Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone CrazyOver Youth Sports

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Penguin, Apr 19, 2007 - Family & Relationships - 304 pages
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A journalist and mother of two athletic kids exposes the physical and emotional dangers of our over-the-top youth sports culture—and offers practical solutions for positive change.

A decade ago, Joan Ryan’s exposé, Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, changed the way we look at elite sports, namely figure skating and gymnastics. Today, there is another crisis in youth sports. It may affect any child, from the kindergartner on the soccer field to the high school athlete competing for scarce scholarship money. Regan McMahon’s Revolution in the Bleachers is a wake-up call for parents who spend their lives shuttling their kids from one field and practice to the next and wonder what happened to family life.
  • Have late weeknight practices made family meals a thing of the past?
  • Do you spend hours in the car each week, driving to games across town (or across the state)?
  • Do you worry that your kids will miss out (on competitive experiences, college scholarships, and other advantages) if they do not specialize in one sport early on?
  • Do you feel pressured to have your kids join elite club teams with steep fees and demanding travel schedules?
  • Do your kids get repetitive stress injuries that necessitate trips to orthopedic surgeons or physical therapists?
  • Do you miss your non-sports-related vacations as a family?
If so, the good news is, you are not alone. Other parents and kids (and even some coaches) are on your side. And you have a choice. Regan McMahon’s book began as a cover story for the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. Titled "How Much is Too Much?" it got a tremendous response. Finally, someone had dared to say what many parents were thinking! Parents, kids and coaches responded, prompting McMahon to criss-cross the country, doing interviews and research to find out how deep the problem goes and how to fix it.

In Revolution in the Bleachers, McMahon traces the evolution of the over-the- top youth culture and gives you a practical plan of action to bring balance back to kids’ lives and our families. McMahon’s rallying cry for a revolution in the bleachers could not be more timely or useful for parents trying to do the best for their kids.

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Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports

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McMahon, a journalist for theSan Francisco Chronicle , here expands on an article she wrote in March 2005 portraying youth sports across the country. The problems with today's little leagues are ... Read full review


Title Page
How Soccer Changed Everything
The Risks to Young Bodies
Childs Play
Growing Up Stressed
Guess Whos Not Coming to Dinner
Are Parents Driving the Craziness?
When Coaches Have All the Power
Start a Revolution

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About the author (2007)

Regan McMahon is a writer, book critic and video producer in Oakland. She worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for many years, where she was a book critic, feature writer, and the deputy book editor for the paper. Now, she contributes arts coverage, feature stories, and book reviews to the Chronicle and other publications and websites. She blogs for the working mothers website and's parenting blog, The Poop, and is the author of Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports (Gotham/Penguin).

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