Changing the Game: Parent's Guide to Raising Happy, High Perform

Conventional wisdom holds that youth sports are a positive experience for our children. Unfortunately, 70% of kids drop out of organized athletics by the age of 13. Most of these children quit because our youth sports culture has taken the ‘play’ out of ‘play ball.’ A shift in values, the rise of expensive youth sports models, and the myth of abundant athletic scholarships has led parents and coaches to focus on wins instead of enjoyment, and trophies at the expense of development. As a result, every day increasing numbers of children quit playing sports that are no longer enjoyable. Conventional wisdom is wrong.

In Changing the Game, John O’Sullivan draws upon three decades of high level playing and coaching experience to take us behind the scenes of competitive youth sports, and demonstrates how they have changed from being a fun pastime to an ultra competitive, adult centered enterprise that is failing our children. He then teaches parents that the secret to raising happy, high performing children begins by helping them attain a positive mindset, and an enjoyable youth sports environment. By following seven actionable principles of high performance, parents can give their children a competitive edge, while at the same time making youth sports a positive experience for their family, their community, and their country.

“The romance is gone, the fun has disappeared, and children no longer simply ‘play’ sports,” says O’Sullivan. Changing the Game is a call to action to reverse this trend. It will change how you think about youth sports. It will teach you the secrets of high performance. It will help your children to perform better. And it will put the “play” back in “play ball” for all of our young athletes. Are you ready to take action? Are you ready to change the game?

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

  • I am interested in learning how to be a better sports parent with my sons, and found this book to be everything I could have asked for. I found myself guilty of a lot of the habits of overbearing parents, and realize that I need to release my sons to the game. I also must be the change I want to see in and around the sports club environment in my neighborhood, where competition is stressed before development. Consistent skills development builds confidence, consistent confidence prepares for competition. A great read!
  • This will change your approach to sports and may build a great relationship with your child along the way!
  • The insights in this book are so powerful that they were life-changing for me. I no longer worry about my son's development. I've always been pretty relaxed about his participation in team sports, but I have to admit there've been times when I've been frustrated by his inability to pick up a particular skill or technique--not because I think he'll be an all-star, but because I don't want him to be excluded. Understanding youth neurological development and the uneven pace at which kids learn has taken away that my anxiety and allowed me to be 100% okay with where he's at.
  • "Changing the Game" is an excellent book for coaches and parents of athletes. John O'Sullivan has hit the nail on the head when it comes to explaining the myriad problems we face in youth and school sports. He then gives ideas as to ways we can fix the problems, so we can give kids their games back, and they can have positive experiences through sport. O'Sullivan backs up his points and suggestions with research from a variety of sources. His writing is succinct, direct, and easy-to-understand. I wish every adult involved in youth sports from coaches to parents to league administrators would read "Changing the Game." As a high school coach, middle school coach, youth coach, former high school athletic director, and current presenter for Proactive Coaching, I have heard, read, and written a large amount of material on this subject. "Changing the Game" is as good as it gets. I am recommending it at every pre-season parent/athlete/coach meeting I am involved in.
Changing the Game: Parent\'s Guide to Raising Happy, High Perform