Here’s one thing I love about writing: There’s just no end to the number of creative ideas that people can come up with for breakthrough books. This is exactly how I felt when I heard that my friend and mentor Coach Mike Tully had teamed up with a dynamic young coach named Vanessa Sullivan to write Was It Something I Said? A Guide to Coaching Female Athletes.
What an inspired idea! Take a seasoned coach with more than 15 years of training young female athletes like Coach Tully and a gifted female athlete and collegiate coach like Coach Sullivan and have them trade insights and share their perspectives. The result? An easy-to-read guide that promises to help other coaches do a more skillful, sensitive job of managing their female teams.
Just think about all the games, all the adrenalin surges, all the wins and losses, all the opportunities for learning from mistakes and improving that are happening every day in gyms and sports fields across the country — and around the world. And yet, so much youthful energy and potential is lost or misspent because many coaches don’t understand that “Girls are different, not weaker.” But here’s the good news: There’s help at hand! And it comes in the form of a how-to guide that you can read in a few hours.
What a gift — to kids, to trainers, to parents! And it all came about because two creative thinkers who’d wrestled with a problem and found some solutions began trading ideas. Then they took their sharing a step further by pooling their experience and knowledge, and putting it on paper so others could benefit from it. From this a new book was born.
Was It Something I Said offered me three things that I really value in a how-to book:
It challenged me: It made me think about gender dynamics in a fresh new context.
It enriched me: I have a new appreciation for what both coaches and young athletes experience in forging a team and coping with the pressures of competition.
It helped me: It inspired me to think about my novel’s young heroine and ways she might be misunderstood by the men and boys around her — and how she might react to situations more realistically. It also made me think of the knight who’s training her as a kind of blundering coach — intriguing!
Amazing, isn’t it, how books can expand our horizons? For more on Was It Something I Said?, visit Amazon. Bravo, Vanessa and Mike — write on!