One of the great myths in America is that sports build character. They can and they should. Indeed, sports may be the perfect venue in which to build character. But sports don't build character unless a coach possesses character and intentionally teaches it. Sports can team with ethics and character and spirituality; virtuous coaching can integrate the body with the heart, the mind, and the soul.
The study of motivation goes back to the Greeks. Their sports were essential to their education. They saw in sports the integration of body, mind and soul, the creation of beauty, the mastering of athletics, and the challenge of competition. A French sociologist points this out. "Sports," he wrote, was part of the education of the citizen. He was expected to engage in exercise for a whole series of reasons that had to do with the shaping of the citizen; the relation between moral good and physical good; and the growth of a person.
Sports biography at its best. Rich in period detail, anecdote, and fresh perspective, Strong Boy paints both the good and the bad sides of success, as America's growing celebrity culture turned a simple Irish American gladiator into a national, in fact international hero. A very human story with profound parallels for our sports-obsessed culture today!
This is what's great about sports. This is what the greatest thing about sports is. You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game. You don't play it to just play it. That's the great thing about sports: you play to win, and I don't care if you don't have any wins. You go play to win. When you start tellin' me it doesn't matter, then retire. Get out! 'Cause it matters.