she is not. There are some topics that might be surprising, especially in today’s specialized youth sports culture. Matheny advises parents to let a kid try all the sports he or she wants to play instead of determining early which one would be “the one.”  He also speaks out against the culture of rewarding every participant for being present. On that topic, he simply says that this kind of reinforcement does not prepare the child for the inevitable failure that he or she will face in real life.  Matheny also talks about his faith in one chapter, but does not preach nor expect anyone else to also wear his or her faith on the sleeve. Instead, he simply explains how his Christian faith has helped shape his values and I thought this was one of the better written chapters in the book. His account of his playing and managing career in the major leagues was also very good and it tied in nicely with the points he was trying to make regarding youth sports. This book is one that should be read by anyone involved in youth sports, no matter the role.  While some readers may not follow every bit of advice not wish to read about Matheny’s faith, the book as a whole is a good reminder that these athletes are still kids, and these games should be about them and not the adults.   I wish to thank NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  Did I skim? No Pace of the book:   Very good – the breakdown of each chapter into smaller sections on a certain topic makes reading the book easier.  If the reader just wants to read certain parts for reference or review, this format makes that easier as well.