The Matheny Manifesto by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and author Jerry B. Jenkins is part memoir and part treatise on how to fix what is wrong with youth sports, namely taking the focus off the fun aspect and the kids themselves and making it all about the parents, the coaches, and winning at all costs.
For Matheny, coaching kids and the big leaguers is all about playing the game of baseball the right way and with class. He tries to instill not just technical baseball skills but also life skills that his players can take off the field and use in their everyday lives: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility.
If you're a coach or a parent of a kid who plays youth sports, this book is for you. You don't even have to coach baseball or have a kid who plays baseball. This philosophy could extend into any sport. You might not agree with everything at first, but there's no denying the positive impact Matheny's approach has had on all players and staff he's worked with.
And I'm not just saying that because I'm from St. Louis, and the Cardinals are my favorite team, and Matheny frequently mentions his baseball buddy and my childhood crush John Mabry.
No, really, my enjoyment of this book has nothing to do with any of that!! It really is a unique and commendable approach to sports that any sports fan, player, coach, umpire, parent, and grandparent can appreciate.
I received a free review copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.