The Young Athlete's Guide to Playing Sports

"...captures the essential balance of fun and learning for all."

Dave Littlefield, GM 2001-2007, PITTSBURGH PIRATES
What Athletes and Sports Parents Want! Play Smarter. Compete Better. Have Fun.
My new book, The Young Athlete's Guide to Playing Sports: What Every Athlete Needs to Know to Play, Win, and Have Funis now available on Amazon.

A Guide For Athletes and their Parents
The Young Athlete’s Guide to Playing Sports includes inside tips, techniques and approaches that will help any player, in any sport, improve his or her game.

Not simply another general book that discusses conditioning or sports psychology, The Young Athlete’s Guide to Playing Sports digs into the specific player behaviors that lead either to success or failure:

  • How can you move and react quicker?
  • How can you compensate for your physical limitations?
  • In any sport, what tactics help you gain advantage?
  • What behavior causes other players to not want to play with you?
  • What key qualities do coaches look for in their players?

Besides offering dozens of practical tips on how to improve your play, this book will also help you better understand your relationship with sports. You will discover how to balance competition and fun, select the right sports, find your unique path to success, and prepare yourself for a lifetime of enjoying sports.

This book is also a valuable guide for parents. Not only does this book help parents understand the keys to a great youth sports experience, but it also provides them with a tool for teaching their young child sports fundamentals. Parents can paraphrase the book’s tips and techniques and incorporate this information into their personal instruction. Likewise, parent coaches will find the instructional advice helpful. A chapter titled “What a Coach Wants” will help beginning coaches better understand how to evaluate a young player and use team roles to help each player succeed.

Praise for The Young Athlete's Guide to Playing Sports
“As an intercollegiate athletic director at Colgate and Northwestern for over 16 years, I saw first-hand many of the problems associated with youth sports, including over involved parents and entitled athletes. Jeff Rhoads has written a book that will be a big help in improving youth sports. Jeff focuses on the benefits the athlete gains through participation, not the long shot chances of an athlete earning a scholarship or becoming a professional. Jeff and I grew up together (outside of Buffalo) playing pick-up basketball games, and I know that he fully understands the benefits of youth sports done the right way. ”

–Mark H. Murphy,
President & CEO,

“In the Young Athlete's Guide to Playing Sports, Jeff does a wonderful job guiding the young athlete, youth coaches and parents through a wide range of training drills, positive mental concepts and life experiences. Most importantly, he captures the essential balance of fun and learning for all.”

–Dave Littlefield,
General Manager 2001-2007,

“The Young Athlete’s Guide to Playing Sports offers an excellent introduction for kids who want to play a sport or for the player already on the team who wants to get better. The Guide is also a must read for parents and coaches as it outlines the balance required to help young athletes build a healthy, fun, and successful sports experience.”

–David Stevenson,
President & CEO,

“As an Athletic Director, basketball coach, and parent, I found Jeff’s book refreshing and a must read for young athletes, parents and coaches. Jeff identifies that young athletes are not the same and gives them specific guidance and tools to achieve success. As a high school and college basketball coach for over 30 years, I have found that many coaches and players continually get caught in the one size fits all concept. Jeff’s straightforward examples and advice are outstanding and tend to get overlooked in today’s youth sport society.”

–Michael Mastroianni,
Athletic Director &
Head Boys Basketball Coach,

The Young Athlete's Guide to Playing Sports Presents a Positive Approach to Competing and Winning.
If you're affiliated with an organization that is interested in distributing this book to your member community, substantial discounts are available. Please contact for more information.

View the brochure: PDF file

Here's the book's back cover: