Sept. 9, 2022

Fresh Take: Linda Flanagan on Taking Back Kids' Sports

Is your 6th grader’s travel lacrosse schedule taking over your life? Are you spending $20K a year on youth hockey? Linda Flanagan’s new book is TAKE BACK THE GAME, and in this episode she explains how youth sports have been warped by money and mania.


Linda Flanagan is a journalist, researcher, and a former cross-country and track coach. She's also a founding board member of the Positive Coaching Alliance and an Advisory Group member for the Aspen Institute’s Reimagining Sports initiative. Flanagan's new book is TAKE BACK THE GAME: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids' Sports--and Why It Matters. Linda tells Amy and Margaret what forces conspired to make the youth sports landscape the way it is today.

In this episode, Linda, Amy, and Margaret discuss:

  • How the purpose of kids' sports has changed since we were playing ourselves [7:00]
  • Why we assume sports build character, and whether that's true [13:14]
  • How recruitment for college sports affects both kids' and parents' perspectives [22:15]


Here's where you can find Linda:

Buy Linda's book

@lindaflanagan2 on Twitter

Mindshift Podcast on NPR

Read Linda's recent article in The Atlantic: "The Downsides of Having an Athlete in the Family"

Our previous episode on kids' sports: "Youth Sports: If You Must"

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