First in a Field of Two


From the “examiner.com” web site.   Launched in 2008, Examiner.com is a dynamic entertainment, news and lifestyle network that serves more than 20 million monthly readers across the U.S. and around the world.  The article is written by Susan Zaro.  Susan Zaro is a Licensed, Marriage, Family Therapist and Sport Psychology Consultant. For over a decade she has specialized in working with athletes, families and coaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. She utilizes her experience as a therapist and former competitive athlete to provide programs and services to professional, collegiate, high school and social recreational athletes. Susan has written for AccessAthletes.com as an Expert Sport Psychology Contributor. Contact Susan @ www.susanzaro.com.


First in a Field of TwoFirst in a Field of Two” is Barry Buss’s personal memoir about his junior tennis experience and the strains that put upon his relationship with his father and how this influenced his developmental life as a person and athlete. Barry and his business partner have developed a tennis/clinic seminar project and will be going to tennis clubs throughout the country to educate families concerning the environment of junior tennis, with his book as the foundation for the seminars.

Examiner: Your story at times is painful to read as your life struggles and addictions became increasingly out of control and detrimental to your goals and athletic talent. The book covers many issues: parental/child sport involvement, developmental issues, bullying, mental-emotional-physical abuse, athletic mental health issues, player/coach communication, are there preventative insights you hope readers will gain from reading this?

BB: It’s an important question that I wish I could give you a nice set of succinct takeaway answers that would leave everyone feeling good but I just can’t. Every young person pursuing excellence in our sport is in a unique dynamic. I wish it were as simple as a laundry list of Do’s and Don’ts that everyone could abide by to avert potential troubles. But it’s not. There are a few factors that are critical to having success in this environment, number one is education. Competitive junior tennis is an extremely complex emotional terrain. I don’t think children are emotionally wired to experience the levels of anxiety, disappointment, frustration, fear, elation etc., that a competitive tennis player experiences on a nearly daily basis from a very young age all through-out their playing career. It’s imperative that these athletes are surrounded by an informed supportive team, coaches, team mates, parents, organizing bodies, everyone has a huge role and responsibility in keeping competitive junior tennis as healthy and nurturing an environment as possible.

Examiner: Your story at times is painful to read as your life struggles and addictions became increasingly out of control and detrimental to your goals and athletic talent. The book covers many issues: parental/child sport involvement, developmental issues, bullying, mental-emotional-physical abuse, athletic mental health issues, player/coach communication, are there preventative insights you hope readers will gain from reading this?

BB: It’s an important question that I wish I could give you a nice set of succinct takeaway answers that would leave everyone feeling good but I just can’t. Every young person pursuing excellence in our sport is in a unique dynamic. I wish it were as simple as a laundry list of Do’s and Don’ts that everyone could abide by to avert potential troubles. But it’s not.

For, as I share in the book, when I interviewed many of my peer group as to why they had not put their kids in tennis, a sport so many of them spent their entire childhoods playing, and where many had excelled at on a world stage, the prevailing response was, “I would never put my kid through that.” This comes from the parents who know the game and terrain like few others. Which begs the question who is guiding this generation of players and parents through the minefield that junior tennis can present? Ultimately the safety nets in place today come down to being a very engaged and knowledgeable parent, which I am happy to conclude seems to be the case for many parents, but certainly far from all.

There is a lot more to the interview.  Read the whole interview – HERE

Examiner: The funding to publish “First in a Field of Two” was well supported on Kickstarter. Now that it’s written how/where can people purchase the book?

BB: A special shout out to all those who were so gracious and generous to support the publication of my book through Kickstarter. The book is available on Amazon and directly through my e-mail address on Kickstarter.


What’s Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.

Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects. If you like stats, there’s lots more here.

Here is the Kickstarter page for this book.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2101450769/first-in-a-field-of-two-0

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