I’m not exactly the type person you want to take to the movies or ask to join your book club because I’m overly critical. While others were raving about 50 Shades of Grey, I just couldn’t get past the horrendous writing style. (No, that’s not a baseball instruction guide. Just one of a million books I’ve mercilessly picked apart.)
Given my tendency toward hyper-criticism, I like to think that authors shudder and rush out to refill their Valium prescriptions upon learning that I’ll be reviewing one of their books. (Though, no one’s admitted this yet.)
I just finished Game Changer by Michael McCree. Published last year, it’s a 160 page, easy-to-digest manual for parenting ball players. This book is strikingly similar to the one I was going to start writing any day now. Covering everything from how to choose a bat to having the right attitude, it’s a must-read for both rookie and veteran baseball parents alike.
As a mom who’s spent countless hours at ballparks, celebrating my sons’ victories and lamenting their losses, I’ve had to learn everything on the fly. I wish Game Changer had been around for me to read 10 years ago. And then to read again as a refresher in February or March each following year.
McCree’s thorough and well-thought out guidance addresses pretty much every baseball related parenting situation you’ll find yourself in. While I hope I’m not giving away too much, I do want to show you that this book is WAAAAAYYYYYY more than just another guide for moms and dads of athletes.
Here are some of the things I highlighted in my copy of Game Changer. Are they spot on or what?!
– (on staying positive and acting with class) “The best way for children to learn sportsmanship is through the parent. When parents act with dignity and respect toward other team parents, umpires, coaches and players, the player then begins to gradually understand how to conduct himself. ”
– (on not freaking out when your kid keeps striking out) “Slumps are merely impossible to avoid and are an inescapable part of baseball. A misunderstanding of this truth could cause frustration and confusion.”
– (on learning different positions) “As a player gets older, he possesses more added value in the eyes of coaches, scouts and recruiters if he can play many positions well.”
– (on responding to losses) “It’s the parent that sets the tone when it comes to whether or not the child responds in a continuously negative way. The pain of a loss should only be temporary and short-lived.”
– (on dealing with a nervous player) “Show compassion and let them know that you understand how they’re feeling. Remind them of their previous successes.”
– (on dealing with injuries, a super important chapter) “Although it’s very understandable to “ride the horse” (a player who figuratively carries his team on his back) usually no real thought is given to that player’s well-being in the future. It is in the best interest of the parents-and the players-to set forth a firm pitch count. ”
– (on why I won’t complain anymore when the TV is always turned to MLB network) “Watching professional players in action is the best non-physical way to stimulate growth in the development of a baseball player.”
-(on personal development) “Youth athletic involvement is an essential tool in the refinement of character.”
I could keep going, but I won’t; because if I did, you might not feel the need read it. Trust me. Having all this information and guidance in one place is worth much more than $13.39 for paperback or $7.99 on Kindle.
As much as I hate to admit it, it’s probably much better that Michael McCree wrote this baseball parenting guide…rather than me. McCree isn’t simply a former college baseball player. He’s coached hundreds of players through private and team training. And he’s got a widespread following as an instructor and coach. (That’s a little more than I can say for myself.)
To check out Game Changer for yourself, click one of the links throughout this post. They’ll take you to Amazon.
(The author of this post received no monetary compensation for her opinion. And she STILL wrote lots of positive things. Boy, she must really like the book.)
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