Welcome Eric. Thanks so much for stopping by. As your book is sports related, what is your background in sports?
I was exposed to professional sports from a young age having worked in Los Angeles (Ball Boy L.A. Aztecs NASL: Locker Room Assistant L.A. Kings Hockey: and as a Professional Soccer Coach in Mexico. I had access to some of the greatest players, and coaches in quite a few sports.
What was your focus of motivation in writing this
The group of young athletes now, are being groomed in the 100,000,000 dollar generation. The work ethic and sense of TEAM were at a higher level in previous generations when Athletes were required out of necessity to have off-season jobs to keep up with their bills. Prime example is the “hand me down effect” versus the “I need the new shoe” that’s out there in grand effect in all of the media outlets.
Were the Athletes initially receptive to opening up about themselves, and maybe talking about some painful moments of their careers?
Absolutely !!! The athletes I approached for the first book, were probably 95% of sports personalities that I had first hand contact with, and in many instances, sweat, bled, laughed, and cried through some challenging moments.
Who is the target market for this book?
This book was designed as a guidebook for younger athletes, to read about the struggles, dedication, and commitment it takes to be a professional, but also it had turned out great for many an adult to read about stories from athletes they grew up watching, bringing back great sports moments from their own lives
I see you included Commentators, Doctors, and Owners as well. What was the reasoning?
They have a different way of seeing the sports experience, and I wanted the reader to be exposed to as much as possible. They give a more in depth view of what the athletes go through on a daily basis, and give a broader definition of some important aspects in making it to the Professional Level. (The Daily Routine, Health and Nutrition, Psychological Aspects an Owner looks for etc…)
Will there be a follow up? and will other sports be included in the next one should you decide to do so?
I have already started to work on Book #2, and expect completion in early Spring 2013. The response has been great so far from the public, and in fact many athletes who have read the book, have asked to be included in future books, so this series has a great possibility to grow. I will be adding members this time from all over the sports community to include tennis, golf, a horse jockey, and some auto racers have asked to be included as well.
What lessons did you learn through the sports personalities, while writing this book?
The main elements that kept appearing throughout the process was “Perseverance”, “Enjoy what you do”, “Fight through the times by proper planning”, “Face your self-doubt and find the solution”
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Almost all of the feedback has been positive. I received an e-mail from a child in 6th Grade I believe, who was thankful for having read the Chapter on Jim Myers AKA George “ The Animal” Steele, an Ex-Wrestler. Jim battled Dyslexia as a child and was teased quite often by other children, and many times just sent out of class, to go and play in the sand box. Teachers back then didn’t know how to help him. The boy wrote to me, saying that he now understood a little better why kids were so mean to him in class all of the time. He had some learning issues. He said that he would work to talk with them and explain his problems to them. With all that has recently happened in Connecticut, makes me feel that I may have just made some difference in some lives.
What other types of books have you written?
I have 3 more books out in the public right now. One is a memoirs book of my fathers Holocaust experiences of the before, during, and importantly the after. I also have written what will be a 5-part series of a Soccer Novel. Recently I have completed what I call a guidebook for Students, Artists, Athletes to aid in the process of moving away from home. All of my books with their descriptions can be seen on my website at www.valedorinternational.com
Any final message on why you think people will enjoy this book?
Everyone at some point has dreamed of being a pro athlete, or has watched an event at home with groups of people (Olympics, Super Bowl, World Cup etc…) I have tried to capture some of those moments for the adult reader to enjoy once more.
If a young athlete can understand through these stories, the commitment, and dedication it takes, and it helps them in their pursuit, then I will be one happy author.
This book was inspired by my love of sports, and ultimate disappointment of not going Professional. I wanted to be a Pro Soccer Player, and sat dreaming in class all day through elementary, and high school, thinking it would happen. In 1985, while swimming in the ocean in Newport Beach, all aspirations came to an abrupt halt, when I ruptured 2 vertebrae in my neck.
After recovering and spending some time in Mexico City coaching professional soccer, I realized that young athletes, need to hear about the stories of struggle, and dedication it takes to get to the elite level. Too many youngsters dream like I did of the 100 million dollar contract.
My Book "The Steps Along The Way" tells the stories of sports personalities from all walks of athletics, both failure and success.
Available in Print (Digital formats coming soon)
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