Parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, pastors, coaches, and many other adults work to help children practice and learn habits of virtue and success. Sports can provide a means of helping because kids are naturally attracted to sports and sports principles are based on excellent habits and virtues.

Two of our baseball books illustrate this quality.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Joe McCarthy’s promoted his top principles in his 10 Commandments of Baseball. For example one of McCarthy’s principles involves practicing self-control. McCarthy’s commandments are at the center of our book The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy’s Principles for Success in Baseball and Life, which we published in 2009. McCarthy’s 10th Commandment states it this way: “A Pitcher Who Hasn’t Control, Hasn’t Anything.”

Author J. D. Thorne says that baseball training is excellent instruction for life. His book, The10 Commandments of Baseball, is a baseball classic that features baseball’s principles illustrated with examples from Major League Baseball’s past. Photographs are included in this historic-looking and concise keepsake for readers from age 10 to 100.

In Thorne’s new book for teensBaseball’s Winning Ways, a discussion of current and past players, baseball history, exercises on principles (habits of virtue or what we call “winning ways”), and other baseball topics are provided. To insure readers get the most from the book, learning aids such as a quiz, discussion questions, glossary, and topical index are included. In the Winning Ways section, readers are exposed to Ben Franklin’s exercises that help build habits of virtue or good behavior. McCarthy’s “commandments” are used in the Winning Ways worksheets and discussion. In addition to baseball, the book covers American history highlights that occurred as baseball developed.

Principles or Winning Ways such as practicing self-control go beyond baseball and sports. Athletes certainly need to practice self-control. Self-control is a necessary component for success and a good life.