Book Review: The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny

NOTE: I was sent a pre-release review copy of The Matheny Manifesto with no expectation of review. However, I was so impressed with the book, I knew I would write a review in hope that more people would be exposed to his philosophy and principles of coaching and life.

I was pleasantly surprised by The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny. I was sent a review copy, but the book is not of a genre I would usually read. However, since the publisher was kind enough to send me the book, I decided I would read it.

I assumed the book was a biography. While Matheny uses experience from his journey through baseball to illustrate how his coaching style has been formed and shaped, the book really isn’t a biography. The book outlines Matheny’s view on coaching, youth sports, parental involvement, and what it means to be successful in sports and life.

I have not followed baseball since around 1990 or so. Some of the names Matheny refers to were familiar, but many were not. Knowing more about the sport would have been helpful, but knowledge of current baseball players isn’t needed. So, do not think you need to be a baseball fan to enjoy this book.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who has kids or grand kids in sports, coaches who want to win with class, or anyone who is interested in how Matheny was able to incorporate his faith in his coaching. Matheny is spot on in his assessment of how we play sports, teach sports, and watch sports. We need more coaches and parents who embrace his “Manifesto” and the way he approaches coaching and sports.

The section concerning umpires had the greatest impact on me. I am not always quiet when I sit in the stands and if I believe the ref missed something, I will let him or her know. Matheny reminded me to look beyond the uniform and see the person who is not perfect and is probably doing the best they can. I appreciated his candor and his compassion.

I am so impressed with this book that I am planning on purchasing a copy as a gift for my son’s high school basketball coach. I experience first hand what Matheny is trying to combat. It is time to play the game with class and Mike Matheny is leading the way. I’m also going to recommend it to some of my friends who are St. Louis Cardinal fans.

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