My dad bought me a book about preparing high school athletes for success. The book is called 6 Steps to Success for High School Student-Athletes and is written by Alonzo Barkley. Barkley is a former college and professional basketball player that now coaches high school in Alabama.
Although my focus is on youth recreational sports – essentially for children younger than high school age, many of the recommendations Barkley makes in his book are still appropriate. As a Christian myself, I also appreciate the value Barkley places on his faith in becoming a successful student athlete. The 6 steps are:
- Placing God First
- Learning How to Respect Authority
- Competing Academically
- Falling in Love with the Sport
- How to Beware of Distractions from Destiny
- Handling Success When it Comes
Steps numbers 2, 4, and 6 are right in line with the Hustle & Attitude methodology. Reading the book reminded me that, even though most youth recreational sports leagues aren’t directly associated with a school; the children that participate are still students and are therefore student-athletes. I will write more in the future about my beliefs with respect to youth recreational sports and the young student-athlete. Step 5 is probably more geared towards a high school athlete in terms of the types of distractions that might tempt a student-athlete.
I recommend this book for middle school and early high school athletes and the coaches and parents who mentor them. There is practical and inspirational guidance that can help them all succeed in sports, academics, and more.