Skip to content

Mike Matheny has a blog dedicated to changing the culture of youth sports

Mar 18, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

Mike Matheny Getty Getty Images

A few years ago Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wrote a letter to the parents of the little league team he was coaching at the time, decrying the culture of youth sports and, more specifically, the overbearing parents and insane coaches that were turning what should have been character-building learning experiences into a hyper competitive hellscape.

Last summer there was a lot of reporting about all of that. Specifically, that Matheny was still adamant about changing the culture of youth sports. And now he is continuing that, starting up a blog on his personal website dedicated to that cause. From his welcome letter:

I wrote a letter a few years ago that unintentionally went viral across the country. The purpose was to explain to a group of parents, that I saw a big problem in organized sports. Little did I know the impact that the letter would have on so many people. I realized that there is a need for a better way, and the ideas in that letter had struck a cord with many people who are ready for a change. Some follow up was necessary, so…, here we are.

This website is for people who want to use youth sports to impact kids and their communities. I plan on keeping fresh information and videos coming to this site that will challenge and encourage coaches, parents and aspiring athletes to use sports as a platform to develop character, and skills that are needed for success on the field and off. Thanks for your interest and I hope that you will keep coming back.

That’s pretty cool. And a pretty cool goal too. As a parent of kids just getting into various activities, I’m constantly shocked at how seriously everyone (i.e. parents) takes them (and it’s not just for the boys and sports. You should see the ballet studio Mookie goes to). There are many times I have hoped that my son in particular doesn’t get too into sports because of that noise. Which is kind of a shame because when I grew up I was able to play — and not be particularly good at — various sports without it seeming like I was an imposition or that some more talented kids’ dad was gonna freak out if slow old me was allowed to get some PT at his son’s expense. I worry now that’s something harder and harder to find.

So kudos to Matheny. Parents of non-participating kids can wring our hands about this sort of thing a lot, but not much will come of it. It could be a totally different deal if the necessary change comes from within sports rather than from outside of them.

Latest Posts
  1. Chris Sale throws a complete game, but his strikeout streak comes to an end

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:19 PM EDT

    Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) delivers to the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning on Monday, July 6, 2015, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) Getty Images

    White Sox ace Chris Sale entered tonight’s start against the Blue Jays with eight straight starts with 10 strikeouts or more, tying Pedro Martinez for the major league record. He fell a little bit short in his efforts of securing the record all for himself.

  2. Ricky Nolasco to undergo ankle surgery

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:26 PM EDT

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 31: Ricky Nolasco #47 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of the game on May 31, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Nolasco will have a bone fragment removed from his ankle.

  3. Video: Jon Lester collects first MLB hit after going 0-for-66 to begin career

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06: Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated after his first career hit in the Major League against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Lester was 0-for-66 (0-for-71 if you include the postseason) before collecting his first major league hit tonight.

  4. Bryce Harper declines invitation to participate in Home Run Derby

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTVlNzk0MDkwYTBlNDI2NDRlMDBkMTM0NjZhZjgxMGVm Getty Images

    It’s a bummer that Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will have to miss the 2015 Home Run Derby due to a broken hamate bone, but now we can also scratch Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper off the list of participants.

  5. “Final Vote” balloting opens for 2015 MLB All-Star Game

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:27 PM EDT

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Getty Images

    And once again, there’s no A-Rod to be found.

  6. Pitchers and reserves for 2015 MLB All-Star Game announced

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    All-Star Logo

    The starters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game were announced on Sunday, so now it’s time to learn the pitchers and reserves who have been selected to represent the American League and National League at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14…

  7. Jacoby Ellsbury to be activated from disabled list Wednesday

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:13 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTdlNTkxMTllYmY4MjA1NTk2MDdkMWY3Y2VjYWEyYTBh Getty Images

    Jacoby Ellsbury has been out since May 19 with a sprained right knee.

  8. Sports Illustrated recreated shots from some famous baseball cards

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:26 PM EDT

    Image (2) OscarGamble1976.jpg for post 4350

    Note: without the ‘fro, Gamble is just sort of blankly staring at you. We know this now.

  9. Josh Harrison out six weeks with torn thumb ligaments

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:10 PM EDT

    Josh Harrison AP

    Harrison has struggled to duplicate his breakout 2014 performance.

  10. Matt Garza goes on Brewers’ disabled list with shoulder injury

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:51 PM EDT

    Matt Garza AP

    Garza signed a four-year, $50 million deal with Milwaukee last offseason .

  11. The Braves traded for a reliever from the Astros’ system

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    braves logo large

    Mitchell Lambson is a lefty reliever who has split time at Double-A and Triple-A so far this year.

  12. Robinson Cano has been battling a stomach ailment for nearly a year

    Jul 6, 2015, 1:44 PM EDT

    Robinson Cano Getty Images

    His inexplicably bad 2015 is now somewhat exsplicable.

  13. The Braves may shop Cameron Maybin

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT

    Cameron Maybin Getty Images

    Maybin is hitting .294/.363.416 with seven homers, 39 RBI and 15 steals.

  14. Billy Heywood from “Little Big League” was on “True Detective”

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT

    Billy Heywood

    A Bill Heywood must be allowed to speak his mind.

  15. Video: Max Scherzer got messed with during his in-game interview

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.44.46 AM

    In-game interviews are usually dumb. But last night one was at least funny.

  16. Jayson Werth “is well on the road to recovery” from fractured wrist

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Jayson Werth AP

    Werth has been out with a fractured wrist since being hit by pitch on May 15.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Sano (3300)
  2. J. Hamilton (3153)
  3. J. Ellsbury (3109)
  4. C. Gomez (2815)
  5. M. Cabrera (2814)
  1. B. Harper (2784)
  2. P. Corbin (2757)
  3. M. Banuelos (2681)
  4. G. Springer (2539)
  5. S. Gray (2518)