Raising Empowered Athletes: A Youth Sports Parenting Guide for Raising Happy, Brave, and Resilient Kids (Hardcover)
A timely and down-to-earth guide for parents navigating the difficult decisions and extraordinary pressures of youth sports.
Today's youth sports experience provokes countless questions for well-intentioned parents. How young should kids start playing sports? Should they specialize—and when? What should a parent do when their kid is not getting the playing time they think their child deserves? How do parents encourage children without overwhelming them?
And most importantly: how do we ensure our kids both reach their true potential on the playing field, and are well-prepared to be successful in life?
Raising Empowered Athletes has answers for every youth sports situation with an overarching goal of not only helping parents raise strong athletes, but nurture great human beings who are empowered to succeed on and off the playing field.
Nationally recognized performance coach Kirsten Jones—a former Division I athlete herself—covers wide-ranging topics including the origins of today's hyper-competitive environment, what to insist on for your child’s earliest sports experiences, club and travel teams, best approaches to family conversations and goal-setting, and the transition to high school sports.
Delivered in a conversational and compassionate style, Raising Empowered Athletes will resonate with parents, coaches, and administrators alike.
About the Author
Kirsten Jones is a motivational speaker, writer, and Peak Performance Coach. Along with Susie Walton, she is the co-host of the popular #RaisingAthletes Podcast, based in Los Angeles. She previously served as an executive at Nike in both the U.S. and Europe. A former Division I volleyball player herself, Jones is the mother of three college and high school athletes. At games, she sits (heavily) on her hands and holds her tongue.
“I’ve been following Kirsten Jones’s work for years now, and there’s no one better to write about the state of youth sports. She has personal and professional experience navigating the world of sports, and her writing will be a valuable source of research, expertise, and guidance for sports families everywhere.”—Jessica Lahey, New York Times Best-Selling Parenting Author, The Gift of Failure
“Kirsten Jones, a celebrated collegiate athlete and performance coach, provides parents with needed perspective and calm advice for bringing up children in the current overly-professionalized high-pressured world of youth sports.”—Charlie Firestone, President, Rose Bowl Institute
“Having coached athletes at every level from youth to professional, I have witnessed the benefits of psychology in sport. Raising Empowered Athletes is perfect for families who seek to gain an advantage in the modern youth sports era.”—Alex Popp, Postgraduate Basketball Coach at IMG Academy
“Kirsten’s message on grit to our student athletes and parents was so powerful. She gave great insights and simple, clear steps which everyone could put into practice immediately." —Michael Pilawski, Director of Athletics, St Francis High School, Mill Valley, CA
“As a club and high school volleyball coach for the last 30 years, I’ve had the privilege of leading dozens of winning teams. Kirsten was an integral part of guiding our national championship team by helping them develop their mindset off the court so they could play aggressively and fearlessly flow on the court which led us to an unprecedented 36-0 season in 2021.” —Cari Klein, National HS Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year 2021, Marymount High School, Los Angeles, CA
“Kirsten’s expertise in motivating and drawing out the best potential inside others is incredible. She doesn’t just motivate you; she causes you to believe, a believing that perseveres through setbacks. I’m so grateful for her investment in me during a time when I was feeling forgotten after retiring from professional football. Above all, her heart for others is what makes her a tremendous success.” —Derek Cox, Former NFL Cornerback, UCLA MBA '21
“Many athletes and coaches focus on the physical side of the game: lift heavier, practice harder, run faster, often putting the mental side in the backseat. However, I truly believe sports psychology separates the star athletes from the superstar athletes. Kirsten helped me perform to the best of my ability, and she made my senior year of volleyball so much more enjoyable. Though my volleyball career is over, I carry with me the lessons and habits Kirsten taught me as I move forward in life both on and off the court. If you are looking to elevate your game, connect with Kirsten. I am so grateful I did.” —Caitlin Keefe, Stanford '20, NCAA 3x National Champion