Ask the Authors

An interview with Kathryn Nixon and Ana Boudreau.

Q: What inspired you to write a children’s book about sports?

KN: I was inspired on two different levels. One was watching my husband Trot’s character when he was playing professional baseball. I was inspired by how he interacted with his team. Most people don’t realize that in Boston, the year they won the World Series, the Red Sox were a strong team spiritually and physically. I wanted to show children that they can be a strong Christian and share those beliefs with their teammates while still being an exceptional player. And my other inspiration came from God. I just really felt Him laying it on my heart to write this book for parents and coaches.

Q: You (Nixon) and Ana Boudreau worked together to write The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football. How did you and Ana first meet?

KN: We met through a mutual friend—Ana was painting murals in the children’s preschool building at our church. That was about the time I was thinking about writing the book. It was just God’s timing. We were able to write and do the artwork together. And we’ve become very close friends.

Q: What inspired you to apply the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) to baseball and football? Do you think it will be easier for children to understand each character quality when applied to real life?

AB: There are so many valuable life lessons and character building opportunities in team sports. The Spirit in Sports series emphasizes God’s fruits of the Spirit in relation to how we respond to them. All of the virtues God gives us in the form of the fruits of the Spirit flow perfectly into teachable moments in relation to sports. The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football provide concrete examples of how these particular virtues can be used in sports, with situations they face every day.

Q: There are many amazing qualities children can learn from being involved in sports. Can you share with me some lessons children gain from competitive team sports?

KN: Competitive team sports teach children how to work well with others as a team. They learn to trust in others and to be confident in themselves. It keeps them active. It keeps them healthy. I think the virtues of the fruits of the Spirit can really shine through as they experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness towards others. And it especially helps them to demonstrate self control. Each of these virtues can be learned from this book and by playing the sport—even if they are sitting on the bench. They are being taught the character qualities that they will need through life.

Q: Sports sometimes bring out the worst in parents. Do you believe your books will also remind parents that it’s not just about winning but about character growth?

AB: As parents are reading these books to their little athletes, it is our hope that the seed of God’s word will also be planted in their hearts as well. Many times, team sports require parents to use these virtues as much as their players, and this book helps bridge conversations that can be meaningful for both parent and child. We hope our book strengthens parents’ understanding that God’s will for their children is of upmost importance, and that is not always shown through winning the game but, more importantly, through how it is played.

Q: What are your dreams for your books? How do you hope they will impact the lives of children?

KN: My main dream would be to spread God’s love and His word along with the virtues we all need to instill in ourselves and our children. I pray that these books can make their way around to kids all over the world. I’m not worried about the sales—just about getting God’s message out. We had The Spirit in Baseball printed in Spanish, and it is reaching children with missions all over the world. We want children to learn how to play the game God’s way.

Q: Do you plan on writing more books?

KN: We would like to do a basketball and a soccer book.