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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

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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 marketpla
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Christina Dudley
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Skimmed this one about the commercialization of youth sports. Hyman is definitely onto something. I added up what we spend on the kids' swimming, we are rt in there with the white, middle-class avg. Yikes!

I would have liked to hear more about the effect on kids of the from-birth pressure and parents' expectations.
Kim Earll
So very poignant to see how youth sports across the board has taken up all discretionary income of so many families. My kid loves sports...he'd rather play on a club ball team than go to Disney World, which is good because with all the camps & equipment costs we haven't nor probably won't be going to Disney anyway! We MIGHT let him try out for a club team this year because that is what all his friends do & he misses them when they are away every weekend while he stays back and plays city ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Non fiction book about youth sports and everyone who has a hand in making money from the industry--from the sports "camp"s, recruitment assistance, corporate sponsors of high school sports (especially the events developed and promoted by ESPN), etc. It seems that everyone wants their kid to play at a high level, but the end-game isn't there because so few athletes ever obtain scholarships and even so, they often are too small to cover full tuition not to mention the room/board/books/travel.

Tara Brabazon
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was expecting more. This book is fine with a clear argument: the commercialization of children's sport is damaging to children, families and sporting cultures. That argument could have been expressed in three paragraphs. That argument could have been fleshed out and problematized in evocative and powerful ways. Instead, Mark Hyman has talked with a few people, visited a few websites but not researched physical cultural studies or movement cultures.

If readers want a simple and journalistic guid
Nothing I hadn't heard or suspected, but interesting to read it altogether. I was very disappointed to not see any examples of families involved in sports in healthier ways. Almost every parent quoted seemed frustrated by the time and money they put in, but resigned themselves to what they felt was inevitable. I am not willing to accept that for our family and will be entering youth sports warily. I also agree with another review that this was written very much like a series of articles rather t ...more
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it

There were really no surprises here and aggressive marketing to children is hardly limited to youth sports. We live in a culture in which too many believe that achievement and success can be bought rather than earned through hard work. I wish the author would have explored that angle further because in the end it's parents who choose how they spend their money, not the corporations.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting and important topic. The book reads like a series of magazine articles stretched to book length.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very interesting read. Some things that adults do in the name of serving children is shocking!
Jun 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy reading this nor did I find Mark Hyman's research scientific. I was left with lots of questions, but maybe that is his style?
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Examines the price of youth sports on young athletes, their parents and their parents' wallets. Well-written and informative.
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Mark Hyman writes about sports for BusinessWeek and numerous other publications. Before that he worked for nearly 20 years as a reporter for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun (1986-1997) where he was an enterprise and investigative reporter in the sports department. Before that, he covered sports for the Baltimore News American (1983-86), Dallas Times Herald (1982-83), Philadelphia Bulletin ( ...more