Hi, I’m Travis Daugherty, author of The LENS: Raising a Champion Athlete and Man in Today’s Myopic World. Thanks for visiting the site and learning more about the book. Whether you’re a parent, a coach, or anyone else working to develop champion athletes and people, I hope it will add value to the challenging, important work you do.
I wrote The LENS at a crossroads in my life, at the intersection of my experiences personally and professionally. Professionally, I’d been a coach for almost 20 years and worked with thousands of athletes of all backgrounds, ages, and ability levels - plus the parents that came with them. Throughout that time, I also served as a speaker and development leader for Higher Level Sports, a father-son basketball camp my dad founded and directed throughout the Midwest. My experiences in coaching and teaching have verified over time a simple truth: that typically who an athlete becomes – both on the playing field and beyond – is more dependent on who his parents are than anything else in his life.
Personally, sports have always been near the center of my world. I was the son of a coach, so I grew up in a gym. When my playing career ended after college, I jumped straight into coaching. I have never known life without sports. Now I had a family of my own - it was my kids' turn to play, and my turn to parent, and even though I thought I understood sports parenting from my professional experiences, I started to see the reality of this challenge on a more personal level. I experienced myself how easily one of the most fun, rewarding, and important experiences we share with our kids can become distorted, stressful, and unhealthy. Looking around, it's distorted, stressful, and unhealthy for way too many people! I know myself well enough to know if I was going to navigate this challenging experience well, I better not just show up and hope for the best. I was going to need to have a game plan in place.
It was from that need – my own need – that The LENS book was born. Studying, writing, and developing this game plan have given me a chance to clarify for myself the sports parent I want to be. I hope it will help you clarify who you want to be, too. And even though nobody's perfect in this area, I do hope each of us can see clearly that there’s no greater opportunity to prepare our kids for success than the one we have through sports. I want each of us to recognize that opportunity, and use it to build strong, committed, confident leaders in this world. I hope you'll join me!