More girls are playing sports than ever before—which, on the surface, is great for girls because sports offer positive and empowering fun for young women. In reality, though, few young athletes report “fun” as a reason they play sports. The rates of concussions and repetitive-use injuries are on the rise, and kids are encouraged to specialize in a single sport at earlier and earlier ages, even at the expense of friends, other activities, and health. Through years of extensive research, Rick Eckstein discovered that college athletics have had an alarming impact on this trend in youth sports, particularly for girls. How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls' Sports looks closely at college sports and how they shape the athletic—and personal—landscape for girls and young women. Filled with powerful interview excerpts from women athletes of all ages, as well as coaches, league officials, and others, the book chronicles how college and youth sports have become more commercialized, to the detriment of participants. The book looks at a range of sports, with case studies including soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, figure skating, and Ultimate Frisbee.
Featuring a new preface to bring this evergreen topic up to the present, How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls’ Sports is an important and timely reminder that even as we celebrate sports’ potential to have a positive impact on a girl’s life, changes need to be made in college and youth athletics to improve the experiences of young athletes so that sports become fun once again.
Preface to the Paperback Edition
IntroductionChapter One: The Female Youth Sports to College PipelineChapter Two: Higher Education and the Youth Sports to College PipelineChapter Three: The Commercialized Youth Sports to College PipelineChapter Four: Creating Demand for the Youth Sports to College PipelineChapter Five: Female Sports on Male TermsChapter Six: Saving Girls’ Youth Sports by Changing Higher EducationAppendix: The Challenges of Ethnography