Mike Matheny, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team, has been gaining headlines recently for his new book The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life.
That’s a long book title with a simple, yet heart piercing message for today’s parents. The 44-year-old manager talks about today’s parents and how they live vicariously through their children’s sports and activities.
Referencing a 2008 letter he sent out to the parents of his first coaching job for local youth, he said, “I always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans and now here we are. The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest problems with youth sports has been the parents.”
His intent was to make it clear to parents that the sport is only about the kids, and never about the parent.
“I think the concept that I am asking you to grab is that this experience is ALL about the boys. If there is anything about this that includes you, we need to make a change of plans.”
Matheny, a vocal Christian, also wrote, in addition to teaching the kids how to play baseball the correct way, he would more importantly teach them the value of having high moral character, being accountable and about servant leadership.
“It is important to take time out and implement character development studies,” Matheny stated in an interview with The Christian Post. These studies focused on teaching kids how to make the right ethical choices concerning topics like honesty, teamwork, sexual purity, drugs and discipline.
Even though Matheny is no longer a manager of youth baseball leagues, and now manages a professional MLB team, he still finds a way to remain bold and grounded in his Christian faith.
“I believe that it is our responsibility to jump into life and figure out a way to be there for people and look for opportunities to share what’s most important to you,” he enlightened. “When those opportunities present themselves, to not miss it and be prepared, and hopefully be able to reflect what Christ wants us to be and be able to direct them to God’s word and what that means and how they can understand that.”
Matheny has always described himself as an unapologetic Christian. It can be seen in how he treats his players and those around him.
How can we, as unapologetic Christians, show the love of Christ to others while still working in a secular environment?