St. Croix native Mark Nixon has written a new picture book on sportsmanship for children ages 8 to 11 or grades 3 to 6 titled “You Can’t Always Win – The Good Loser.” It discusses good sportsmanship at the end of games, contests, sports and academic endeavors. It illustrates the behavioral differences between being a Good Loser and a Not-So-Good Loser. It is one of few books on this subject with its large amount of ethnic and gender diversity.
Bonnie Bright of New York illustrated the book.
“You Can’t Always Win – The Good Loser” encourages young children, as they are about to enter organized sports and other competitive activities where they will begin to cope with the psychological challenges of winning and losing, to choose to be Good Losers despite being disappointed.
A good book for parents, coaches, teachers, and instructors to discuss with kids at the start of any youth sports season and competitive endeavor. Written in a coach’s/parent’s voice: guiding, encouraging, caring and empowering.
Nixon says “You Can’t Always Win – The Good Loser” is written in the hopes of having a world of better tempered kids (with higher emotional intelligence) when it comes to winning and losing than what we see displayed all too often today.
Nixon grew up on St. Croix, attending both St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School and St. Joseph High School. His parents are Charles Nixon (a pharmacist in the Frederiksted Kmart) and Laura Nixon (a nurse anesthetist at the Juan F. Luis Hospital before her passing in 1994). He has three younger sisters: Tracy, Jennifer and Alison.
His experiences as a father, watching and guiding his two daughters through the world of organized sports, specifically fencing, provided the motivation for the book.
“My kids have been fencing since they were 7 and 5 years old. They are now 21 and 19. I’ve seen many young kids and their parents over the years wrestle with the highs and lows of winning and losing. In an individual sport like fencing, where it’s just you and your opponent competing against one another, 1-on-1, there’s really no one to blame if you lose other than yourself. So, your good sportsmanship or lack thereof, is on full display, in front of everyone to see and thus, it helps to define your reputation in the sport,” he said.
Mark’s daughters have gone on to win and lose many U.S., international and collegiate fencing tournaments. His younger daughter, Karolina, recently won the 2019 NCAA National Team Championship and Nixon says his older daughter, Kasia, is a strong candidate for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team.
“There’s no ‘one size fits all’ handbook for being a good parent. My wife and I hope our experiences, as reflected in the book, can assist other parents in having loving conversations with their kids about good sportsmanship in the face of defeat.” “You Can’t Always Win – The Good Loser” is available on Amazon.
Mark and his family live in Los Angeles, California and often come home during the Christmas Holiday Season.
Bright lives in Batavia New York, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has been animating and illustrating for educational computer games for 15 years and has illustrated many children’s books and animated book apps.