||september 1, 2009
Raising an Athlete discusses all the issues and challenges that athletes and their parents encounter in youth sports. It gives concrete suggestions for dealing with the pitfalls and experiences that youth sports present.
Positive Parenting in Sports
Raising an Athlete: How to Instill Confidence, Build Skills and Inspire a Love of Sport offers practical strategies for parents, coaches and athletes on how to build self esteem and motivation in athletes. This book is for parents who want to make a positive difference in their child's life. and team. Raising an Athlete deals with every issue that youth sports present and gives parenting and coaching suggestion for every situation.
Former major leaguer Jack Perconte uses his playing, coaching and parenting experiences to help parents teach the values of teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership.
Trials and Tribulations
All athletes encounter difficult times. Inevitably, there will be times when their results do not meet their own and others’ expectations. Sports can be very humbling, both for players and parents. At times everyone feels bad and “helpless,” not knowing what to do. Keeping things in perspective is essential when dealing with a lack of success. You need to understand that bad times come and go and that when players struggle on the playing field, it is no time to panic. Keeping an upbeat attitude in front of your kids is important. When kids who are struggling on the field realize their parents are not “panicking,” it helps them to overcome the tough times. Great athletes look at adversity as a challenge to work harder and to conquer the present obstacle. Portraying that attitude to their kids is a good practice for parents.
I can recall many examples of young players who were very successful and flowered with much adoration. However, they quit their sport at a relatively young age, because they could not cope during rough times. Too much attention can cause young players to get too full of themselves, and this can be harmful. Players who are constantly told how great they are often become self-centered and have a hard time adjusting to difficult sports and life situations. Having a star player for parents can become difficult, too. These parents get used to having a winning player and have a difficult time dealing with the situation when their kid is no longer a star or no longer playing at all. Being happy with a child’s success is fine, but going overboard with attention to one’s own kid is unproductive. Constantly praising children over their performance and rewarding them with gifts because of their play are signs of going overboard. Likewise, moms and dads bragging about their children to others too much is a turnoff. No one likes to hear an abundance of talk about how great another parent’s son or daughter is doing, except for the child’s grandparents.
This is not to say that parents should not praise their kids. It is good to praise them and let them know you are proud of them. It is good to let them know that you want them to succeed and that you will help them find ways of improving. Just don’t go overboard.
Not Just a Game
Anybody who has been involved in sports realizes that it is not all fun and games. There is hard work, failure and disappointment. How can we ever forget the famous line from the movie A League of Their Own, when Tom Hanks whines, “There’s no crying in baseball?” Obviously, that statement is not true. Athletes compete, and the dictionary definition of competition—“contention of two or more for the same object or superiority”—suggests a struggle with a winner and loser, in and of itself. Athletes are very passionate and determined and when things do not go their way, the emotions come pouring out. Most people see that in the grand scheme of things, sports and games are not life or death, but they do captivate our interest and bring out our support and emotions. When we see a famous athlete retire and get very emotional, we shake our head and say, “It’s just a game.” Well, yes, but when people pour their heart, hard work, and life into something they love, there will be tears; and to get to the top, love, focus and passion were needed. These three—love, focus and passion—produce various emotions ranging from jubilation to despair. People share with athletes the good times, and that is usually enjoyable for all. However, when the emotion produced is sadness, it is not enjoyable and support is necessary to help athletes and parents.
Required reading for parents who want to give their kids the best shot
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for parents who want to give their kids the best shot, November 10, 2009
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews
When you have a natural athlete for a child, you should nurture that blossoming gift. "Raising an Athlete: How to Instill Confidence, Build Skills, and Inspire a Love of Sport" is a parents guide to raising a child with a strong interest in sports. Written by life long athlete and former Major league ball player Jack Perconte who spent his post career coaching young people and being a parent himself. With plenty of tips and advice for parents of young athletes, "Raising an Athlete" is required reading for parents who want to give their kids the best shot.
A Remarkable Guide for Parents and Coaches, Alike
The concept for breeding athleticism is one that has been broached from many angles over the years. Raising an Athlete has taken this concept to a whole new plain; in a book by that name written by former Major League Baseball Player, Jack Perconte.
Replete with poignant illustrations and deft detail, Raising an Athlete: How To Instill Confidence, Build Skills and Inspire A Love of Sport runs the gamut on youth athleticism; to include the art of winning and losing, nurturing confidence, coaching and various team building exercises. This book instructs all on the stringent fundamentals that surround the game of baseball, both on and off the field. It further delves into the stakes of insuring team success; through methods which far surpasses the reflection of the scoreboard.
Raising an Athlete is a dynamic tool of reference for parents, coaches, and sports enthusiasts; as well as anyone who is involved with sports, on any level.
Gentle, wise and persuasive instructions on how to best nurture a child's love of sports,
My beloved late father was the best coach I ever had. Through baseball, he taught me the sacred aspects of sport: the worth of individual effort, respect for one's opponent, the supreme importance of the team, the value of understanding history, and the sheer celebration of play. He would have loved Jack Perconte's "Raising an Athlete," a book that every parent and coach should read, re-read and read again. Suffused with a love of athletics and a respect for the importance of the lessons to be gained from involvement in sports, Perconte's writing gently, wisely and persuasively presents a framework though which adults can maximize their child's growth -- as an athlete and as a person -- through athletics.
The subtitle speaks directly as to what Perconte believes is essential for parents and coaches. "How to instill confidence, build skills and inspire a love of sport" is no easy task; these abilities do not come automatically to parents and coaches. Rather, out of a misguided passion for sports, many coaches and parents act counterproductively, overemphasizing individual accomplishment, expressing anger at failure, and rushing children developmentally -- often with terrible consequences. "Raising an Athlete" provides adults the knowledge and confidence necessary for genuine success, achievement that transcends wins and losses.
The stakes have never been higher. With media embellishment and adoration of star athletes, sports often beguile youngsters into a false sense of possibility and a skewed perception of the place of competitive athletics. Throughout Perconte's compassionate arguments runs a quiet restraint. With anecdotes and commentary, the author urges coaches and parents to perceive the world of sport through the eyes, mind and body of their children. He emphasizes the difficulty of prowess and constantly returns to the idea that playing a sport should, above all, be fun. If the involvement brings sadness, frustration and disengagement, something is terribly wrong.
An extensive table of contents permits readers to select sections that most answer their own set of questions. Perconte often organizes his arguments with bullets, and his writing always is direct and inviting. Avoiding the pitfalls of preaching or appearing pedantic, he tends to use believable examples as a means to explaining a larger idea. Jack Perconte may have stopped being a major league ballplayer a number of years ago, but he has emerged as a big-league writer with "Raising an Athlete."
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