Raising A Pro Athlete Review

Raising A Pro Athlete: A Guide For Parents To Understand The Value Of The Time Spent In Youth Sport

By Jacques Ladouceur

I received a free copy of Raising A Pro Athlete from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Raising a Pro Athlete will help parents understand the value of the time spent in youth sports. It’s a helpful tool for parents and coaches to evaluate the progress of a youngster not just in a sport but in their level of confidence in life, their leadership skills, their growth as a person, and the way they relate to others. This is a great tool if you’re a new parent or in the middle stages parenting it provides you with ideas and examples to help you develop a great foundation for your children success in sports and other areas of life.

Raising a Pro Athlete provides insights and information from a former pro athlete that will lead to success of and off the field. This is a step-by-step approach when children say they want to be a pro athlete to help parents understand the process and exactly what it’s to take to reach their dream. The book identifies some key principles in life that can be learned through youth sports.

Summary from Goodreads.

Children tend to look at sports stars and be in awe of what they are capable of. This book, Raising A Pro Athlete, is designed to help aid you in giving your sports interested child their best chance to take their chosen sport as far as they can. As a currently play professional athlete (I am a professional golfer), I also have a unique first hand experience of transitioning from the amateur to professional rankings and can give you y insight as to whether any of the things noted in here I believe may have made a difference for my own development as both a person and a player.

The first thing that I want to note about this book is that I believe that it is focused more on the team sports side of sports, and not the individual sports. To be fair, most sports that young children gravitate towards are the team sports, but some of the teaching points in here are exclusively only applicable to team sports. Like practicing by yourself instead of at the team practice. As a member of a sport team, then yes this is very sound advice (and explained better in the book as to why and how to go about doing so correctly), but in individual sports you only can practice by yourself as it is harder to practice with others. This is where this book falls apart for individual sports, as from my experience, with golf being such a lonely sport I crave being able to have someone to practice with since otherwise it is just me for 4-6 hours a day every day by myself; and I am sure that other individual sports have the same issue.

Other chapters include things like respect, goals, discipline, social skills and nutrition to name a few. While each of these chapters are all valuable things to learn about, not just for sports but for life, a few of the key points that Ladouceur seems to value high, I just do not agree with how he recommends going about implementing them. Now, this may be due to the different up-bringing that we would have had (Ladouceur mentions how his up-bringing did impact how he viewed and acted in his life), but my biggest issue with this book is to let kids be kids. Not every child is going to be motivated to do a sport, not only that, they might only being doing the sport because it was interesting but just want to do it for fun. I do not see how the teachings in this book will help a kid who is just the child version of a ‘weekend warrior’.

I strongly believe that some of the things that Ladouceur mentions in this book, like leadership and motivation, come a lot later on in life that what he implies. I personally know that I did not grow as a person until I was in my early 20’s, I was extremely shy and my parents even tried doing some of the things noted in here to help me with my shyness, to no avail. It wasn’t until I was personally ready to become the confident carefree person who happily can talk in-front of an audience that those changes happened to me. No amount of forcing some children will make them change, they have to discover it themselves, but that is the journey of growing up. All that a parent, and there sport coach, can do is help each child in different ways as they are there own unique person who react to stimuli differently.

Each chapter and what it talks about are certainly all things that all elite athletes should possess, and I certainly encourage any person to take on board some of the teaching here. Things to do with winning and loosing, conflict management, setting an example and having humility are all things that everyone can improve on, but I would recommend for such topics reading more specialised works that can better focus and get into the nitty-gritty of how things are and how to improve. As a athlete, I would recommend Gary Player’s Little Black Book (although he is a golfer, he has such good life experience and advice that anyone can and should listen to), and as a golfer I would recommend any of Doctor Bob Rosella’s psychology books (but the techniques that he mentions are also applicable to all sports). Raising A Pro Athlete is a good jumping off point if you are serious about wanting to help your child in their sports, or even yourself.

While Raising A Pro Athlete overall has a good idea as to how to aid young children in becoming an athlete, I cannot recommend it to a parent of a young child who has no prior knowledge of elite sport. If you are a parent who has played elite sport then this will only put into word exactly what you know, but if you do not understand the reasoning behind what is said, then it would be very easy to misinterpret and take overboard some very sound advice.

2/5

Have you read Raising A Pro Athlete? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Check it out on Goodreads here.

Purchase it on Amazon here.

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