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Game on: How the Pressure to Win at All Costs Endangers Youth Sports and What Parents Can Do about Itby Tom Farrey
Synopses & Reviews
A first-of-its-kind investigative book on the least examined and most important topic in sports today.
Youth sports isn't just orange slices and all-star trophies anymore. It's 14-year-olds whoenter high school with a decade of football experience, 9-year-olds competing for national baseball championships, 5-year-old golfers who shoot par, and toddlers made from sperm donated (for a fee) by elite collegeathletes. It's a year-round travel team in every community--and parents who fear that not making the cut in grade school will cost their kid the chance to play in high school. In short, a landscape inwhich performance often matters more than participation, all the way down to peewee basketball.
Much as Fast Food Nation challenged our eating habits and SilentSpring rewired how we think about the environment, Tom Farrey's Game On will forever change the way we look at this desperate culture besotted by the example of Tiger Woods. An Emmyaward-winning reporter, Farrey examines the lives of child athletes and the consequences of sorting the strong from the weak at ever earlier ages: fewer active kids, testier sidelines, rising obesity rates, and U.S.national teams that rarely win world titles.
He dives into the world of these games that are played by more than 30 million boys and girls, and along the way uncovers some surprising truths. When thevery best athletes enter organized play. The best approach to coaching them. And the powerful influence of wealth and genetics. Farrey has written a surprising, alarming, thoughtful, and ultimately empowering book foranyone who wants the best for the newest generation of Americans, as athletes and citizens.
From the Hardcover edition.
Played by more than thirty million boys and girls across the country, youth sports have turned from a casual activity for kids into a fanatical force–an intense, expensive, elitist rite of passage driven by the needs of impatient (if often well-meaning) adults. In Game On, award-winning ESPN reporter Tom Farrey explores the causes and consequences of our obsession with early success in sports. The effort to sort the strong from the weak at ever-younger ages, Farrey argues, pushes too many children to the sidelines–and ultimately undermines the quality of U.S. national teams. We've conscripted our kids into a sports arms race in which individual performance trumps participation and personal growth. To counter the effects of a win-at-all-costs culture, Farrey suggests measures that can help parents–and communities–get children off the couch without running them into the ground.
Much as Fast Food Nation challenged our eating habits and Outliers encouraged us to think in new ways about high achievers, Game On will change the way we look at the critically important games that American kids play.
Tom Farrey is an investigative journalist whose work has been recognized for excellence in print, on television, and online. A correspondent with ESPN's prime-time newsmagazine E:60, he also has reported on air for ESPN's Outside the Lines and SportsCenter, as well as for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, where he is a senior writer. He joined ESPN in 1996, after eight years with The Seattle Times. In 2007, he was one of seven journalists selected among the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island. His reports have won many honors, including two Emmy awards for Outstanding Sports Journalism. Farrey lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine, and their three children, Cole, Anna, and Kellen. This is his first book.
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