Professor Jeanne Hess on her Book, “Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games”

Jeanne Hess with her book

Professor Jeanne Hess, pictured with her book "Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games"

Jeanne Hess, professor of physical education and head coach of volleyball, has written Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games, a book that examines how people can attain peace, understanding, and joy through sports.

Hess has coached volleyball and taught at “K” for 28 years. She said Sportuality can help readers redefine words traditionally associated with sports—competition, victory, sacrifice, education community, spirit, humor, holiness, and more.

“I have a deep belief in the power of athletics to shape and sustain us toward a more positive and peaceful ideal,” she said, “Whether you are an athlete, coach, parent, official, or fan, I believe seeking the larger purpose of play is critical to transforming sport within our culture.”

Using a journal and questions for self-reflection—called a “box score” and “time-out”—readers can reflect upon and create their own spiritual sports, or “sportual,” stories. These stories, according to Hess, ultimately can lead readers to joy, increased awareness, and a renewed commitment to engage in positive competition.

Hess said part of her inspiration for writing the book came out of a self-study curriculum called “A Course in Miracles” that aims to assist its readers in achieving spiritual transformation, and by the words of author, lecturer, and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson.

“But I’ve also been inspired by more than 30 years worth of teams, colleagues in teaching and coaching, my students, and my family,” which includes two sons who have both played for Division I university baseball programs and in the Detroit Tigers minor league organization.

Jeanne Hess ranks in the top 30 NCAA Division III coaches with the most wins. She earned her 500th career volleyball victory at Kalamazoo in 2011. Published by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, Sportuality is available from the Kalamazoo College Bookstore, Balboa Press (, Barnes and Noble ( and on Amazon (