John O'Sullivan - Changing the Game Project

Changing the Game: The Parent's Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids

by John O'Sullivan

Book Review

I highly recommend this book for parents, especially if you think your child is a sports superstar (regardless of if they really are or not). If you haven't heard yet, close to 75% of children quit sports either before or by age 15. I didn't know it was that high until I read this book. The #1 reason kids quit sports is because they are not having fun. So who are the fun killers? Perhaps you should look at yourself (Dad or Mom or Coach).

As a parent of two children (1 boy and 1 girl) who both play sports this book opened my eyes to some of my own misbehavior and offers invaluable insight for any sports parent in my opinion. The worst thing that could happen to my child isn't having a bad game on Saturday, it would be for them to quit sports altogether for the rest of their life because of me their Dad.

This book contains tons of great information and advice, for example: don't spend all of your family vacations going to sport tournaments, yes everyone else on the team is probably going but you don't have to, you could take your family to Disney Land instead, everyone will have a great time and that includes your star child athlete. This book will give parents the confidence they need to make decisions that are in the best "long term" interest of their child, not the coaches ambitions to win the U10 tournament.

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Joe Paterno

John O'Sullivan, "I have always loved this quote from the late Joe Paterno":

"There are many people, particularly in sports, who think that success and excellence are the same thing. They are not the same thing. Excellence is something that is lasting and dependable and largely within a person's control. In contrast, success is perishable and is often outside of control. If you strive for excellence, you will probably be successful eventually. People who put excellence in the first place have the patience to end up with success. An additional burden for the victim of the success mentality is that he is threatened by the success of others and he resents real excellence. In contrast, the person that is fascinated by quality is excited when he sees it in others."

Joe Paterno sometimes referred to as "JoePa", was an American college football player, athletic director, and coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011.

John O'Sullivan's new venture

The enemy of excellence in youth sports is the obsession with winning.