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

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See 2 Critic Reviews's hard not to sympathize with Mr. Hyman when he frets about the decline of unorganized youth sports...
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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.

About Mark Hyman

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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.
Published March 20, 2012 by Beacon Press. 176 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Parenting & Relationships, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Most Expensive Game in Town
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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Christopher Caldwell on Jun 08 2012

As he draws up all these comparisons, Goldsmith betrays no partisan animus. He does not allege that Democrats or lawyers are winking at practices they once condemned because Obama is “their” guy.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Dan Ackman on Mar 24 2012's hard not to sympathize with Mr. Hyman when he frets about the decline of unorganized youth sports...

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