Whose Game Is It, Anyway?: A Guide to Helping Your Child Get the Most from Sports, Organized by Age and Stage

Overview

In an era when parents and kids are overwhelmed by a sports-crazed, win-at-all-costs culture, here is a comprehensive guide that helps parents ensure a positive sports experience for their children. In Whose Game Is It, Anyway? two of the country’s leading youth sports psychologists team up with a former Olympic athlete and expert on performance enhancement to share what they have gleaned in more than forty years of combined experience.

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Whose Game Is It, Anyway?: A Guide to Helping Your Child Get the Most from Sports, Organized by Age and Stage

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Overview

In an era when parents and kids are overwhelmed by a sports-crazed, win-at-all-costs culture, here is a comprehensive guide that helps parents ensure a positive sports experience for their children. In Whose Game Is It, Anyway? two of the country’s leading youth sports psychologists team up with a former Olympic athlete and expert on performance enhancement to share what they have gleaned in more than forty years of combined experience.

The result is a book unique in its message, format, and scope.
Through moving case studies and thoughtful analyses, Ginsburg, Durant, and Baltzell advocate a preventive approach through a simple three-step program: know yourself, know your child, know the environment.
They look at children in age groups, identifying the physical, psychological, and emotional issues unique to each group and clarifying what parents can expect from and desire for their kids at every stage.
They also explore myriad relevant topics, including parental pressure, losing teams, steroid use, the overscheduled child, and much more.
Illuminating, impassioned, and inspiring, Whose Game Is It, Anyway?
is required reading for anyone raising—or educating—a child who participates in sports.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Comprehensive and well-developed. Although there are many good books on parenting young athletes, this one should be considered essential.
Library Journal Starred
Library Journal
With athletic achievement and sports participation both the means to an end (scholarships) and an end in themselves in American culture, parents need guidance as they help their kids experience the best that team involvement can offer while dealing with the pressures of athletic competition. This comprehensive and well-developed book provides just that guidance, whether the kids in question are athletic stars or minimally talented in sports. Youth sports psychologists Ginsburg and Stephen Durant and former Olympic athlete Amy Baltzell focus on the central tenets of "Know your child, know yourself, and know your child's sports environment." Chapters address sports participation by age group, working with coaches, finding the best team environments, overweight children and eating disorders in young athletes, and overscheduling and burnout, among other issues. Although there are many good books available on parenting young athletes, this one should be considered essential for public libraries. (Index not seen.)-Kay Hogan Smith, UAB Lister Hill Lib., Birmingham, AL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618474608
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/10/2006
  • Pages: 334
  • Sales rank: 502,570
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD D. GINSBURG, PH.D., and STEPHEN DURANT, ED.D.,are faculty members at Harvard Medical School and directors ofthe Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Psychology Program.
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: Character Counts A 9-year-old Little League pitcher struggles mightily to hold back his tears. He has just walked a player, with the bases loaded, in the last inning of a one-run ball game in the playoffs. He is close to losing his battle to contain his anger and frustration at the umpire’s calls and his humiliation at hearing the cheers and jeers of the opposing team. He had struck out the first two batters with ease, but then the ump made a few questionable calls and now it’s crunch time. His father, the coach, has called time and is approaching the mound.
The boy is the team’s best pitcher. His arm is a bit tired. He knows the team depends on him, but it is a struggle. He is too young to appreciate that the joy of competition takes place in the midst of that struggle. But deep down he knows he has to dig in, throw some good pitches, and get one more out. The tears quiver but hold at the rim of his eyes. He tugs his cap down low and keeps his eyes locked on his feet, waiting for his father’s words. How can the father help his son face this challenge with confidence and spirit?
Young athletes and their parents face situations like this one every day. This Little League pitcher embodies the worthy struggle that every athlete and, in fact, every person must endure: the attempt to master skill and control emotion in the face of adversity. In this way, organized sports give children the opportunity to face challenges that will help them learn important lessons about themselves and the world.
Some might hope that this young baseball player will use this opportunity to improve his technical skills under pressure—to gain control of his pitches and increase his ability to change both their speed and placement in order to fool the batter. Others might hope that he will learn something about handling adversity: “No matter what, son, keep your cool and be a man about it. There’s no crying in baseball.” Some parents genuinely might not care about the game itself but only about a son’s emotional well-being: “It’s okay, son. It’s only a silly game. It’s no biggie if they hit a walk-off grand slam. Don’t be so upset.” But others might teach the boy a darker lesson—he must learn to do whatever it takes to succeed, to win. “Son, success in sports and in life is determined by the answer to one question: did you win? That’s all people will want to know. Life is unfair and that’s the way it is.” What, then, is the right thing to say and do? The best response would take into account the child’s age, gender, temperament, past history of performance, overall ability, the circumstances of the game, the child’s level of fatigue, other problems the child might be experiencing, and his or her current emotional state, just to name a few factors. No magic words will guarantee a triumphant, strikeout performance. In a given situation, a coach or parent might use encouragement, passionate challenge, technical reminder, humorous distraction, sensitive support, or an “it’s only a game” defusing of the pressure. However, certain approaches will more likely build confidence, promote a desire to improve, increase our child’s overall enjoyment of sports, and reduce the risk of dropping out of athletics. Research clearly demonstrates that children who have fun and enjoy sports generally play longer, work harder at the game, and are more likely to have a productive athletic experience.1 In the case of the 9-year-old pitcher, a good coach would likely reassure him and try to take some pressure off, perhaps by reminding the boy of a technical component of pitching success, such as “Remember to lift your front knee above your belt before you push off your back leg.” But most important, the best coaches and parents would see a single pitching showdown as a very small piece of a much larger mosaic. They would keep the bigger picture in mind.
Organized sports, perhaps more than any other typical childhood experience, with the possible exception of school, provides ample opportunity for the building of character because of the conflict inherent in competition, the necessary enforcement of rules, the threat of losing, and the demand to control intensely aroused passions. In our culture, parents are likely to be more directly involved in a child’s sports activities than in the child’s schooling. Sports give us ample opportunity to witness and potentially influence our child’s character development as well as athletic progress. We are there when our 8-year-old son slams his batting helmet against the dugout wall after a strikeout, or when our daughter, a high school senior, loses a bitterly contested tennis match despite bravely mustering her best game ever, or when our Pee Wee hockey player taunts the opposition following a game-breaking goal. What, then, shall we do when events like these occur?
Heeeeere’s where character comes in. The mastery of any sport requires the consistent control of body, mind, and spirit. Over the long haul, success in any endeavor demands the daily application of good habits, or good character traits, if you will. As parents, we should encourage our children to attend practice consistently, listen attentively to the coach, adhere to the rules of the game, and be a positive and supportive teammate. We should emphasize the importance of sacrificing individual accomplishment for the good of the team and controlling emotions and behavior in the face of conflict or potential defeat. Finally, we should remind our child of the importance of persevering and overcoming adversity while mastering a difficult skill, such as hitting a baseball or driving a golf ball straight down the fairway. Thus parents simultaneously promote a strong character and improved athletic performance. These goals are a joint endeavor; a parent must help a child reach them.
Turning a blind eye when our children indulge in behaviors that disrespect coaches, opponents, officials, or fans corrodes the mutual respect that makes the game meaningful. All competition demands that the individual willingly accept the rules and limits of the game. Three strikes and you’re out. Hit the ball into the water, and you take a one-stroke penalty. Elbow the other player, and you get two minutes in the penalty box. The successful athlete learns to master the body and the emotions. Character helps us master emotions. When emotions get the best of athletes, they quit, take stupid penalties, skip good training habits, cheat to gain an edge, play for individual glory rather than team goals, and generally lose their cool. Poor character equals poor control and ultimately equals a poor performance.
Emphasizing the commitment to maximum effort, the building of skill and mastery of the game, and the willingness to accept and relish difficult challenges is a sound practice likely to succeed over the long haul. Accurate praise and positive reinforcement, not just for good plays or successful outcomes but also for virtuous behavior, will build skillful, resilient, confident, coachable, team-oriented kids.
As sport psychologists, we believe that striving to excel and win in competition is always important. For competition to bring out our best, wanting to win is vital. However, other crucial factors must balance this drive. One of them is character—caring about doing the right thing. But some Americans might privately say to themselves, “Who knows what ‘doing the right thing’ means for children? We just want our kids to be happy and successful, and in our society that means winning a lot more than losing.” But deep down, we all know that we should care about teaching kids to do the right thing. Lack of character education can lead to destructive, even tragic, consequences, not just in sports but also in life.
As clinical psychologists who deal with depression, trauma, abuse, and emotional turmoil in children, as well as people of all ages, we observe the results of character flaws every day. A visit to the emergency room in any metropolitan hospital in America will demonstrate how flawed character leads to emotional and physical destruction in the form of substance abuse, risky sexual practice, sexual abuse, violence, murder, and suicide. Daily newspapers frequently report stories showing how character defects undermine athletes at a rate that more than keeps pace with the general population.
Character has been defined as “the ability to take rational control of passion or emotion on a consistent and dependable basis.”2 In general, character disorder is associated with an inability to consistently control emotion and behavior in an appropriate, nondestructive way. As parents we must address the character development of our children. Beyond providing food, clothing, shelter, and affection, our most important job is to teach kids right from wrong. The gift of a sound character is the best insurance policy that children can carry into the future.

Building Good Character

A professor recently gave a talk about youth sports and psychology to a graduate school class focused on the sociology of sports. She posed this question: “Do sports build character?” The class, composed mostly of teachers, coaches, and athletic directors, vigorously nodded in assent. “Of course,” they responded unanimously.
“But what about all the train-wreck stories you guys know from firsthand experience?” the professor asked. “The stories of childhood made miserable, ranting parents, and teenage athletes who have burned out and lost the joy of the game? What about the strained family relationships or the standards of good behavior sacrificed on the altar of the ‘win at any cost’ mentality that seems to be our American code of conduct? And finally, what about the attention- grabbing headlines of bad behavior among athletes, parents, and coaches—the hazing, the brawls, the teen steroid use, and the disrespect toward officials, coaches, fans, and the game itself?” The professor’s questioning hit home. The class had fallen into a trap that Americans frequently jump into with both feet—the unquestionable belief that sports are unequivocally good for our kids. Lately, however, horror stories associated with youth sports have given sober-minded adults pause for reassessment.
A particular temptation can undercut the many positive effects of sports: the addictive high that comes from winning. Mix desire for this high with the other emotions that parents feel as their deepest wishes and fears for their children emerge during competition, and you have a potentially dangerous drug. The highs and lows associated with winning and losing can get magnified, and all too often, as parents, coaches, and fans, we find ourselves yelling at 11-year-olds for not acing the serve, or hitting the cutoff man, or nailing that body check, or swishing the jumper. Even those of us who believe ourselves to be free of a “win at any cost” mentality may lose control in this way.
Over a decade ago, the psychologist Philip Cushman commented on the effect that the cultural landscape has on the development of the individual. His observations are still salient today. The self is “empty in part because of the loss of family, community, and tradition. It is a self that seeks the experience of being continually filled up by consuming goods, calories, experiences, politicians, romantic partners, and empathic therapists in an attempt to combat the growing alienation and fragmentation of its era.”3 At times, parents, their lawyers, and school administrators undermine coaches who are trying to discipline athletes for poor academic performance or violations of the team code of conduct. These young athletes are allowed to indulge in bad behavior because of their ability to contribute to a win. As the cartoon character Pogo used to say, “We have met the enemy, and they is us.” Actually, sports don’t build character—people do. Character development requires unselfishness, restraint, thoughtful reflection, and a stilling of the passions. Parenting or coaching to form good character means at times that winning takes a back seat to fairness, safety, the good of the group, and long-term growth. As parents, we must make the joys and lessons of competitive sports readily available to our children without tainting sports with our own unrealistic expectations or emotional outbursts, or those of other adults.
In our experience as psychologists we find that even the best parents and coaches tend to zone out when the terms good sportsmanship, virtue, and good character are brought up in the context of organized sports. Those ideas have somehow become marginalized as platitudes that everyone publicly acknowledges but have little meaning in the heat of competition. Yet we value the diligence required to stay after practice to do the painful wind sprints that will improve fitness, the discipline required in get- ting good grades to stay academically eligible, the refusal to cheat by using steroids, the willingness to change positions to improve the team, and the courage to play hard until the last moment in a hopelessly lost contest. Believe it or not, these sports behaviors are all about character.

Balancing Character, Skill Development, and Fun

Play is child’s work; it’s a kid’s job to play. It’s how they naturally explore, learn, and grow. The essence of good play involves a joyful immersion in activity, with freedom, a lack of critical observation, and even a loss of the sense of time. Organized sports are, in reality, just a serious form of play. Sports structure play; there are rules to obey, skills and positions to learn, and plays to follow. The demands required to become good at any sport, combined with the intensity of competition, introduce our children to the pursuit of excellence. In their demand that children channel their behavior according to rules, organized sports provide a natural place for many life lessons. The hunger for mastery and worthy achievement, the willingness to accept one’s own strengths and limitations, as well as the recognition of the needs and rights of others are all crucial aspects of responsible, mature adulthood. Sports can help develop these areas of competence, but it does not happen without guidance, direction, and strength from caring parents and coaches.
Children must be taught. There is a right way and a wrong way to spell, to play the piano, and to swing a baseball bat. The learning of new complex behavior, such as riding a bike, frequently tests the patience, will, and endurance of teacher and pupil alike. However, learning and playing at one’s best can coexist with the ability to enjoy the moment. Practice involves discipline, long hours, and hard work, but it also engages joy of movement and freedom of expression. The challenge for all adults involved in youth, high school, and even collegiate sports is to preserve the enjoyment of playing while introducing the structure and discipline of proper teamwork, skill, and technique. Because children are vulnerable and still growing, they need our ongoing help in mastering this struggle.
Yet as parents, we face our own struggles: knowing when to push our child and when to back off, when to stick to principle and when to be flexible, and when to maintain control and when to let go and let a kid simply play. Many of us have heard the following complaint from a 9- or 10-year- old child: “Mom, I don’t want to go to practice. I’m too tired.” It takes discernment, and some trial and error, to sense when to be firm in honoring a commitment and when to prevent a child from physically and emotionally burning out. As parents, we must live with the anxiety and uncertainty of those decisions while trying to teach our kids the crucial lessons of life yet allow them the freedom to make mistakes.

Today’s Youth Sports Culture

The seductive pull of achievement and winning that permeates sports in our society can easily overwhelm entire athletic programs and communities. As a wise parent of five athletes of ages 10 to 22 recently lamented, “This league used to focus on developing good kids who were good athletes. Now we’re all about winning regional or state titles. If you can’t help them win, they really don’t care too much about you. They’ll take a kid from another town over one of our own kids if they think it’ll help them win.” Choosing the right teams and programs for our children is particularly difficult because the sports culture has changed so much since we were kids. We didn’t specialize. We didn’t have many travel teams. (Travel teams are composed of better players of a town or community who travel to play other town teams. Frequently, tryouts and cuts are required to build these squads.) Many of us didn’t start playing organized sports until we were 8 or 9 years old, if then. These days our kids are playing on organized teams as early as age 5. Many of us are not entirely familiar with the myriad teams, programs, and athletic opportunities, nor the administrators and coaches who run them, nor the history or mission of our own town leagues, let alone the specifics of what makes up an elite travel team. This makes decision making harder. Either we follow the tide so our children can participate, or we bail out, leaving our children potentially out of the loop, off the team, and even socially ostracized.
It can be extremely difficult to arrange for children to participate in youth sports on our own terms. Practice times, tournaments, and playing time are dictated to us. Sometimes we feel forced to make painful compromises, such as signing up our children for teams knowing that they won’t play as much as we would like, since the alternative seems to be no team at all.
Parents can, however, be more proactive and let their thoughts and feelings be known. Ultimately, our sports culture will take its direction from the decisions of families like our own. If we join with other parents and clearly demand a balanced approach to organized youth sports, others will follow. Parents must see that a child’s abilities, level of maturity, and values are recognized and respected by those who train and coach them.
If we take time to articulate and promote reasons for equal support of skill development and fun in the pursuit of competitive excellence, always honoring our children’s physical and emotional needs, the culture will follow.

Contending with Our Own Emotions Another challenge to teaching our children how to play well, have fun, and be a good kid is our own emotional baggage, which we parents carry from our past and project onto the future. The desire to see our kids achieve what we ourselves couldn’t or didn’t often makes it difficult to remain under control. It can be troubling to observe our children perform in a public arena, where they may experience the euphoria of victory, the agony of defeat, the humiliation of publicly making an error, or the pain of injury—they’re on display at very vulnerable moments. Competition can also trigger memories and the feelings that accompany them: “That coach sucks; he screwed me my senior year too. Now he’s screwing my son.” Some parents become vocal and combative as spectators, but others withdraw and watch in isolation, standing off to the side. Others will cheer and use every ounce of emotional energy to support their children. Occasionally, parents can’t bear the tension of watching and won’t attend competitions at all. Add to the scenario parents’ own daily pressures and problems, and you can see how parents and youth sports can become a volatile mix.
In one example of an unhealthy interaction, the parents relentlessly quiz and critique a child in the car, following a game:

“Why didn’t the coach play you more? Did he say anything to you? I don’t understand that guy.” “Why did the ref call that penalty on you? Did you mouth off?” “Why didn’t you shoot more? How come you’re not being more aggressive?” “You looked exhausted out there. Why did you stay up so late last night?” “You guys played like you didn’t even want to win. You’re not going to make varsity if you don’t get in better shape.” “When are you going to listen to me? I told you repeatedly: you need to work much more on that part of your game.” “Are you feeling okay? You sure didn’t look like yourself out there today.”

The “post-game quiz and lecture” during the car ride home might not contain twenty questions, but it is one of the corrosive ways in which we, as parents, can suck the joy out of sports for our children. There is no need to list the number of times that otherwise rational parents have overstepped the boundaries of proper behavior in their zeal to protect, promote, or exalt their child in the heat of those competitive fires. Some parents make their displeasure public. In fact, as this introduction is being written, a daily metropolitan tabloid shouts the headline SCHOOL BANS FANS. In this unfortunate incident, parents, players, and fans had engaged in a major brawl following a high school hockey game; subsequently, the athletic director banned all fans from the upcoming rematch. As parents, we must find the will to present ourselves as role models for young athletes. Sometimes the first step is slowing down, catching our breath, and reviewing what we really want our children to experience in sports participation. We can replace the question “Did you win?” with other questions that reveal our values:

“Did you have fun?” “How did you play?” “Did you learn anything new?” “Did you give your best effort?” “Did you play as a team?”

These emphases give more than lip service to character building.

Family Goals and Mission Statement

One key tool of effective sport psychology for performance enhancement is goal setting—the mapping and measuring of sports success. But even before setting goals, successful athletic departments and sports programs begin with a broad statement of purpose and intent, a mission statement, to guide their goal setting. Parents and children can greatly benefit from a clearly articulated family sports mission statement. The first step is to answer the following questions.

“When my child is 21 years old, what kind of person do I want him or her to be, and how will sports help us, as parents, get our child there?”

“What are the three most important virtues or lessons that I want my child to learn through involvement in sports?”

Families might need some courage to articulate their own values and goals for their children. Their idea of sports may run counter to a consumer culture driven by the values of profits and success. The demand for speedy results and instant gratification has certainly colored sports culture. Televised highlights on ESPN’s Sports Center, where flamboyant individualism and self-promotion are on display, emphasize the glamour of stardom and make fame and fortune look effortless. Exposure to such media, and the advertisements that accompany them, can skew the expectations of young athletes—and even parents. Some families have made extensive, even risky sacrifices of time and money to invest in a child’s athletic talent. Painful emotional injuries can follow when results fall short. A well-crafted family sports mission statement can help family members keep their balance in a sports culture that often fails to value character, patient practice, simple pleasures, and the rewards of teamwork.
It’s up to parents to choose the virtues that their family will hold most dear, as their family code. The psychologist Kenneth Kaye, in his excellent book Family Rules, states a basic tenet simply and elegantly: “responsible behavior earns freedom and privilege.”4 Parents must define what responsible behavior is in their own home and set appropriate, consistent, and fair rules with clear and firm consequences to help kids build good character. Dr. Kaye challenges parents to start by articulating and prioritizing the values of their particular family. The following list might serve as a starting point.

lifelong health perseverance compassion for others physical fitness love of competition honesty discipline ability to be a loyal friend integrity mastery of skill self-control courage pursuit of excellence ability to sacrifice for others Many other possibilities exist as well. For example, the Smiths may value education and therefore give high priority to the completion of homework and good school performance. The Jones family may focus more on completing family chores or family loyalty. Values lay the foundation for a clear, consistent, and fair approach to children’s behavior.
In youth sports, certain values are especially important. First, though sports can involve serious play, especially as children get older, it is play nonetheless. It isn’t war. It isn’t a life or death matter, and it shouldn’t be made into that. But a consideration of values can lead to some sticky questions. Parents may worry that their children must learn to survive in a competitive world that does not forgive setbacks or mistakes, and these parents may push their kids to win at any cost at sports, to toughen them up for life. Yet at the same time, parents may feel uneasy about compromising their values of fairness and sportsmanship. We believe parents don’t need to make this compromise.
What about families whose first priority is to see their children become collegiate or professional athletes? For some families facing economic hardship and limited opportunities, athletic talent may seem to be the ticket to higher education and economic success; rags-to-riches stories apparently abound in the world of sports. However, the odds are long indeed on even getting an athletic scholarship at college, let alone becoming a professional athlete. The National Alliance for Youth Sports cites this statistic: less than 1 percent of high school athletes receive any form of athletic scholarship.5 Gambling the happiness of children on their athletic talents is a huge risk. Investing in strong character is far likelier to offer a healthy return.
Ultimately, raising a healthy child who demonstrates good character is neither immediately gratifying nor guaranteed. We know it cannot be purchased. It cannot be measured by daily results like some sort of stock report. The path to this goal is neither easy nor well traveled. We have to live with and manage our own anxieties, disappointments, fears, and frustrations while staying the course with our children.

Copyright © 2006 by Richard D. Ginsburg, Stephen Durant, and Amy Baltzell. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xiv Introduction: Character Counts 1

Part One Knowing Your Child Athlete 1. Your Child’s Development and the Three-Step Approach 17 2. The Early Years (Ages 1–5): Safety and the Joy of Movement 30 3. The Elementary School Years (Ages 6–12): Building Competencies, Exploring Interests, and Making Friends 47 4. The Teen Years (Ages 13–18): Identity Development, Independence, and Achievement 71 5. Higher Learning and Higher Stakes (Age 19 and up): College Sports and Sports for Life 95

Part Two Pitfalls and Possibilities in Sports 6. Should We Push Our Children? How Much? 119 7. When the Apple Falls Far from the Tree: What to Do When Our Kids’ Athletic Abilities and Interests Differ from Our Own 144 8. Boys and Girls: Similarities and Differences in Sports 153 9. Rage and Explosions: Learning to Practice Emotional Control in Sports 171 10. Quitting, Burning Out, and Moving On: Helping Children Know When Enough Is Enough 185 11. Does the Coach Know Best? Knowing When Coaches Are Doing Right or Wrong by Our Children 201 12. When Is a Good Team Bad and a Bad Team Good?
Recognizing Best Team Experiences for Kids 214 13. Overweight Children: Surviving the Teasing and Prejudice and Finding Healthy Exercise and Eating Patterns 224 14. Eating Disorders, Body Image, Steroids, and Supplements 237 15. Tips for Top Performance: The Art of Being SHARPP 256 16. Questions and Answers: Finding Solutions for Kids’ Dilemmas in Sports 268

Notes 285 For Further Reading 291 About the Authors 299 Index 301

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2007

    Good Perspective

    This book gave me the ability, as a parent, to step back and gain a little perspective about my son's sports and how his development effects his sports choices and how I can help.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    Could have been so much better.

    I am a student in a sports related field and had to read this book as one of four for my final paper on the role of a sports parent. There are so many more recent studies than were cited and too many ancient ones that kept me scratching my head as to how and why they made it to the book. And, some very sad and inacurate facts such as Mr. Costin did die (hockey dad fight) and Mr. Junta is in prison. Mr. Costin left 4 kids with out a dad not 1 as the book states. And, Mr. Junta also has children. Little facts like this ( from educators)along with the dense-non user friendly reading and too old studies prompted me to give the book 2 stars.

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