It's Not About the Bra: Play Hard, Play Fair, and Put the Fun Back Into Competitive Sports
When Brandi Chastain famously stripped off her jersey to celebrate her World Cup-winning penalty kick, the gesture represented not only the essence of athletic triumph but the joy of a competitor who knows how to play hard and still have fun. Now, in It's Not About the Bra, Chastain steps out from behind her iconic image to deliver an important wake-up call to competitive youth sports, which has gone increasingly out of control.
Drawing on anecdotes from her own storied career as well as those of her coaches and celebrated teammates (Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, and others), Chastain tackles the thorny issues of sportsmanship, gamesmanship, and parental involvement gone too far. She teaches young athletes how to develop leadership skills, find (and become) role models, and give something back to their team and community. Her timely message is about rediscovering our respect for the game, for teammates and adversaries, for coaches and refs, and, especially, for the players themselves, because without these values "the game breaks down and the joys of competition are lost."
From her struggle to rebound from consecutive knee surgeries to excruciating losses in NCAA, World Cup, and Olympic competition to her recent battle to make the team she loves, Chastain discloses both the good and bad ways she's personally dealt with adversity and reminds us what it truly means to be a "class act" on and off the field.
Whether it's Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, or, especially, top-flight youth soccer, Chastain offers a blueprint for kids and parents alike on how to play fair, win (and lose) with grace, and, above all, how to have a good time doing it. It's Not About the Bra is a mandatory addition to the shelf of a competitive athlete—or anyone who coaches or loves them.
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