Raising a Child Athlete

Written by a guest blogger

When Dan and Renee Bolster went furniture shopping, they expected to purchase a brand new La-Z-Boy – instead, they came home with a cover boy.  After entering the furniture store, it was apparent that they had stumbled upon a book signing, advertising Rocks Across the Pond, a first person account of raising a young athlete, geared toward providing insight to other parents doing the same.  Written by Richard and Kathy Verlander, the book displayed a startlingly eye-catching element for the Bolsters – their son, pictured on the cover with the Detroit Tigers’ infamous pitcher, Justin Verlander.

Co-author, Richard Verlander, explains that while multiple resources exist for young athletes regarding performance improvement, and suggested practice drills, there is a lack of resources available for the parents of athletic youths.  After retiring, Mr. and Mrs. Verlander opted to start filling this niche market, by penning some of their personal experiences, gathered through raising Justin.  However, the book is not a guide to raising a superstar, but rather a collection of life lessons about encouragement, perseverance, and personal accomplishment, because they believe that it is a parent’s duty to foster their children’s dreams.

The title, Rocks Across the Pond, stems from just one of the many personal experiences accounted for in the book.  When Justin was approximately 10 years old, he and his father went out to the pond to skip rocks.  After a bit, Richard picked up a rock.

“Let’s see how far we can throw it,” he said, throwing the rock as far as he could, and making it to the middle of the pond.

When Justin took his turn, he easily outdistanced his father’s throw, landing his rock clear across the pond.  Richard recalls that memory as a “pinch me moment,” fondly discussed in the book.

Since their encounter at the furniture store, the Bolsters and Verlanders have become close friends, often making public appearances together to advertise the book for which both of their sons represent.  Together, they will be attending the Monroe County Parade on July 29th, and the Monroe County Fair on July 30th.  Additional book signings will be taking place in Southern Michigan as well.  To find a book signing near you, email drdddd6@frontier.com.  The book is also available for purchase on www.Amazon.com, and comes highly recommended.