It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
In December 2015, Zac Easter, a twenty-four-year-old from small-town Iowa, decided to take his own life rather than continue his losing battle against the traumatic brain injuries he had sustained as a no-holds-barred high school football player. Author Forgave explores Zac's tight-knit, football-obsessed Midwestern community; he interviews leading brain scientists, psychologists, and sports historians; and he takes a deep dive into the triumphs and sins of the sports entertainment industry. Love, Zac is a warning to parents and those entrusted with the care of our kids not to ignore concussions and warning signs of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe "The Black Mamba" Bryant has decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary "Mamba mentality." Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it "the right way," In his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They'll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career. Bryant's detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein, NBA official photographer. The combination of Bryant's narrative and Bernstein's photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world's most celebrated and fascinating athletes.
Athleticism and hard work are central to athletic performance. Various physical forces and biomechanical factors also help determine speed, stamina, accuracy, and more. The Science and Technology of Track & Field shows how science and technology shape and sometimes alter athletic achievement.
Publication Date: Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2018. xi, 123 p.
Description: Explores the effects of organized sports on children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Erdal provides readers with empirically supported best practices and debunks a number of myths that surround children's organized sports. (publ.)
Publication Date: Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2018. viii, 183 p.
Reviewed: CHE 6 Aug. 2019 (author op/ed.; online) Description: Professional athletes suffer tremendous damage to their bodies over the course of their careers. Some literally lose years from their lives because of their injuries. Why do athletes sacrifice themselves? Is it the price of being a professional? Is it all for the fans, or the money? What’s clear is that the physical and emotional tolls of being a professional athlete may not be worthwhile. Nathan Kalman-Lamb takes us into the world of professional hockey players to illustrate how money, consumerism and fandom contribute to the life-altering injuries of professional athletes. Unlike many critical takes on professional sports, Kalman-Lamb illustrates how the harm suffered by the athlete is a necessary part of what makes professional sport a desirable commodity for the consuming fan. In an economic system–capitalism–that deprives people of meaning because of its inherent drive to turn everyone into individuals and everything into commodities, sports fandom produces a feeling of community. But there is a cost to producing this meaning and community, and it is paid through the sacrifice of the athlete’s body. Drawing on extensive interviews with fans and former professional hockey players, Kalman-Lamb reveals the troubling dynamics and dangerous costs associated with the world of professional and semi-professional sport. (publ.)
Publication Date: [Postmillenial Pop Ser.] New York: NYU Pr., 2019. 381 p.
Description: In an increasingly secular, fragmented, and distracted culture, nothing brings Americans together quite like sports. On Sundays in September, more families worship at the altar of the NFL than at any church. This appeal, which cuts across all demographic and ideological lines, makes sports perhaps the last unifying mass ritual of our era, with huge numbers of people all focused on the same thing at the same moment. That time-less, live quality–impervious to DVR, evoking ancient religious rites–makes sports very powerful, and very lucrative. And the media spectacle around them is only getting bigger, brighter, and noisier–from hot take journalism formats to the creeping infestation of advertising to social media celebrity schemes. More importantly, sports are sold as an oasis of community to a nation deeply divided: They are escapist, apolitical, the only tie that binds. In fact, precisely because they appear allegedly “above politics,” sports are able to smuggle potent messages about inequality, patriotism, labor, and race to massive audiences. And as the wider culture works through shifting gender roles and masculine power, those anxieties are also found in the experiences of female sports journalists, athletes, and fans, and through the coverage of violence by and against male bodies. Sports, rather than being the one thing everyone can agree on, perfectly encapsulate the roiling tensions of modern American life. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Greenhaven Pr., 2019. 197 p.
Description: Athletes have a unique power in our world today. Their astronomical salaries, enviable lifestyles, and celebrity have tremendous influence over young people. This is reflected in advertising dollars as well as merchandise and ticket sales. For every athlete who uses their platform for charitable, political, and social good, there are many whose unethical or even criminal behavior sends the wrong message. What is the responsibility of athletes to their fans, to their teams, and to their leagues? And how much responsibility do we hold for holding them in such high esteem? The viewpoints in this volume explore this complicated issue. (publ.) Note: Library Standing Order.
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2019. 302 p.
Reviewed: NPR “Fresh Air” (11 Feb. 2019). Description: In recent years recovery has become a sports and fitness buzzword. Anyone who works out or competes at any level is bombarded with the latest recovery products and services: from drinks and shakes to compression sleeves, foam rollers, electrical muscle stimulators, and sleep trackers. Science writer Christie Aschwanden takes readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour through this strange world. She investigates whether drinking Gatorade or beer after training helps or hinders performance; she examines the latest trends among athletes, from NFL star Tom Brady’s infrared pajamas to gymnast Simone Biles’ pneumatic compression boots to swimmer Michael Phelps’ “cupping” ritual; and she tests some of the most controversial methods herself, including cryochambers, float tanks, and infrared saunas. At a time when the latest recovery products and services promise so much, Aschwanden seeks answers to the fundamental question: Do any of them actually help the body recover and achieve peak performance? (publ.)
Publication Date: Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2019. x, 202 p.
Reviewed: Choice (Jun. 2019 vol. 56 no. 10); Top 75 books highly recommended for community college libraries. Description: The Infield Fly Rule is the most misunderstood in baseball, and perhaps in all of sports. That makes it also the most infamous rule. Drawing on interviews with experts, legal arguments and a study of every infield-fly play in eight Major League seasons, tells the complete story of the Rule and its place in the National Pasttime. (Publ.)
Publication Date: London: Bloomsbury Sport, 2018. 184 p.
Reviewed: PW 27 Aug. 2018 p. 108. Description: Markus Torgeby was just 20 years old when he headed off into the remote Swedish forest to live as a recluse and dedicate himself to his one true passion, running ... He lived in a tent in the wilderness, braving the harsh Swedish winters–for four years. This is his story. During his teenage years, Torgeby turned out to be a very talented long-distance runner. However, while Markus performed brilliantly in training, during competitions he often failed inexplicably. These pressures, along with the burden of having to care for a MS-suffering mother, took their toll, and when an in-jury put an end to his running career, he lost his foothold in life. In order not to completely go under, he chose to do something that most of us only dream of: to escape the modern world and move to one of the most isolated and cold regions of northern Sweden. There he lived as a recluse. His time alone would prove to be more than an escape, it was in fact a search for a direction in life. This is a unique and powerful book, both a portrait of an extraordinary man and a fascinating exploration of running and personal wellbeing. (publ.) Note: Originally published as: Löparens Hjärta (Göteborg: Offside Press, 2015).
Publication Date: Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2019. 252 p.
Reviewed: Choice (Aug. 2019 vol. 56 no. 12) Recommended for community college libraries. Description: This book exposes the excesses of middle and high school sports and the detrimental effects our sports obsession has on American education. Institutions are increasingly emulating college and professional sports models and losing sight of a host of educational and health goals. Steven J. Overman describes how this agenda is driven largely by partisan fans and parents of athletes who exert an inordinate influence on school priorities, and he explains how and why school administrators capitulate to these demands. The author underscores the incongruity of public schools involved in an entertainment business and the effects this diversion has on academic integrity, learning, life experience, and overall educational outcomes. (publ.)
Note: Staff request; FCB; 2 copies purchased. Description: McGonigal provides a step-by-step program for identifying goals, strengthening self-control, and making lifelong changes, whether it’s weight loss, financial health, stress reduction, conquering procrastination, being a better parent, or finding your focus. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2018. xviii, 243 p.
Description: Although girls and women account for approximately 40 per-cent of all athletes in the United States, they receive only 4 percent of the total sport media coverage. SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program, dedi-cates less than 2 percent of its airtime to women. Local news networks devote less than 5 percent of their programming to women’s sports. Excluding Sports Illustrated’s annual “Swimsuit Issue,” women appear on just 4.9 percent of the magazine’s covers. … Using historical, contemporary, scholarly, and popular sources, Schultz traces the progress and pitfalls of women's involvement in sport. This book clarifies misconceptions that dog women’s athletics and offers much needed context and history to illuminate the struggles and inequalities sportswomen continue to face. By exploring issues such as gender, sexuality, sex segregation, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, media coverage, and the sport-health connection, Schultz shows why women’s sports are not just worth watching, but worth playing, supporting, and fighting for. (publ.)
Publication Date: Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 2018. viii, 412 p.
Reviewed: Choice (Jan. 2019 vol. 56 no. 5) Top 75 books highly recommended for community college libraries. Description: As organized youth sports occupy an ever-greater role in the lives of American families, critics have begun to question whether some programs and participants have lost their way. This timely book examines the state of youth sports in America today, analyzing how organized sports influence communities, discussing the potential emotional and physical benefits as well as drawbacks of youth sports, and profiling the industry’s key participants, ranging from parent coaches to club sports owners to personal trainers. The work begins with a look at the evolution of youth sports in the United States, then explores such topics as burnout, self-discipline, performance-enhancing drugs, parental violence, and scholar-ships. The content includes coverage of 20 individual youth sports, … and provides breakdowns of historical and current participation rates, injury rates, and sport-specific scholarship trends. (publ.)
Publication Date: Reno: U. Nevada Pr., 2018. xii, 284 p.
Reviewed: CHE 27 Apr. 2018 (New Books) Description: Office March Madness brackets, a day at the race track, a friendly wager, the random ridiculous Super Bowl prop bet, bingo night, or the latest media frenzy over the Powerball jackpot–all emphasize the ubiquity of this major economic force and cultural phenomenon. Approximately 70 percent of Americans regularly engage in some form of betting, amounting to over $140 billion in combined casino and lottery revenue every year. A hundred years ago, however, legal gambling was a rarity in the United States. A fresh take on the history of modern American gambling, this book provides a closer look at the shifting economic, cultural, religious, and political conditions that facilitated gambling’s expansion and prominence in American consumerism and popular culture. Essays cover commercial and Native American casinos, sports betting, lotteries, bingo, and piece together a picture of how gambling became so widespread over the course of the twentieth century. Drawing from a range of academic disciplines, this collection explores five aspects of American gambling history: crime, advertising, politics, religion, and identity. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2018. xv, 195 p.
Description: Why are some technologies such as fiberglass vaulting poles and hinged skates accepted in sport while performance-enhancing drugs are forbidden? … Should we level the playing field by allowing all competitors to use drugs that allow them to run faster or longer, leap higher, or lift more? In this provocative exploration of what draws us to sport as participants and spectators, Good Sport argues that the values and meanings embedded within our games provide the guidance we need to make difficult decisions about fairness and performance-enhancing technologies. … Performance-enhancing drugs distort the connection between natural talents, the dedication to perfect those talents, and success in sport. Through understanding the fundamental role of values and meanings, we can see not just what we champion in the athletic arena but more broadly what we value in human achievement. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Thomas Dunne, 2017. viii, 292 p.
Reviewed: Choice Feb 2018 vol. 55 no. 6 (Highly recommended; recommended for community college libraries).
Description: Board games have been with us longer than even the written word. But what is it about this pastime that continues to captivate us well into the age of smartphones and instant gratification? In It’s All a Game, British journalist and renowned games expert Tristan Donovan opens the box on the incredible and often surprising history and psychology of board games. He traces the evolution of the game across cultures, time periods, and continents, from the paranoid Chicago toy genius behind classics like Operation and Mouse Trap, to the role of Monopoly in helping prisoners of war escape the Nazis, and even the scientific use of board games today to teach artificial intelligence how to reason and how to win. With these compelling stories and characters, Donovan ultimately reveals why board games have captured hearts and minds all over the world for generations. (publ.)
Publication Date: New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP, 2017. xx, 243 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 17 Aug 2017 p. 61 Description: In the mid-nineteenth century urban walking clubs emerged in the United States. A little more than a century later, tens of millions of Americans were hiking on trails blazed in every region of the country. This book is the first full account of the unique history of the American hiking community and its rich, nationwide culture. Delving into unexplored archives, including those of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club, and many others, Silas Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails, and advocated for environmental protection. He also discusses the shifting attitudes of the late 1960s and early 1970s when ideas about traditional volunteerism shifted and new hikers came to see trail blazing and maintenance as government responsibilities. (publ.)
Publication Date: Seattle: U. Washington Pr., 2017. x, 308 p.
Reviewed: CHE 28 July 2017 (new books) Description: Playing While White argues that whiteness matters in sports culture, both on and off the field. Offering critical analysis of athletic stars, as well as the predominantly white cultures of NASCAR and extreme sports, David Leonard identifies how whiteness is central to the commodification of athletes and the sports they play. (publ.)
Publication Date: Brooklyn, N.Y.: Edge of Sports, 2016. 320 p.
Description: A gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic swimmer discusses his early success, his retirement to engage on a spiritual journey and his re-turn to worldwide competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. His childhood diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome, alcoholism and drug addiction, are challenges Ervin confronted and overcame.