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St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny created a little storm when he was asked to coach a youth baseball team. He said he would only do it if parents and players adhered to Matheny’s principles and goals for the program. The five-page, single-spaced letter he wrote began: “I’ve always said I would coach only a team of orphans. Why? Because the biggest problem in youth sports is the parents.”

The letter went viral and became the source of Matheny’s book,The Matheny Manifesto. Matheny candidly talks about the problems with youth sports today and how to make the experience better for the players. One suggestion is for parents to just attend the games and not berate the participants or even cheer for them. This book also teaches life principles beyond the playing field. Overall, it’s a good read for anybody involved in youth sports or any other youth-related activity. (Crown)

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