Read These

As an English major/former Language Arts teacher, I believe in reading for multiple purposes (and try to practice what I preach!).  Here are some of the things I’ve read related to youth sports that I recommend to anyone who’s interested in reading varied opinions. ***This list is ever growing!

Parents:
*Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, by Tim Elmore
*Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults, by Tim Elmore
– Tim Elmore has some fascinating research about the differences between today’s kids and how today’s parents/coaches/adults were raised.   There are a lot of similarities between the two books.  If you were going to start with one, I’d suggest Generation iY.
*12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid, by Tim Elmore
*Game On: How the Pressure to Win at All Costs Endangers Youth Sports, and What Parents Can Do About
It, by Tom Farrey
*Changing the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids, by John O’Sullivan
*Crazy-Proofing High School Sports, by John E. Tufte (Dr. Tufte is a professor/author/speaker based out of Bismarck who gathered much of his research in this region.)
*I Love to Watch You Play  – website operated by Alex Flanagan and Asia Mape, both of whom have spent a ton of time around sports as media members before becoming sports moms themselves.  There are some great resources here.
*Let Them Play, by Jerry Lynch

Coaches:
*The first two Elmore books listed above, also his Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes.  Habitudes is a four book series separated into leadership, communication, leading, and changing culture.
*Leadership 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know, by John C. Maxwell (or pretty much anything else Maxwell has written).
*Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks For a Better Life, by John Wooden and Jay Carty
*A Coach’s Influence: Beyond the Game, by Grant Teaff
*3D Coach, by Jeff Duke with Chad Bonham
*Sometimes you Win; Sometimes you Learn, by John C. Maxwell (If you’re an avid reader of Maxwell’s work, you can skip this one; it’s mostly just a new summary of his previous work.)
*Let Them Play, by Jerry Lynch

Students:
*The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen Covey
*Developing the Leader Within You, by John C Maxwell
*Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life, by Tony Dungy
*Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance, by Tony Dungy
– Interested in learning how to compete the “right” way?  Look no further than Coach Dungy!

Me:  The English teacher in me always feels the need to share what I am and have been reading for my own personal growth and/or entertainment.
*Currently – The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Control, 1880-1930, by Robert Pruter.  Pruter has written a research based study on the growth of high school sports from student run clubs in the 1800s to the formation of the national federation in the 1930s with a step by step look at how high schools sports became dominated by adult control.  This appeals to the history nerd in me.

My Previous Five:
Let Them Play, by Jerry Lynch; Peak: Secrets From The New Science of Expertise, by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool; and Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell.  All three of these are guiding texts for my dissertation work.  The Ericsson and Gladwell texts speak about the necessity of purposeful practice and anyone’s ability to become an expert.  The Lynch book is an excellent guideline for coaches and sports parents alike about letting kids get back to just playing again.
If I Did It, by OJ Simpson.  I was a high school kid when these murders took place, so I couldn’t understand the situation beyond that it involved a famous football player.  The FX tv series re-sparked my interest, and I’ve since watched the entire original trial, the civil trial, the ESPN 30 for 30, and several other mini-documentaries and commentaries.  I also, of course, bought 5 books about the murders.  This is the first one of those five that I’ve read, and I’m not sure how I felt about it.  It’s an odd mix of confession, lying, avoidance, misplaced attempted persuasion, and pure arrogance.  I’m glad I read it though I’m not sure what I expected to get from it.  At any rate, I’m looking forward to picking through the other books, too.
Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution by Brian Kenny.  Kenny is a talking head from MLB Network.  This text discusses how slow baseball has been to change its methods and thinking within the game.  It appears to be more critical than anything else, but I enjoy the progressive movement in recent baseball front office thinking.
The Original Curse:  Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth’s Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal?, by Sean Deveney. As a lifelong (suffering) Cubs fan, the title of this interested me (and it was only $2 on an Amazon Kindle deal!).  The author digs into the series before the 1919 scandal to see if the Cubs were involved in a similar gambling ring the year before the White Sox were caught…pretty convincing evidence.  It was a fun read.
The Bullpen Gospels: A Non-Prospect’s Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life, by Dirk Hayhurst.  Hayhurst was a lifelong minor league pitcher (with a brief cup of coffee in the bigs) chasing after the ultimate baseball dream.  He’s an interesting read – concise, opinionated, and a good story teller.  I’m looking forward to reading his other stuff.