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Q+A: Do your kids have what it takes to make it?

September 14th, 2012 by Carrie Gleason

The authors who contribute to our sports series know a thing or two about sports. Many of them are not only themselves former (and current) athletes, but they follow, report on, blog about, and watch a ton of sports. We asked them they think is the number one lesson that sports can teach kids about life.


Trevor Kew: "I've been a soccer goalkeeper for twenty years, since first picking up a pair of gloves at the age of eleven. Being a goalkeeper is great, but there is one problem: in twenty years, you end up letting in a lot of goals. All those practices, all those games — all those balls hitting the back of the net behind you! I've never found this easy; every goal that goes in, whether because of a beautiful shot or a terrible goalkeeping mistake, feels like a crushing personal failure. On one hand, I think this is a necessary feeling, because if you don't feel terrible when you let in a goal, you won't try hard enough to save every shot. On the other hand, it's very easy to lose confidence and become negative. The important thing to remember is to pick yourself up off the ground and move on. This is especially true for goalkeepers, who actually end up on the ground when they've failed, but it is also true in other sports, and more broadly, in school, relationships, and life."


In Trevor Kew's new soccer novel, Playing Favourites, main character learns a thing or two about failure, not as a player, but as the team's stand-in coach!

Visit Trevor online at



Lorna Schultz Nicholson: "Sport teaches children how to work hard to achieve goals. Every skill in sport, from catching a ball to learning to skate to hitting a tennis ball, takes time to perfect and often a child will have to “just keep trying” to finally succeed. Success in life is about not giving up and sport can give children the tools to work hard to do well in school, and eventually in the career of their choice."


In Lorna Schultz Nicholson's new Podium book, Once Cycle, lacrosse player Nathan tries to take the easy way out by taking steroids to get bigger.

Visit Lorna online at


Dirk McLean

Dirk McLean: "I think that the number one lesson that sports can teach kids about life is co-operation — working with others towards a common goal. Whether one is part of a team or working one-on-one with a coach, the spirit of co-operation is a necessary learning tool."


In Dirk McLean's new cricket novel, Not Out, Dex Armstrong learns how to put the past behind him and get along with others for the sake of the team.

Read an interview with multi-talented Dirk (he's not only a writer; he's also an actor!) here:



Steven Sandor: "For team sports, soccer especially, it's about working together toward a common goal. Soccer is not a sport that's about padding stats; the best player on the team could be someone who only scores once or twice a season but does a lot of things that lead to goals or taking the ball from the other team. It's about becoming something greater than a sum of all the parts."


Steven Sandor's first sports novel for kids is Playing For Keeps, about a young Croatian Canadian finding his place on his team, and in Canadian society.

Visit Steven online at



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