Since he retired from baseball in 2001, Cal Ripken, Jr., has devoted his time to coaching kids, including his own son and daughter, who play baseball and basketball, among other sports. With a baseball league of nearly 700,000 kids, ages 5-12, named for him, he has also had a chance to meet and work with countless young athletes. Cal Ripken’s simple yet effective philosophy for helping kids get the most out of playing sports is to keep it simple, explain the “why,” celebrate the individual, and make it fun! But Ripken is troubled by what he sees in youth sports: a competitive intensity that removes the element of fun from playing. Now, drawing on his experiences as a father, a player, and a coach to his charges at his youth baseball based organization, Ripken Baseball, the legend offers his insights and advice on how to approach organized sports with your kids to ensure they have the best experience possible, stay fit, and enjoy themselves.
Whether you were a star player or a kid who never learned to throw, this book will tell you everything you need to know about sports parenting from the pre-school years to middle school. It covers all the bases, including:
- Teaching the basics of sportsmanship
- How an overemphasis on technique or winning can harm your child’s game
- How to develop a good relationship with your child’s coach
- The pros and cons of travel teams and club teams
- The importance of returning the games to the kids and how best to behave as a parent
- The latest on performance and nutrition
- Fun games and exercises to do with your kids to encourage them
- Why most kids burn out on team sports by middle school and how to avoid it
Few athletes embody sportsmanship and fair play as perfectly as Cal Ripken. His advice will inspire confidence in kids and parents alike.