Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games by Jeanne Hess


Book description:

Sportuality is an examination of sports at all levels from a Western perspective, focusing on how it reflects our cultural belief in separation and dualistic thinking, as well as how sports can grow peace, understanding, and joy. Sportuality crosses disciplines of sports and spirituality to help readers-athletes, coaches, parents, and fans-evolve a higher consciousness within sports and competition. 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. 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 so we might be willing to choose the alternatives of joy and peace.
My thoughts:
I was excited to read this book! As some of you may know, my husband is a newspaper sports editor. That means that sports in all forms are prominent in our household. We watch sports together on TV, we talk about sports, etc. I have also always been a spiritual person. I hold a bachelor's degree in Religion. So I felt this book would be an enjoyable read for me.
I was right! In the book Hess makes a connection that I have always felt but wasn't sure how to put into words:  Sport resembles Religion in many ways. In sports there is a joy and peace that you feel when you are competing that is similar to joy and peace that one may experience in the practice of one's religion. There is a joining together with like minded people in your team, like one would join together in worship with like minded people in your religion. Thus the term "Sportuality." Hess shares several stories of prominent players and coaches in different sports who have taken what they have learned in sports and applied it to a greater meaning in their life. She offers us the chance to think about these things in her "time-outs" and "box scores" where she offers reflection questions and opportunities for us to think more deeply on the subjects.

If you enjoy sports and are looking to see what connection sports have to your life I would highly recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I was sent this book free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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