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February 21 , 2008

Dark Secrets

Choosing Your Child's Sports Coach


Kirkus Review A competitive runner’s instruction manual for young athletes and their parents. Internationally ranked runner and professional sports advisor Reid, in her debut, presents an upbeat, thoroughly detailed guide for parents who dream of shepherding their children into the world of professional sports—or who already have a child entering that world. Using charts, photos and inspirational quotes, Reid takes her readers through the basics of body growth, nutrition and training practices. She also provides an insider’s look at the process of developing a varied training regimen, maintaining a positive outlook (she points out that most of the worst obstacles a young athlete may face will be mental, not physical), creating a well-balanced diet, and, as the book’s title indicates, researching and selecting the right coach. As a complement to coach selection, she also provides parents with a knowledgeable guide to the various illegal performance-enhancing substances that haunt the professional sports world; the dangers and side effects of steroids, stimulants, diuretics and others are given a complete rundown. The brief book also provides common-sense instructions for more advanced athletes who face the prospect of hiring professional managers. The book’s tone is optimistic and avowedly Christian throughout (many section headings are Biblical quotations), and its focus is highly specialized: Reid admits that her book was “written to encourage you as parents in how to support and guide your upcoming superstar athletes,” and the book shows little interest in young athletes who don’t aspire to “an Olympic or a professional career.” Some parents may object to Reid’s assertion that “without competition, there wouldn’t be sports,” or her declaration that “winning is about an athlete asserting superiority in an event—demonstrating it, publicly.” That said, even parents who primarily want their children to enjoy sports, rather than single-mindedly focus on them, will likely find a wealth of useful information in these pages. A focused, goal-oriented handbook for young pro-sports hopefuls.
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