I’m not a huge baseball fan but I am a fan of my two boys. I know that over the next upteen years I’ll be a sports mom for several seasons. When I was offered the chance to read, The Matheny Manifesto, I was really interested because I’m always forward to learning more and I figured that it would share more about sports. I realized that like the full title says this book is really about more than sports. That’s exactly why I enjoyed it so much. It really aligns with my perspective on children’s activities, not just sports and was a great reminder to hold fast to my beliefs.
Before we had kids, my husband and I said that our kids would participate in an art (music, dance, drawing) and sport each year. We also said anything they started, they’d have to finish. When we outlined this plan, we were thinking about the well-rounded children we wanted to raise. With this in mind, we started our 3 year old in t-ball.
Our son loved it and it was a good experience for our family. He paid attention and I think got down the fundamentals of the game. Most of all, he had fun. His friends not so much. They would run all over the field, get upset if they weren’t the ones who got the ball and just acted like 3 year olds. The worst was another little boy on his team who cried through the whole game, every week! It was horrible because the parents would make him go to bat crying, into the field crying and I mean huge tears with loud cries that would echo across the fields…. We’d all have to wait for the parents to threaten him into participating at every turn. It was no fun for him and even made observers uncomfortable.
I wish these parents would have read this book because Mike Matheny’s philosophy is grounded in kids having fun at sports and developing into humans with strong character. Those parents of the crier missed it big time. I know it might have been a waste of their money to remove their child from the season but it would have showed him a little compassion. I want my child to know that I have their best interests at heart from the very beginning. What I saw from those parent’s wasn’t that. I’m not sure why they kept their child in but he wasn’t having fun or happy.
For me, a key in raising healthy children is their emotional wellbeing. It’s so easy in our competitive culture to want your child to be the best and give them every advantage in the world (like we thought we were doing by starting our son in sports at age 3!) However, maybe the best advantage we can give them is our love and silence. Mike makes this point in the book. It’s not what it sounds like and I really encourage you to read the book to learn more yourself. You can purchase on Amazon by clicking here.
This post was inspired by The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny. St. Louis Cardinals manager Matheny shares his tough-love philosophy for children’s team sports that translate to everyday life. Join From Left to Write on February 12th as we discuss The Matheny Manifesto. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.