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.
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
“Hyman—a recovering sports dad himself—adopts a refreshingly nonjudgmental attitude toward the parents who started out pacing the sidelines and ended up walking off the deep end. . . . With a mix of facts and anecdotes, Hyman pivots to explore the supply side of the equation.” —Gordon Marino, New York Times Book Review
“It is widely noted that youth sports have their problems, from the obsession with results to premature specialization. However, economics are at the heart of these problems, and what often gets left unsaid is clearly outlined in Mark Hyman’s new book The Most Expensive Game in Town.” —Doug Glanville, Time.com
“An eye-opening look at yet another way that profit-driven adults are robbing kids of fun. Mark Hyman’s compelling exploration of the business of youth sports today is an important read for anyone who cares about children—or how the game is played.” —Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids and The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World
“[Hyman] presents the numbers to prove that most folks who feel that clinics for eight year olds and private coaches for children too young to brush their own teeth are more likely to lead to burnout than to brilliant careers.” —Bill Littlefield, National Public Radio’s “Only a Game.”