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Game on? A Coach Takes a Critical Look at Girls' Sports

A long-time coach and former athlete exposes the dark side of girls' sports and the high cost of winning.

Contact: Mike Dworak, 719-867-2768

COLORADO SPRINGS, Feb. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Grueling practices, long hours sacrificed to the sports god, and a win-at-all-costs mentality are just a few of the challenges girls and their parents can expect from the hyper-competitive world of youth sports.

"At the more advanced levels of competition (high school and beyond) girls are expected to be more mentally tough, emotionless, hard-nosed, dominating, thick-skinned, businesslike, and battle-ready. Many programs have a win-at-all-costs mentality and a military-like hierarchy," observes Holly Page, a former basketball player who has been involved in competitive athletics for 27 years as a coach and P.E. instructor.

In "God's Girls in Sports" (Authentic Publishing, March, paper, $16.99, ISBN: 9781934068830), Page takes a hard, objective look at the hyper-competitive world of girls' sports. Readers learn how youth sports evolved from fun, casual activities into a calculated business that holds kids hostage to coaches' careers and school reputations.

"To earn ... a college scholarship, today's high school athletes must spend every waking moment preparing, practicing, playing, or traveling to games, tournaments, clinics, camps, or private lessons," Page writes. "All elite athletes now play 24/7/365."

According to the long-time coach, place a girl in this environment and she's likely to burn out on sports or develop negative traits such as aggression, arrogance or poor self-esteem, inattention to academics, and loss of fervor for God.

Yet, athletics can have physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits, Page says. In "God's Girls in Sports," Page gives practical advice on how to guide girls in finding sports suited to their temperament, what to expect from intramural sports, how to communicate with coaches, and when it's OK to quit a team.

Although "God's Girls in Sports" primarily deals with girls' issues, it includes a chapter on challenges boys in sports face and a section for coaches. Page's thoughtful, balanced approach makes this Authentic Publishing title an ideal guide for parents to the complex and often-rigorous world of youth sports.

About Authentic Publishing
Authentic Publishing publishes scripturally rooted and culturally relevant resources that engage the global community in issues of life, ministry, and evangelism. Authentic Publishing is a division of IBS-STL Global. For more information, visit
www.ibsdirect.com.