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The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today's Families

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The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today's Families Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Nearly 50 million kids play organized sports each year, and each of them has a supportive family that digs deep into its pockets to pay for the essentials—uniforms, equipment, league fees, travel to away games. But the buck doesn’t stop there. With private lessons, elite sports camps, corporate-sponsored tournaments, and all the hotel expenses and tourist traps that come with them, youth sports is more than just a fun pastime. It’s an incredibly profitable market, and it’s become crowded with companies and individuals eager to reap the rewards.

 

Building on his eye-opening investigation into the damaging effects of the ultra-competitive culture of youth sports in his first book, Until It Hurts, sports dad and journalist Mark Hyman takes us behind the scenes for a startling look at the business of youth sports, how it has changed, and how it is affecting young Americans. Examining the youth sports economy from many sides—the major corporations, small entrepreneurs, coaches, parents, and, of course, kids—Hyman probes the reasons for rapid changes in what gets bought and sold in this lucrative marketplace. He takes us to tournaments sponsored by Nike, Gatorade, and other big businesses. He talks to parents who sacrifice their vacations and savings to get their (sometimes reluctant) junior stars to these far-off, expensive venues for a chance to shine. And he introduces us to videos purporting to teach six-month-old babies to kick a ball, to professional athletes who will “coach” an eight-year-old for a hefty fee, to a town that has literally staked its future on preteen sports. However, the story isn’t all big business and bad guys. Hyman also turns the spotlight on individuals cashing in on the youth sports market, but whose goods actually provide (at least) some benefits to kids.

 

Through extensive interviews and original reporting, The Most Expensive Game in Town looks beyond the high-energy ad campaigns, the supposedly performance-enhancing sneakers, and the cute baby-sized jerseys to explain the causes and effects of the commercialization of youth sports—and to reveal how these changes are distorting and diminishing family life. The proof is in the price tag. Happily, Hyman unearths promising examples of individuals and communities bucking this destructive trend and using youth sports to uplift and enrich kids’ lives, rather than to fill their own pockets. 

Review:

"Following up his previous book, Until It Hurts, Hyman, a sports journalist for Business Week, further probes the soaring cost of the youth sports economy, targeting the dreams and aspirations of parents obsessed with the hope of transforming their children into professional athletes. The author scores high points in telling the stories of families in Ohio, Kansas, and California, who pushed their budgets near their breaking point to get their kids the best equipment, coaching, and summer camps. While slick-talking advocates of the youth sports business promise great results from the various programs and academies, the cash-strapped parents feel guilt for not taking advantage of every opportunity to guarantee their charges fame and fortune. He wisely poses key queries about media overexposure, financial sponsorship in the inner city vs. suburbs, and government inaction. However, Hyman's slender volume presents more questions than answers, touching on topics rather than going into them in depth, yet he still puts some significant issues on the front burner. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A look at how commercialization has transformed youth sports from fun into a heavily commercialized and profitable venture

 

Examining the youth sports economy from many sides—the major corporations, the small entrepreneurs, the coaches, the parents, and, of course, the kids—Hyman probes the reasons for rapid changes in what gets bought and sold in this lucrative marketplace. He reveals the effects on kids and profiles the individuals and communities bucking this destructive trend of commercialization.

Synopsis:

Building on the eye-opening investigation into the damaging effects of the ultra-competitive culture of youth sports in his previous book, Until It Hurts, Mark Hyman's new book looks at the business of youth sports, how it has changed, and how it is affecting young Americans. Examining the youth sports economy from many sides--the major corporations, small entrepreneurs, coaches, parents, and, of course, kids--Hyman probes the reasons for rapid changes in what gets bought and sold in this lucrative marketplace. Just participating in youth sports can be expensive. Among the costs are league fees, equipment, and perhaps private lessons with a professional coach. With nearly 50 million kids playing organized sports each year, it is easy to see how profitable this market can be. Hyman takes us to tournaments sponsored by Nike, Gatorade, and other big businesses, and he talks to parents who sacrifice their vacations and savings to get their (sometimes reluctant) junior stars to these far-off, expensive venues for a chance to shine. He introduces us to videos purporting to teach six-month-old babies to kick a ball, to professional athletes who will "coach" an eight-year-old for a hefty fee, to a town that has literally staked its future on preteen sports. With its extensive interviews and original reporting, The Most Expensive Game in Town explains the causes and effects of the commercialization of youth sports, changes that the author argues are distorting and diminishing family life. He closes with strong examples of individuals and communities bucking this destructive trend.

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About the Author

Mark Hyman is a journalist, frequently contributing to publications, such as The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, and he was a former writer for BusinessWeek and Sports Business Journal. In 1998, he assisted Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller in the writing of his memoir, Confessions of a Baseball Purist. He has appeared on panels and led workshops for the Sports Lawyers Association, the American Press Institute and the Associated Press Sports Editors. In 2010 he was honored as one of 18 Sports Ethics Fellows by the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island and the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University. He currently teaches in the sports management program at George Washington University.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Parent Trap

Chapter 2: Baby Goes Pro

Chapter 3: Youth Sports, USA

Chapter 4: The Sponsorship Game

Chapter 5: Exposed and Overexposed

Chapter 6: Selling Hope

Chapter 7: Making Progress, and Maybe a Fortune

Chapter 8: Beyond Commercialization

Postscript

Acknowledgments

Works Cited

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807001363
Author:
Hyman, Mark
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Sociology of Sports
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.77 x 5.71 x 0.71 in 0.74 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Business Aspects
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Coaching
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sociology of Sports
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports Writing

The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today's Families Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807001363 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Following up his previous book, Until It Hurts, Hyman, a sports journalist for Business Week, further probes the soaring cost of the youth sports economy, targeting the dreams and aspirations of parents obsessed with the hope of transforming their children into professional athletes. The author scores high points in telling the stories of families in Ohio, Kansas, and California, who pushed their budgets near their breaking point to get their kids the best equipment, coaching, and summer camps. While slick-talking advocates of the youth sports business promise great results from the various programs and academies, the cash-strapped parents feel guilt for not taking advantage of every opportunity to guarantee their charges fame and fortune. He wisely poses key queries about media overexposure, financial sponsorship in the inner city vs. suburbs, and government inaction. However, Hyman's slender volume presents more questions than answers, touching on topics rather than going into them in depth, yet he still puts some significant issues on the front burner. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A look at how commercialization has transformed youth sports from fun into a heavily commercialized and profitable venture

 

Examining the youth sports economy from many sides—the major corporations, the small entrepreneurs, the coaches, the parents, and, of course, the kids—Hyman probes the reasons for rapid changes in what gets bought and sold in this lucrative marketplace. He reveals the effects on kids and profiles the individuals and communities bucking this destructive trend of commercialization.

"Synopsis" by , Building on the eye-opening investigation into the damaging effects of the ultra-competitive culture of youth sports in his previous book, Until It Hurts, Mark Hyman's new book looks at the business of youth sports, how it has changed, and how it is affecting young Americans. Examining the youth sports economy from many sides--the major corporations, small entrepreneurs, coaches, parents, and, of course, kids--Hyman probes the reasons for rapid changes in what gets bought and sold in this lucrative marketplace. Just participating in youth sports can be expensive. Among the costs are league fees, equipment, and perhaps private lessons with a professional coach. With nearly 50 million kids playing organized sports each year, it is easy to see how profitable this market can be. Hyman takes us to tournaments sponsored by Nike, Gatorade, and other big businesses, and he talks to parents who sacrifice their vacations and savings to get their (sometimes reluctant) junior stars to these far-off, expensive venues for a chance to shine. He introduces us to videos purporting to teach six-month-old babies to kick a ball, to professional athletes who will "coach" an eight-year-old for a hefty fee, to a town that has literally staked its future on preteen sports. With its extensive interviews and original reporting, The Most Expensive Game in Town explains the causes and effects of the commercialization of youth sports, changes that the author argues are distorting and diminishing family life. He closes with strong examples of individuals and communities bucking this destructive trend.
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