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Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports Paperback – Bargain Price, September 5, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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As the mother of triplet boys, de Lench knows plenty about being a spectator at youth sports events. What she offers here is a thoughtful account of how mothers can use the strengths they routinely engender in their children at home to help them succeed on the field, on the court, or in the pool. She makes a good case for more motherly involvement in youth sports, noting that while mothers are naturally intuitive, even-tempered, and caring, they don't necessarily have to sacrifice all the elements that make sports such a male-dominated endeavor, such as competition, drive, and tenacity. De Lench outlines her strategies for Mom-involvement clearly and includes helpful chapters on coaching girls, dealing with abuse, avoiding injuries, making sound nutritional choices, and other common topics sure to be helpful to parents of sports-playing kids. Some of her rules might be a little inflexible (such as allowing only three hours of practice per week for children under 12), but all families will find something useful in this valuable book. For parents and coaches of children of all ages. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Her stories refresh my hope for the future of youth sports. Her book is just what sports moms desperately need. (Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Ph.D., author of RAISING WINNERS )

This immensely readable book assembles brilliantly the most important lessons learned from parents, respected athletes, educators, physicians, trainers and coaches. (Eli Newberger, M.D., Professor at Harvard Medical School and author of THE MEN THEY WILL BECOME )

An invaluable resource...superbly informative and educational...for not only every sports mom, but educator and parent as well. (Robert C. Cantu, M.D., Neurosurgeon, Co-Director Neurological Sports Injury Center Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. Author of Neurological Head and Spine Injuries. )

A book every family needs to have and utilize to keep their children safe and off the field. (David Janda, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon, Director of the Institute of Preventative Sports Medicine. )

For those with a stake in those children who are involved in sports, de Lench is important reading. (Paul Bearmon, M.D., Emergency Room Physician, President of "Keep 'em All Playing" )

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060881631
  • ASIN: B001G8WPWG
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,267,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When my wife bought this book I was intrigued. I was one of those guys who thought that it was up to mothers to drive their kids back and forth to and from sports, pack snacks and fundraise but that was about it. After reading Home Team Advantage, I realized I was dead wrong: there is a whole lot moms can and should be doing beyond simply chauffeurs; that perhaps if we included womens's perspective, our kids would be having more fun playing sports. I am the director of a youth football league and will encourage all of the coaches to read this book-- simply put it is a blueprint for a succesful season.
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i got this for my wife. she is already very involved and i thought this would do 2 things; confirm her hard work and appreciation from both our kids and their teammates, myself and other parents by showing how important she is; and possibly give her some additional ideas and support from other moms who put so much time and energy into their kids activities (not limited to sports but things like band, scouts, and other things). we are already doing a lot of things in the book and it is nice to see that she is contributing to the lives of not just our kids, but many others. this would be a great book for someone with small children just getting into sports or other activites to give some insight on what to really expect as far as time and committment, but also what a truly important role you can play in the developement of your children. you can't beat the price and it shipped very quick.
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Format: Paperback
We all hear about the sports moms who spend most of their time chasing after and picking up their kids. But what IS the role of all those mothers of kids in youth sports?

In HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE: THE CRITICAL ROLE OF MOTHERS IN YOUTH SPORTS, Brooke de Lench looks beyond the minivan-chauffeuring, frazzled women behind children's athletics. In this culmination of experience and research, de Lench examines everything from when to register kids for sports to how to handle bad coaching situations.

This wonderful resource is divided into three major sections: "Part I: The Role of Sports Mothers in the Family"; "Part II: Sports Mothers, Coaches, and Other Parents"; and "Part III: What Mothers Can Do to Reform Youth Sports."

Part I steps mothers through the process of getting children started in sports. Knowing what sport(s) to register your child in is just as important as determining a good age to begin. Also discussed are differences between boys and girls, the need for balancing family schedules, preventing abuse, and dealing with injuries and injury prevention.

Part II addresses the ever-growing concerns over abusive coaches and parents, as well as ways to handle such situations.

Part III gives great tips for mothers (and fathers) to advocate for their kids. Mothers can and should take active roles in their kids' sports. Besides driving and providing snacks, there are many more ways to contribute, even if a mom is a busy professional.

The material in this book is concise and well written. Some themes are repeated throughout the book, but these are important ideas that cannot be expressed enough (such as whether the kids are having fun, safety, and so on).
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Format: Paperback
As a mother of two sports-active children and a school nurse my reaction after reading this book was, "It's about time!" First, it is the first sports parenting book I have read written by a mother specifically for sports mothers. Second, no other book of its kind is as well-researched (just one look at the twenty-page long bibliography shows that the author has really done her homework!). Third, it is covers all the bases and discusses all the hot button issues (cutting, elite teams, early specialization, how to talk to a coach etc.). It gives moms practical advice in clear, concise, easy-to-read terms on how to make her child's sports experience safe and fun-filled (as a nurse, I was particularly impressed with the chapter on safety). But, fourth, and most importantly, it looks at the crisis in youth sports - the win-at-all costs attitude, the cutthroat competition for spots on elite and high school teams, the epidemic of overuse injuries, the rising tide of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of youth athletes - in a new way. Instead of seeing parents as the problem, de Lench sees parents, particularly mothers, as the solution. She argues, convincingly in my view, that if more mothers were coaches, more mothers were on boards of directors, the culture of youth sports would change for the better. This book just may be the "Call to Arms" that sports mothers need.
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As a professional who has worked with hundreds of youth athletes, I can tell you that there is much more than what meets the eye in your child's participation in sports. The author leaves nothing out and has filled out my knowledge of what a young athlete goes through, how they think, and how we as adults can best help them use sports as a vehicle for growth and learning.
I have read a lot of books in this genre and Home Team Advantage is by far my favorite. I refer to it often.
Craig Sigl, the teen mental toughness trainer
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