The Price of Youth Sports (Full Segment) | Real Sports w/ Bryant Gumbel | HBO

The Price of Youth Sports (Full Segment) | Real Sports w/ Bryant Gumbel | HBO

these days the places kids go to play sports have gotten so big that you can only appreciate their size from high above sprawling complexes with professional-grade fields where teams can play all day and all night and since there is no offseason anymore in Big Time youth sports there are massive indoor facilities too if you're a kid heck if you're an adult and you walk in here you think you've died and gone to sports heaven this is fantasy land for athletes death petit is an owner of bo Jackson's elite sports in Ohio and as a consultant to facilities like this throughout the u.s. you got soccer over here you got a weightlifting facility here regulation in field over here for baseball being used batting cages over there and we're standing on this tall gauntlet which has climbing walls and climbing ropes and everything else what don't you have in here the facility is amazing isn't it these kids come in here they get mental toughness training on this tower they get skills training out in the in fields there in the cages they're qualified well trained coaches these kids are headed somewhere the bow dome as it's known here in Hilliard Ohio is part of a booming business according to one estimate spending on youth sports this year will top 17 billion dollars with some families spending ten thousand dollars a year per kid or more some of these kids might spend 150 even $175 an hour to be with a collegiate level coach they're spending 175 dollars an hour if they want to be prepared for college many of these consumers believe they need it and that's the sales pitch to parents the interesting thing about a facility like this is there's no sales pitch necessary parents with means are clamoring to put their kids in the very best sports programs there is no sales pitch here we go but there is a problem the price of playing sports has gotten so high that millions of kids can't keep up researchers say that over the last decade there has been an eight percent drop in the number of American children who competitive sports 8% in just a decade for the first time in American history youth sports has become for the haves and out of reach for the have-nots now even those who've profited from the trend like the Bo domes dev petit think it's time to sound an alarm this gap between who gets to play and who doesn't is widening we're watching it before our eyes those with means get to play get to travel get to beyond travel sports and leagues and private clubs and those who don't have means don't get to play but we've long held the belief that sports is for everyone it's no longer the case household income of less than $75,000 a year is dramatically less likely to play sport than a household income of $100,000 or more I need money in order to play something that I once had for free it's a massive change in our society years ago the kid wanted to come out and play basketball what would it cost him it was free if a kid wanted to play volleyball or softball free and if a kid wanted to join the swimming team be part of a swim meet absolutely free and today the idea of playing on a team that's sponsored by Parks and Recreation participating in a tournament does that opportunity exist anymore those days have pretty much gone away Gary best has seen it happen in his home city of st. Louis Missouri where he's run public parks and recreation departments for 40 years best says the public funds have gotten so tight that half of the rec centers in the city have had to be shut down while the ones that are still open are badly in need of repair it's part of a nationwide trend has cash-strapped communities accepting that Youth Sports has become a big-ticket private industry have cut back on providing free or inexpensive sports programs and facilities to the public we have a two-tier system now the system of people who have money that can pay for the travel sports and we have a diminishing role of community recreation that can't compete this public park and Lewis County used to host a thriving baseball league today it is abandoned it's basically unusable the dugouts don't exist the fields overgrown there's no pitchers map no bass player would you want your kids to play here in this I probably let my dog run around it yeah I guess what it all boils down to is sufficient revenue to maintain the system we lost twelve million dollars out of our budget we lost a hundred employees something's gotta give back in Hilliard Ohio sports are thriving like never before at least inside the walls of the Bo dome with hundreds of kids spending thousands of dollars each but outside these walls it's a different story Corinna Tucker and her husband moved to Hilliard for the great school system and the opportunities the town offered for their two daughters but after her husband lost his job and the girls asked to join a local soccer club the family found out just how inaccessible youth sports and Hilliard can be there is a subliminal message they designed for everybody it's not it's just not my go to the same church when I go to the same school but we don't have everything it's not the same and that includes the play field your girls wanted soccer that was the thing that they yeah we pointed out to you yes could you afford it no you're looking at about $1,200 before you start doing the actual travel the stigma of hardship is why Corinna asked us not to show her daughter's faces on television she says that when it comes to most youth sports and Hilliard her family is on the outside looking in it's Saturday morning we're out in the car and I'm driving up and I'm seeing a large group of people I mean it's packed and this is what happens hey that's my friend Ava hey that's my friend Lindsay I know that's her where can i play she's playing she's my friend mom that's the difficult part the disappointment was bitter but it got worse as Karina advanced in her job as a sales manager at a local hotel and started working with a new set of clients yes Travel sports teams coming to Hilliard to play in youth tournaments they call and they booked with me and I negotiate the prices and the rights so you see all the money that's being spent on travel sports do you see some irony here there is quite a bit in irony because you coming in my town to come play and my kids can't do it my kid I can't afford to do that the Tucker's are far from the only ones left on the outside here so many children can't afford sports and Hillyard but just a few miles from the Beaux Dome we found a very different kind of recreational program a faith-based organization for families in need it's a sign of the times for many kids today their only chance to play sports is charity outside of your program how much access did these kids have to sports very very little tonight Kim inch started this program when she realized there were thousands of kids in Hillyard who were underserved at this local church on a weeknight they get help with their homework and a much needed chance to run around m's took us to the parts of Hilliard the children she works with call home to show us their open play space these are the conditions that they're having to contend with right and if they can't play here what are they left with yeah they're left with their video game and their TV and their apartment on their couch and these same kids who are living here are going to the elementary schools or the middle schools in town with kids who have everything and more they can be sad yeah it's terrible because they care they're talking about that and then they can't be involved at all even where they live there isn't a place to play that safe they don't have the same opportunities and it changes the trajectory of their life the problem stretches far beyond Hilliard at least 25 million school-aged children in America now live in homes classified by the federal government as low-income that's at least 25 million kids who were being priced out of sports we're still the one place kids used to know they'd get a chance to play is often no longer providing it thanks to budget cuts in recent years and an emphasis on test results mandated by federal law schools around the u.s. have largely slashed physical education from their programs there are very few kids in America who go to gym class during the day anymore really really it was the highlight of my day to go to gym class and you're telling me that most kids today in America are not doing that not only that can you imagine sitting in that chair for eight hours class after class without physically moving without getting some physical exercise it's not good for kids according to the Centers for Disease Control less than four percent of schools in the u.s. required daily physical education even when schools do have the money to offer a wide variety of sports teams for their students like urine Hilliard many kids often decline to participate discouraged by their inability to compete with the privately taught kids every year our numbers dwindle from eighth grade to ninth grade to 10th grade a lower percentage of students are participating in sports kids just simply you're dropping out and I think it's probably that way in in any high school you would talk to dr. John Marsh Heusen is the superintendent of the public school system in Hilliard there comes a point where the kids who played the elite club are just head and shoulders in terms of skill and talent they've been working on it for 12 months a year in some cases since they were in fourth grade where does that leave the kid the can't afford to do that well we see them coming out to a point and then when they see that this isn't going to be an option they quit this is an uncomfortable issue for us as a public school district to say we have kids who can't compete because of their socio economics and yeah the opportunity is there because they can try out but because they don't have the skills it's not really there it's a false sense of opportunity do you worry about the kid who's not in sports yeah I worry about the kid who might leave a high school at 2:45 and has no structure from 2:45 until 10:00 at night what choices is that young man or that woman making education officials aren't the only ones worried about how many inactive kids there are today so is the medical community at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doctors are so concerned about the rise and childhood obesity that they don't just focus on eating habits they are prescribing another remedy for their young patients exercise the therapists here have a simple goal get the kids moving and more comfortable in their bodies because their future depends on it today we're at close to 40% of our children are obese overweight they will have diabetes and other health consequences that will cost all of us a tremendous amount of money this is a health crisis for Dave petit who helped fuel the boom in youth sports and now sees the downside the stakes couldn't be higher he sees a generation of kids in the balance this crisis that we see in terms of who's getting access in this disparity it will go on for many many years to come we have to come up with solutions now thanks for watching remember you can catch the rest of the latest edition of real sports all month long on HBO you you

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27 Replies to “The Price of Youth Sports (Full Segment) | Real Sports w/ Bryant Gumbel | HBO”

  1. And you wonder why parents will spend hundreds of thousands allegedly to buy their kids into some elite college/uni. Parents are living through their kids. We live in times where parents worship their kids.

  2. I bet Bo Jackson never had to learn to play baseball and football in some private academy. How sad.

  3. Not true where we live. My son does a local basketball league and it costs $100 for the season and includes the tee shirt. He also is involved in taekwondo which is private and costs a lot. But if he only wanted to play basketball, it is dirt cheap. Rec soccer leagues and baseball is cheap.

  4. At 11:20 to 11:30, the kid who "has no structure" technically can have it. He or she will have to go to the library and get a head start on homework and then endure less stress and have an earlier bedtime. That's not a bad plan considering most of these youth sports "alums" have almost no shot at making it big.

  5. The BIG Vision Foundation in Reading, Pennsylvania manages a 130 acre outdoor sports complex and has eliminated player registration fees, allowing access to sports programs for all. Check out the link for the press release here…

  6. I don't know of many places that don't have youth leagues run by volunteers that charge much less, whether that be baseball, soccer, basketball, or football. Parents get fooled into thinking their kid is the next big thing, but the fact still remains DNA plays a bigger role than many ever will on an athletes success.

  7. The lady that moved to Hilliard and now says her girls can't play soccer is full of it. There are multiple leagues around they could play in. Just because you can't afford "Travel" teams does not mean you just can't play anymore….this is bogus. Of course the rich people will pay for the top trainers and such, doesn't mean that kid is going D1 or to the pros…

  8. This report while some of it is accurate is not the complete truth. I live in Hilliard and my daughter plays soccer for less than $100 per season. There are many more expensive options, but the minimum is not $1,200 as stated. If you want to play top level sports it costs $ but that has always been the case. Having said all that, I would restate the hypothesis. Playing sports at a high level is for the "haves" but playing sports is still accessible to all in Hilliard.

  9. Even though the poor kids are left out in the cold, I get a feeling with youth football going down the toilet youth football programs could either discount their prices or create inexpensive methods to get the poor kids to be their next players in pads.

  10. What is so sad is that many of these kids won’t even be college scholarship athletes and those parents’ money could put their money to more constructive and communal use.

    It doesn’t help that those parents also add pizza and burgers to the post game meals. Gee, what elite athlete foods when even more of that money could go to the poor. Oh yeah, what about those other matters such as academics most focused in science, technology, engineering, and math?

    Our national priorities are going down the toilet!!!

  11. Make the best of your uniqueness,…. it's not a right to have the same opportunities. And btw, don't have children if you're not on the up an up, and can provide healthy living. Priorities: Health and making a good life, in the ways you can. Reasonably.

  12. Pure Nonsense Go see the fields where kids play soccer in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, France, Germany, They need a ball and a few friends. #MAGA

  13. gentrified competition is a cornerstone of capitalist cronyism. the next mike jordan is probably out there and we may never know.

  14. People that have kept up with US soccer have known this for a long time . That’s why ours men’s team is garbage

  15. This is the product of a commons plundered by exploiting kids with and for big money, reduced government, social isolation, a pay to play culture, and racism.

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