3 out of 4 stars
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Courtside Conversations, written by Amere J. May, Sr., is a short guide for athletes and individuals who’ve struggled to win after a loss. Do you find yourself with a lessened sense of self-worth after losing over and over again? Maybe you find yourself needing inspiration from someone who’s gone through similarly difficult times? If so, immerse yourselves in the pages of this well-intentioned book for gentle but firm messages to propel you on your path to success.
After having his dreams of playing in the NBA cut short because of a basketball scandal, Amere becomes intimately familiar with the grieving process after a loss. This extends to how society has stigmatized not winning at something as synonymous with failure. To overcome this stigma, we need to use our losses as teaching moments instead of reflections of our abilities. Living in the past causes us no end of grief; grief leads to stunted recovery; this then cripples our confidence and the attainment of our goals. Amere okays not feeling okay. With quotes, Bible verses, lessons gained from his own experiences in the sports industry, and the relaying of the stories of well-known and not-so-well-known characters, he is able to walk readers through dealing with and moving beyond the effects of loss.
I loved how the book read like a good friend encouraging you along. It’s there in the title and present in the contents of the book. While no heavy, new knowledge is technically introduced, the tone is soothing and makes the book relatable. This makes it easy to empathize with Amere’s personal account of his own losses. I think this was greatly helped along by the brevity of the book. The message is easily digested because of how concise the book was. On that note, only a single instance of profanity was found in the entire book.
A lot of messages in this book reached out and spoke to me. The segment about our seeing crying as a form of weakness, for one, felt like Amere had all the pointy fingers aimed at me. After that, he delved into how self-doubt and insecurity cripple your capability. These were also reflections of my reality. What I respected, though, were the steps and solutions he suggested, the arguments sound and research-backed. They lean more on the theoretical advice side of things as opposed to being practically actionable, but their usefulness cannot be overstated.
Aside from the comforting aspect, the addition of information from reputable sources imparted to us readers grants Courtside Conversations more resourcefulness than being a handy bag of tips. One example of this is Amere speaking of how babies operate at near-genius levels before the age of one, unburdened by self-doubt and a lack of confidence, being able to get up after they fall repeatedly. Another example is his using the psychologist Martin Seligman’s 3 P’s of Emotional Resilience.
Courtside Conversations is well deserving of a rating of three out of four stars. The one-star deduction is on account of how many mistakes were present in the writing, which can be considered the only negative I found in the book. It is because of this that, while the novel does seem to be professionally edited, I do not believe it was done very thoroughly.
This book will be a perfect fit for readers who are feeling down in the dumps, caught in the grieving process, or simply feeling unmotivated to chase after their goals. It ‘s particularly useful for athletes after their experiencing a loss and who require a simple instruction manual on how to proceed.
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