Review by Heather
Softball Mom’s Survival Guide: How you and your daughter can be winners in softball was written by Janis B. Meredith, a softball mom who raised 3 children. It is a survival guide that was written with the single purpose of helping both you and your daughter be winners in softball…or many other sports, hobbies, etc…
“The tips and suggestions in this book vary from the practical – safety, nutrition, sports equipment – to the emotional – team drama, mental toughness, dealing with Dad.”
When I first started reading Meredith’s book I had a difficult time getting into it. It is an easy read packed full of information but I’ve never played softball, not even for fun. I couldn’t figure out how in the world I was going to identify with anyone in the book. Then it occurred to me that I was looking at this all wrong.
I grew up playing soccer and my dad was often the coach. As I got older I transitioned to playing soccer and volleyball and the sports world became a lot more competitive. There was a point in time when I was playing both soccer and volleyball at the same time, I was conditioning for both, and suffered a number of injuries. When I moved away from playing sports I transitioned into coaching. I coached volleyball, a young girl’s team, for a year and was nicely asked not to return because “I was too competitive.” Now, I am a mommy and an aunt, which means I sit on the sidelines cheering, wringing my hands, and sometimes cussing in whispers. While my 3 year old daughter is still too young for true competitive sports (thank goodness), my 10 year old niece is not. She plays volleyball and my sister is her coach.
As I read Meredith’s book I started flashing back to my experiences playing sports. Once I travelled through my personal journey I started focusing on how things must look and feel to my 10 year old niece as she stands on the volleyball court.
My parents didn’t grow up playing sports, they grew up in homes where the goal was putting food on the table; extracurricular activities were a luxury that their parents simply could not afford. You’re probably wondering what that has to do with a book about softball….nothing and everything. Since my parents did not have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, girl scouts, etc… they wanted to make sure my two sisters and I had every opportunity that could be afforded to us. They worked overtime and dad did side jobs to make sure they had money to pay the needed fees. I am extremely thankful for the things that I did not miss out on!
The flip side of things, since mom and dad didn’t take part in sporting events growing up they didn’t learn the umm…hmmm….proper “etiquette” that is supposed to go along with the territory of being a sports parent. I remember, vividly, numerous times when mom and dad were standing on the sidelines screaming….or the time when dad got into a verbal confrontation with the coach about my lack of play time… yeah… you get the picture. This behavior is something that stuck with me; it is now ingrained in my memory and something that I have even seen bubble out of me while at sporting events for my niece.
If I am being honest with myself, my family has probably committed every single faux pas recognized by the National Sports Federation …. I’m not really sure there is such a federation, I’m rambling… and I’m sure we will again. When I was growing up and playing sports my family didn’t focus on proper nutrition for an athlete, the importance of warming up or post game maintenance, and if there was drama…which there constantly was…it was swept under a rug never to be visited again. In other words, it was nothing like the things that Meredith discussed in her book.
I plan on holding on to Meredith’s book and pulling it out when my daughter starts playing sports. I think there are a number of “lessons learned” and helpful suggestions that will help me grow into the sports momma that I want to be.
Meredith’s book provides a number of tips and suggestions that would prove helpful to parents new to the sports scene. Her book could also benefit “lifers” that need a reminder about what is important when it comes to extracurricular activities such as softball….soccer….music….art…etc…
As the book comes to a close, Meredith touches upon how our children see themselves and how we see our children. She relays a message that I feel is important and worth repeating:
“If we start teaching our daughters when they are young that we love them for who they are, not what they do or how they perform, then we are nurturing in them a true, healthy personal definition. As we praise effort and character growth instead of performance, we build in them an understanding that allows them to define themselves by something deeper than their athletic or musical or artistic – or whatever it is they do – ability.”
This too is something that may prove helpful to those in the sports scene both new and old.
You can pick up a copy of this book HERE.
Janis B. Meredith provided me with a complimentary copy of her e-book, Softball Mom’s Survival Guide: How you and your daughter can be winners in softball, for the purpose of review. Please note, the opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive review.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.