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 who enter 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 college athletes. 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 in which performance often matters more than participation, all the way down to peewee basketball.
Much as Fast Food Nation challenged our eating habits and Silent Spring 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 Emmy award-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 the very 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 for anyone who wants the best for the newest generation of Americans, as athletes and citizens.
We all want our kids to shine. But here's what you need to know before you push them too far. Much as Fast Food Nation challenged America's eating habits, Game On by Tom Farrey will forever change the way we look at youth sports. In this fascinating journey into a culture gone haywire, Farrey--an Emmy-award winning reporter--examines the bewildering choices confronting the all-stars of tomorrow. He finds 13-year-old figure skaters who have been injected with steroids; 11-year-old baseball players suiting up for 125-game schedules; 9-year-olds with private trainers; 7-year-olds engaged in power lifting; even babies conceived from sperm donated by elite college athletes. Lost in all that ambition is the larger reality: poor showings by U.S. teams in the Olympics, the World Cup, and international baseball and basketball competitions. Drawing on his own experiences as a father of three, Farrey looks beyond the statistics and the studies to the stories of real-life athletes, educators, coaches, recruiters, and parents, seeking to identify precisely what's wrong and what's right with our fevered pursuit of excellence. For any parent who hopes to give a son or a daughter a leg up in this sports-loving nation, Game On is required reading: a surprising, alarming, thoughtful, and, ultimately, empowering book for moms and dads who want the best for their child.
In this fascinating journey into a culture gone haywire, an Emmy-award winning reporter examines what's right and what's wrong with the fevered pursuit of excellence in youth sports.
About the Author
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.