Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Spirit in Football/Baseball by Kathryn Nixon & Ana Boudreau Book Review

Putting Character before Competition

Sometimes, when we think about little league sports, the first thing that comes to mind are pushy coaches and over-competitive parents. However, there are many positive character qualities that children can develop while playing team sports. Kathryn Nixon and Ana Boudreau help to instill these virtues in their two books, The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football. Their books are based on the fruits of the Spirit as seen in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

The Spirit in Baseball applies the fruits of the Spirit to each aspect of playing the game of baseball, such as:
  • I LOVE my teammates. They are my friends. We spend a lot of time in the dugout together!
  • I am PATIENT and happy to wait until it is my turn to bat.
  • I do my best to be GOOD to others. I congratulate the other team if they win the game.
Each of the fruits is introduced by a Scripture verse, followed by the application. The colorful illustrations will draw in young readers, and a tiny fruit has been hidden on every page for the children to seek out. The book also includes words of encouragement from Kathryn’s husband, Trot Nixon, a 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series champion. The Spanish translation, El Espiritu en Beisbol, is also available.
The Spirit in Football focuses on the same virtues and format, but applies the fruits of the Spirit to football. Some examples include:
  • The fans cheered with excitement and JOY as our team scored the first touchdown of the game.
  • If we are upset about a penalty, instead of acting out in anger, God calls us to react with GENTLENESS and respect.
  • We must show SELF-CONTROL by not losing our temper when we are tackled aggressively by the other team.
The Spirit in Football includes a forward by Matt Hasselbeck, NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, encouraging children that “drive and competitiveness should never come before obeying the rules and being a good sport.” 

Both books are great gifts for little league teams or any child who participates in sports. The books include a page for autographs, so parents can buy a copy for every team member and the children can sign each other’s books as a keepsake for years to come. The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football provide a practical way for any parent or coach to apply the fruits of the Spirit in the everyday lives of their children.

The Spirit in Baseball - ISBN: 978-1-9294-7873-6/28 pages/hardcover/$14.99
The Spirit in Football - ISBN: 978-0-6153-8669-0/28 pages/hardcover/$14.99
by Kathryn Nixon & Ana Boudreau
The Spirit in Sports Publishing

Now my thoughts on The Spirit in football and The Spirit in Baseball:

What a wonderful way to teach both boys and girls how to interact with one another as teammates. I don't know about you but, I seem to always hear the ugliness of little leagues sports. It makes me cringe thinking about how parents and kids get while playing sports.

These books are a refreshing way to deal with the competitive nature that sports seems to bring out. I want my children to remember to always put Yeshua (Jesus, Hebrew name) 1st in all things. Yes, winning is fun. Ideally we all want to win every time. That is not the reality when we play sports. How do we deal with losing as a Christian? Remember the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Every page has a scripture on it. They apply to playing sports and how we can apply God's attributes in playing sports.

My daughter started and interesting conversation while we read the books. She wanted to talk about how her brother gets upset when she wins a board game with her brother. We applied some of the same principles from these books to board games. Little Man apologised to his sister for being a bad sport. Don't you love it when a book brings out the heart to heart matters. I know next time when the board games come out I will make sure to have the books close by just in case he forgets. 

These books would be a great gift for the little league coaches. I think any child that has a competitive nature should have these books read to them. The pictures in the books are eye catching. They look like drawings that any kid would draw and color. The pages are thick! I thought at first that the pages were sticking together! 

My sons favorite was The Spirit in Football. He enjoyed both books and wants them kept in his bedroom not in the classroom. Bug liked both books the same. I would have to agree with Bug because I couldn't choose a favorite.

This book has been provided to me my by B&B Media Group, Inc Publisher free of charge and in no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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