SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Ross Flowers was an elite athlete at UCLA. Now a sports psychologist, he has counseled athletes of all ages, from kids on travel teams to Olympic athletes. Apollo Anton Ohno, Meb Keflezighi and Jackie Joyner Kersee have all endorsed his book, "Introducing Your Child to Sports."
"I wrote it because there's really nothing like this out there," he said. "A lot of what I talk about is helping parents develop fundamental tools and skills for their kids and for themselves."
Whether you are considering a rec league for a beginner, or an elite team for an experienced athlete, Flowers says do your research.
"Not every program is right for every kid and every family," he said.
"In my experience, I've seen a lot of parents who are in it for the right reasons. They're talking to kids, 'Hey let's do youth sports to have fun,'" he said.
And there are others who lose perspective in pursuit of the college scholarship.
"Some cautions about travel ball. Do kids at 10 to 12 years old, do they need to be playing basketball, baseball, football year round? And how does that balance them for life outside of sport?" Flowers said.
Flowers says he had a good experience in sports growing up.
"Thankfully I had parents who were very involved. To this day my dad is one of my best mentors and coaches in life and sports," he said.
His experience was so good, he wrote the book on "raising a healthy balanced, happy athlete."