As organized youth sports occupy an ever-greater role in the lives of American families, critics have begun to question whether some programs and participants have lost their way. This timely book examines the state of youth sports in America today, analyzing how organized sports influence communities, discussing the potential emotional and physical benefits as well as drawbacks of youth sports, and profiling the industry's key participants, ranging from parent coaches to club sports owners to personal trainers.
The work begins with a look at the evolution of youth sports in the United States, then explores such topics as burnout, self-discipline, performance-enhancing drugs, parental violence, and scholarships. The content includes coverage of 20 individual youth sports, such as basketball, softball, lacrosse, baseball, volleyball, football, soccer, cross-country, and swimming, and provides breakdowns of historical and current participation rates, injury rates, and sport-specific scholarship trends. Each summary includes contact information on important organizations specific to that sport.