For Parents Confessions of D1 Athlete

gym_dad32608

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
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52
Country
USA
Got this book for Father's Day, was curious if anyone has read it and their thoughts on it. Overall a quick read and while nothing earth-shattering, it is an interesting read for any parent/gymnast (older) that has aspirations of college gymnastics. Good and bad of my review:
  1. Good
    1. Short read, not going to invest a lot of time on it
    2. Interesting style where daughter writes a chapter with father inserting comments and vice versa which gives it a feeling of being part of a family conversation
    3. It presents one person's journey on this path and anyone who has a child working hard in this sport will see echoes of their experiences in this book. So I guess it's re-affirming in a way.
    4. I appreciate the discussion of some of the secondary problems with doing this sport, like what happens when the last routine is over and it has controlled your life for 15+ years? Some of the body and injury issues. The challenging impact on family and siblings when going "all-in" to the sport.
  2. Bad
    1. While I appreciate the intent, some sections are a bit condescending in that they speak as if the reader knows nothing and I mean nothing about gymnastics. Let's face it, the only people that are going to pick this up are folks in the know and Michigan homers.
    2. Important to keep in mind this is only one person's journey through D1 athletics. So while everyone I'm sure shares some similarities, there are sure to be differences too.
    3. I know this is petty, but it is obvious from reading this book that the Karas family are definitely privileged, with boarding schools and nannies and trips to Dubai and apartments in Chicago and NYC, etc. Its almost too much, like what a wonderful life we have and the struggle of having a parent pay for my apartment in NYC while connections are worked to secure a job. They do seem like a wonderful family that genuinely cares for each other, but a little modesty/self-awareness about how all that might look to an outsider would have been nice.
Overall interesting, not sure I would suggest anyone going out of their way to pick it up unless you are a Michigan or Olivia Karas fan. But if you have some spare change or looking for a simple gift idea, you could do worse. Some little nuggets of wisdom but nothing that a good forum discussion/coach talk etc couldn't come up with.