Now that his book “What Size Balls Do I Need?: A Roadmap for Survival In The Dizzying World of Youth Sports” is finally out, Steve Morris is reflecting on the journey that inspired him to write it.
“I’m not sure where I was headed as I cruised down Sunset Blvd that Saturday morning 23 years ago, but when I came down the hill and rounded the bend at Mandeville Canyon, I was instantly seized by the commotion on the fields at Paul Revere,” says the man affectionately nicknamed the “Baron of Brentwood” and “Prince of the Palisades” in a segment last Tuesday on KTLA 5 Morning News. “I saw kids. I saw soccer balls. I saw a line… and the end of that line was the beginning of my greatest adventure. It wasn’t climbing Mt. Everest. Or whitewater rafting down the Zambezi. It definitely wasn’t brain surgery. It was a hell of a lot more.”
Morris, an AYSO Region 69 coach for 23 years, has spent more time on local fields than anywhere. Coast Sports, which he founded in 1997 and held often at the Palisades Recreation Center, is his legacy.
“The seeds of my book were sown that day,” he continues. “Over the next two decades, on playing fields from Santa Ynez to San Diego to Las Vegas, I got to experience the good and the bad of youth sports. Many of you shared that journey with me. Others of you have gone through it with your own kids and I’m confident that the rest of you, at one time or another, have been kids. This book speaks to all of you.”
Morris describes his book, which is available on Amazon in Kindle, hardcover and paperback editions, is full of advice for parents as they navigate the rough waters of the $17 billion youth sports industry.
“What Size Balls Do I Need?” is a memoir, a roadmap and a cautionary tale about the perils of mortgaging our kids’ enjoyment of their 10-year window in sports for the evanescent promise of a future as an athlete,” Morris explains. “Thanks to all of you, and our interactions through the years, it’s a story replete with anecdotes and humor and the enduring hope that through sports our kids—and we as well—will learn the lessons that will see us to the other side of the mess we’re mired in.”
Among the topics covered in the 356-page book include:
- Why “potential” and “expectation” are the two dirtiest words in youth sports
- How to recognize a toxic coach and the steps to take to protect your child
- Why we need to rethink our definitions of victory and success
- The most precarious part of the game—the ride home
- The dangers of living vicariously through your child (and how not to be that parent)
- * Who gets to the “next level” and how do they do it?
- * What the post-Covid landscape of youth sports will look like
“Coach Steve has this amazing gift to make sports fun,” says “Body by Jake” fitness icon and former Palisades honorary mayor Jake Steinfeld. “His attitude, his ability and his smile are priceless! Simply, Coach Steve is the Wooden, Belichick and Coach K of youth sports!”
Adds Jeff Melvoin, Emmy-award winning producer and former Region 69 Chief Coach Administrator: Funny, frank, warm, and wise, Coach Steve’s book is both a love letter to youth sport and an impassioned plea to restore sanity to its playing fields.”
Morris invites everyone he has corresponded with over the years, from parents to coaches to kids, to join him for a Virtual Launch of the book at 7:30 Pacific time tonight on Zoom. Anyone interested should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll send you the password.
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