LORDS OF THE LOCKER ROOM: The American Way of Coaching and Its Impact on Youth by Martin Ralbovsky

LORDS OF THE LOCKER ROOM: The American Way of Coaching and Its Impact on Youth

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Age Range: 9 - 19
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Coaches abuse their power and, subsequently, their young players. . . . Coaches in America have become too fanatical about winning games."" Such views are carried over from the author's recent Destiny's Darlings (KR, p. 170) and onto the playing fields where the ""lords"" often wield ""dictatorial power."" This work -- a cogent indictment of what's wrong with the various levels of non-professional sports activities -- is addressed not only to society's coaching mentors, but also to the parents of the nine million boys, aged 9-19, who engage in high school athletics, Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, Biddy League basketball and the like. Ralbovsky censures coaches who let their players die of heat stroke and dehydration (16-20 young footballers annually) and those who permit their teen-age pitchers to throw a curve ball and thus risk permanent elbow damage. . .coaches who incite riots at basketball games and those whose emphasis on physical violence may harm the youngster psychologically. Other justly criticized aspects of the system include the dehumanizing ""ordeal"" of college recruiting and the peer-group pressure exerted on athletes to make them conform. What the author recommends -- the repopularized game of soccer, greater medical supervision including certified trainers, and the parents' responsibility to evaluate their son's abilities as well as the coach's -- is unarguably sound advice. Whether to give games back to the kids or give the kids to the Dons, it's mostly a matter of principal, i.e., capital.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1974
Publisher: Peter H. Wyden -- dist. by McKay