New Book Asks Readers to Reconsider Sports’ Value

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Jeanne Hess, longtime coach and chaplain, suggests that sports can be about more than winning and losing

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Longtime coach Jeanne Hess, author of the new book “Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games” (published by Balboa Press), redefines words traditionally used in sports to help the reader find greater meaning and purpose as a player, coach, fan, official or parent.

“Sportuality,” Hess believes, provides a vehicle for introspection about sports and athletics; it helps readers move toward greater consciousness around competition, and to move beyond dualism toward peace and joy.

Using a journal and questions for self-reflection – called a “box score” and “time-out” – readers can reflect upon and create their own sportual stories,” Hess says. She further explains that by examining words traditionally used within sports, “Sportuality” helps the reader think critically about competition, community, communication, spirit, humor, enthusiasm, education, religion, holiness, sanctuary, sacrifice and victory.

“‘Sportuality’ can also expose our learned beliefs in war and violence,” Hess says, “so we might be willing to choose the alternatives of joy and peace.”

About the Author
Jeanne Hess was born on the cusp of Title IX, grew up in suburban Detroit as a tomboy in the 1960s, and came of age as a varsity athlete at the University of Michigan in the 1970s. The allure of sports and spirituality was nurtured throughout her 28-year career as a volleyball coach, professor of physical education, and college chaplain at Kalamazoo College, and by virtue of being the wife of a coach and the mother of two professional athletes.

Raised as a dualistic Catholic-Episcopalian, Hess embraces the universal nature of Catholicism, defining all people as God’s children united in spirit. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband, Jim, whom she met in a gym. Their lives have been defined, shaped, and enhanced by several different gyms and athletic arenas.

Balboa Press, a division Hay House, Inc. – a leading provider in publishing products that specialize in self-help and the mind, body, and spirit genres. Through an alliance with indie book publishing leader Author Solutions, Inc., authors benefit from the leadership of Hay House Publishing and the speed-to-market advantages the self-publishing model. For more information, visit To start publishing your book with Balboa Press, call 877-407-4847 today. For the latest, follow @balboapress on Twitter.

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