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A New Economic Vocabulary For Youth Sports Parents

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PCA National Advisory Board Member Jay Coakley (@SiSCoakley) is Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He has done 40 years of research on connections between sports, culture and society, much of that focused on the play, games and sport participation of young people. His Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies(11th edition) is the world's most widely used sports sociology text.

In this video, Coakley talks about how parents look at youth sports as an investment for their children. Parents today have developed an economic vocabulary that surrounds their child’s experiences because programs today are privatized and costly and therefore parents want a return on their investment through benefits such as college scholarships or professional careers. Coakley shares that “26% of parents expect their child athletes to have a possible professional career in the sport that they’re playing,” and this mentality has shifted how parents are involved in the youth sports experience.