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Cass Lake author writes children's sports guide book

Wendy Potratz drew on professional and personal experience to write her guidebook for parents and young children starting out in team sports.

"Agnes Plays Soccer: A Young Cow's Lesson in Sportsmanship" tells a story children will identify with. Agnes, a child in the guise of an animal, learns to deal with sportsmanship, respect and empathy for others, anger management, self pity and friendship as she takes part in a beginning soccer league for youngsters.

Her wise parents check out the program, the coach and the philosophy -- having fun and learning skills -- before they sign Agnes up. They also have a serious discussion with Agnes about wanting to join the team for the right reasons.

The 89-page book concludes with a parents' guide with recommendations such as avoiding living vicariously through their children, letting children's interests guide their organized activities, keeping involved in the process, setting a positive example and making sure the program is safe and age-appropriate.

Potratz lives near Midge Lake with her husband, Lee, an activities director at the Leech Lake Boys & Girls Club in Cass Lake, and children, Owen, 3, and Adeline, 10 months.

The author has a bachelor's degree in athletic training and a master's with an emphasis in sport psychology. She has directed sports from youth teams through college level.

She said she is currently an at-home mother, but she wanted to continue her professional work at the same time. So, she turned to writing the sports guide. She said she has another book about sports burnout in the works. It is "Callie: A Young Cow's Lesson in Motivation," guiding parents in how to motivate youngsters without pushing them too hard.

Potratz will hold book signings July 8 at Bookworld in Walker and July 22 at B. Dalton in Bemidji. Her current book, "Agnes," costs $9.99 and is available from Tate Publishing, LLC,, or from the author at