Youth athletic sports

  How did the children’s competitive sports team contribute to a $15 trillion industry?
  Joey Eris practiced batting over and over again. The ball landed on the $15 batting net, and the sound of the ball hitting the metal net echoed deep in the streets of southern New Jersey. His personal trainer told him to reduce his stride. This one-hour course costs $100. He is used to such a tight training schedule. Before taking private lessons, he had just participated in a practical training in Philadelphia, which also cost $100.

  If you want to become a top player and enter the top-ranked baseball team in the United States, you must train uninterruptedly. These baseball teams are located in Texas and California, thousands of miles from Joey’s home. Joey is a very talented player. He can adjust his position extremely quickly with rare tricks-lower his shoulder angle, twist his hips, and hit the ball quickly. “He has the proud capital,” Joey’s coach Dan Hennigan said. “As long as he persists in training over time, he will definitely become a very high-level baseball player.”
  Joey actually has a better known to netizens. The name-“Baseball Joey”. He already has 24,000 followers on his Instagram photo sharing website. Jewelry and clothing companies have also asked him to endorse products. On a rare family outing, they met a little boy in Florida who was looking for his autograph. But at that time, Joey had not practiced his signature. After all, he is only 10 years old. Finally, they replaced the signature with a group photo.
  Joey Iris is just a microcosm of the reality of the young American athletes and their families, and a relatively successful example. Almost every level of young athletes in the United States, almost every sports team, has become a consumer of the juvenile competitive sports economy, and the age of the consumer group is decreasing year by year. Small community sports teams, city football associations, church basketball teams, and other groups that bring children together to participate in sports are gradually losing their appeal-even though these sports teams do not charge high venue rental fees. After these forms of sports teams experienced an active period at the beginning of the century, their participation has now fallen by 20%. Private club teams have risen, and small sports teams have been marginalized. Private club teams are generally loosely managed. The participants include professional players trained from sports schools and some experienced athletes with coaches as their second profession. The most powerful teams often compete with each other for potential players and participate in the National League. Other teams, just empty of the name of “elite”, are actually to collect sponsorship fees from parents. There is little hope for children to enter the high school team from such teams, let alone gain individual fans.
  Parents are willing to invest for their children. Some families are even willing to overspend 10% of their total family income to pay for their children’s registration fees, travel fees, training camp fees, and sports training equipment fees. Joey’s father, Joe Iris, ran galleries and spas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He said that Joey spent more than $30,000 in the northern United States for baseball training. A father who trains his daughter to train for volleyball spends $20,000 in club fees for his daughter, including gas, and they take a two-and-a-half-hour car four times a week to train. When they get home, it is already 11.30pm. A Mississippi mother regularly took his two sons, 10 and 11 years old, to participate in basketball training this summer, spending 7 hours on the road each time. Some parents simply let their children board. A family in Ottawa, Canada sent their 13-year-old child to New Jersey to train for a year to prepare for the upcoming ice hockey league. A sponsor paid them a sponsorship fee of $25,000. This summer, 10 boys from all over the United States played games for the St. Louis-based baseball club. All of them lived in assigned host families.

“I like to train hard.” Joey said. Joey lives in southern New Jersey and has joined the California and Texas baseball teams. His Instagram account has 24,000 followers.

  ”Children’s training is the top priority of our family.” Magali Sanchez said, she is a legal clerk, her daughter Melanie is 9 years old, and his son Xavier is 8 years old. They both participate in football training. In order for the children to practice football, Magali’s husband, Carlos, a gas station worker, spends 12 hours every Saturday driving and transporting supplies to the playing field to earn some extra money. The training of the children takes up a lot of evening and weekend time. Sanchez said that in order to accompany the children in training, their family often misses social occasions such as relatives’ weddings or children’s birthday parties. “This training model is too cruel,” she said, “but there is no way, they are your children, and you are willing to sacrifice everything for them.”
  So some private companies use their parents’ mentality to make money. The U.S. juvenile competitive sports economy-including consumption in every aspect of training, from traveling, to hiring coaches, to developing mobile applications for team formation and competition-has occupied a market share of $ 15.3 trillion. Wintergreen, a private research company that has been investigating the industry throughout the year, revealed that the market share of juvenile athletic sports is increasing year by year. From 2010 to the present, the market value of the industry has increased by 55%.
  Investors value the rankings of young athletes very much. NBA stars and billionaire shareholders of the most powerful team in the American Football League also hold equity in youth sports startups. Mainstream media and retail companies invest in technology and manage the progress of various events. The city government, which used to compete to develop a small professional team league, is now counting on the youth sports team to bring vitality to the local economy.
  Some families are almost crazy about training young athletes. Some children have very tight schedules, and top junior players can receive almost unimaginable high-level guidance and training. Training and competition in different places can bring together young athletes of various cultural backgrounds, which is something that local teams cannot do.
  Community teams mostly make money, so we need to understand what they have lost. Some worrying phenomena have already emerged. More and more surveys show that participating in intensive and single professional sports training at a young age is prone to sports injuries, fatigue and loss of mentality. Low-income families cannot afford travel and training expenses. Some children have low self-esteem because they can’t show talent in their early years. They may not want to participate in organized team sports when they grow up. Some families want to get scholarships by winning competitions, but the probability of success is small.
  ”For better or worse, youth athletic sports is being privatized.” said Jordan Frigill, an entrepreneur who has gradually transferred capital to the industry. This transformation is so drastic that small cities, large companies, and countless families have been affected.
  The American Professional Sports Association is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote social welfare. According to the latest US Internal Revenue Service records, the association earned $13.7 million in 2015 and its president earned $831,200. The association organizes national leagues and organizes rankings of junior sports events in basketball, baseball, and softball. The minimum age group for softball competition rankings is 6 years old and below, while the minimum age for participating in baseball junior competitions is 4 years old.

Kim Reilly ranks among the top five in the American youth basketball rankings. He lives in Los Angeles and has played in leagues in Utah, Texas and Nevada. His parents used loan software to pay for his travel expenses. If he cannot enter the NBA in the future, he hopes to become a veterinarian.

  In June, Joey’s Texas Bombers team won the third place in the 10-year-old and under age group of the American Professional Sports Association. The Alamo team got the first place in the group. This summer, 10-year-old Luke Martinez played second base on the Alamo team. He lives with his family in a fully equipped RV, and their RV is in San Antonio, Texas. Luke’s mother, Nolan, sells food in a food cart, and Luke’s father, Jerry, works as a logistics coordinator for a printer and copier company. In order to save money for Luke to train and compete in various cities in Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Florida, Jerry often worked overtime. The family car loan could not be repaid on time, and the RV had not been repaired for a long time.
  Like millions of parents who trained young athletes, Luke’s parents also hope that Luke’s sports expertise will allow him to win a college scholarship. Although awards in sports competitions are not the only way to win scholarships, parents still hope that their children can enter the ideal university through sports skills. Higher education spending has increased, and the budget for colleges and universities devoted to competitive sports has also increased. The member universities of the National College Sports Association have invested $3 billion in athletic scholarships. “This adds a lot of temptation to juvenile athletic sports,” said Tom Fary, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Social Program Research. “Many families are flocking.”
  The probability of getting a scholarship is actually very small. Only 2% of high school team athletes can enter the high-level college team, which is the first-class team of the American College Sports Association. For most families, saving some money to go to college is more realistic than spending money to hire coaches, win games, and get scholarships. “I have seen some parents spend tens of thousands of dollars to train their children to participate in sports competitions in order to obtain college scholarships. They should really keep this money for their children to go to college.” Travis Dosch, founder of Utah State University Sports Lab Say.
  The university has already begun to look for potential players in advance. University team coaches go to middle school to select seeded players, and competitive high schools have also begun to search competition rankings to find students they like. In some areas, travel training teams are more powerful than high school teams, and their members are more likely to become top players. The children realized the necessity of participating in the Tour League early on, and they must impress the school representatives who selected them with their outstanding performance. 12-year-old Catherine Sinclair played two basketball games in Philadelphia and New York in one day. She is willing to give so. “I’m going to be in the 8th grade. The university will come to our grade to look for athletes. I have to work very hard to make them notice me.” The
  Internet has become an important intermediary, search engine and hype machine. Almost all sports can find corresponding websites to provide rankings. Want to know the outstanding women’s volleyball team 15 years and younger, has all the information you need (annual subscription fee is 37.95 US dollars). The basketball ranking website evaluates the performance of junior basketball players and sometimes even exaggerates the evaluation of the players. The youngest player is only 7 years old. A second-year boy from Georgia was rated as “stable and skilled”, and a third-year boy from Ohio was rated as “very strategic.”
  Parents who know how to use social networks are now starting to create accounts for their children on Twitter and Instagram. One account introduced their young athletes like this: “My 11-year-old son’s unique style and attitude on the baseball field gave inspiration for a brand name.” The
  children have realized that college scholarships are increasing. In a 2016 survey published in the journal Family Relations, Duoshi and his colleagues found that the more money a family invests in sports training for their children, the greater the pressure on the children and the more difficult it is to enjoy them. This sport and persistence training.
  Even parents who do not ask for anything in return find themselves involved in the vicious circle of juvenile competitive sports. “I asked myself, should they continue to train?” said Ruth Mary Brewer, a non-profit organization employee in Portland, Oregon. She made herself 11 and 15 years old. The two sons are participating in the hockey training team. She is very conflicted about this. “We must be under pressure, especially when you find that your child has some talent in this area. You want him to do better, but I also hope They can have fun in training and make friends. We should step back and ask ourselves what our ultimate goal is.”
  Parents of young athletes have not so much experience in cultivating children, because a few years ago, young athletes Sports hasn’t developed so hot now. “When parents race to train their children to participate in competitions,” said sports psychologist Jim Taylor, “they often hear harsh remarks:’You said your children did not participate in the travel training team? There is no full-time training. That’s not possible.’” Taylor is now writing an educational book about parents with young athletes. He also has two daughters, one is 12 and the other is 10. They train skating and swimming separately: “It is difficult not to adapt, even if the parents are engaged in occupations like me, I stick my book is the theory, but in reality, my mental and wavering because I also impatient, I am also a father. ”
  sports in juvenile athletics In the industry, few companies do better than star groups. The headquarter of the group covers an area of ​​91 acres and has a market value of 1.5 billion. After entering the building, turn left and you will see Blue Star Sports Company, a company that raised 200 million US dollars in April 2016 and created 18 subsidiaries. The main business is to process payments for junior sports clubs, rank junior basketball players, and Analyze the performance of the game and build an online social platform for young athletes.
  Bluestar’s investors include Bain Capital, 32 shares (an investment institution of the American Football League). The company’s goal is to occupy the juvenile competitive sports market, and the company knows how to establish a good relationship with investors, promote its own development, and its publicity is well done. The company’s trademark will appear on TV every weekend.
  Other companies are not to be outdone to seize the market. American retailer Dick Sporting Goods has acquired a company that manages online event arrangements and records event rankings. Last year, the ABC bought Sports Ngin, a company that specializes in event arrangements and sports social software. It raised $39 million when it started. After the merger, Sports Ngin was renamed Sports Engine. In August of this year, Sports Engine created a search catalog covering 100,000 junior training camps, teams and alliances. Time Group, the parent company of “Time”, started “Sports Illustrated” after acquiring three start-up companies operating juvenile sports application software. The “Sports Illustrated” application currently has 17 million subscribers. “Sports Illustrated” President Jeff Karp said that in the past 18 months, investors have invested more than $1 billion in the juvenile sports market.

  The booming market has attracted countless entrepreneurs. Some companies operate mobile apps to recruit junior sports team members, and some companies develop software for finding personal education. Even during the economic crisis, the revenue of the travel sports company responsible for booking youth sports training camps doubled. In 2012, entrepreneur Frigill released the CoachUp software application, which became a two-way medium of choice for young athletes and personal coaches. NBA star Stephen Kerry is one of the investors in this app. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Stephen is the boss of CoachUp,” Victor Hall said. Hall is a teacher and coach in New York, and he thinks this app gives him the opportunity to develop a profitable side business.
  The development of the U.S. Youth Traveling Sports Team has led to increasingly fierce competition among prestigious universities for sports talents. Cities and towns use taxation to establish material incentives to retain talents, hoping that the influx of spectators at sports games can stimulate the local economy.
  The City of Westfield in Indiana thinks so. They figured out a way to increase the business tax in a small city 20 kilometers north of downtown Indiana. “We want to know whether family travel driven by the youth travel sports team can form an industry?” Mayor Andy Cook said. The City of Westfield used a $70 million bond to build a large sports park. The park was put into operation in 2014 and includes 31 artificial turf for football, hockey and track and field, 26 softball and baseball fields, and a total area of ​​370,000 square feet of indoor sports fields. The city government hopes that the taxes paid by the hotels, retail and pharmaceutical industries around the large sports parks will gradually fill the debt.
  The City of Westfield tried to attract a professional baseball team to train in the city. “This can win some prestige for our city,” Cook said, “but we can’t make money from this kind of project. The way we make money is to host regional leagues. The participants are teenagers aged 16 and under, because they participate in the competition. They will bring their parents, siblings, and even grandparents.”
  The pioneer of the trend of stimulating the surrounding economy through the establishment of sports grounds and parks is the “Sports Kaleidoscope” program founded by Entertainment Sports Television. It was launched in 1997 and the venue is located in the Disneyland Plaza in Orlando. The 220-acre site allows Disney to receive league venue fees, hotel accommodation fees, and theme park entrance fees. Hosting the league can also make Disneyland more deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, attract more potential small consumers, thereby driving future income. The industry is booming and the “Sports Kaleidoscope” program received 385,000 young athletes in 2016, an increase of 28% over 2011.
  This winter, the 347,000-square-foot Dome Stadium will be put into operation. This dome can hold more than a dozen all-around track and field events at the same time, and it can also hold 6 junior baseball league games at the same time. The venue is located in Fishkill, a city 70 miles north of New York, where the former IBM campus is located. It will become one of the largest domed stadiums in the world, and the venue owner plans to auction the venue naming rights to the highest bidder. The $25 million stadium open throughout the year will accommodate thousands of young athletes from the northeastern United States to participate in football, hockey, and baseball games. They can sweat as much as they would in the Southern Sunbelt of the United States in this stadium that can be open no matter the weather.
  Is the development of youth athletic sports really that worrying? Many families say that they enjoy travel and sports. Parents with little athletes in the family became friends with each other, and the children also met more little friends because of sports. “Some friends and other parents told me that we had arranged too much training for Luke, and it was too early for him to fight like this,” said Luke’s father Jerry Martinez. “But this is his Hobbies, we don’t want to suppress his growth.”
  The consequences of over-intensive training (especially youth sports training) have attracted more and more attention. According to the Sports Fitness Association, the number of sports competitions participated by teenagers aged 6 to 17 has continued to increase in the past three years. The May issue of the Journal of American Sports Medicine published a University of Wisconsin research report that juvenile athletes participating in long training for more than 8 months a year may cause sports injuries.
  Intensive training not only causes physical damage, but may also impair mental development. The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that “adolescents engaged in professional sports training may lead to excessive fatigue, anxiety, loss and other adverse psychological reactions.” Delaying the time of professional training and starting professional sports training from the time of adulthood is more likely to get sports. Success in career.
  The training of a single project is more likely to make it difficult for teenagers to achieve their goal of success: obtaining university scholarships. A survey conducted by UCLA researchers on 296 athletes from the American College Athletic Association’s first-grade varsity team showed that 88% of the first-grade varsity athletes participated in at least two or three types of sports when they were young.
  Other consequences are more obvious. Expensive travel sports teams have replaced the past community sports groups, so more children are excluded from organized sports. According to the American Sports Fitness Association, families with an annual income of more than US$100,000 have a 41% participation rate in their children’s traveling sports team, while families with an annual income of less than US$25,000 have a participation rate of only 19%.
  On a weekend in June, all eyes were on baseball Joey. “Is that baseball Joey?” the opposing player asked his coach. Yes, it is indeed Joey Iris from southern New Jersey. He is warming up on the sidelines. Next he will play for the Texas Bombers.
  In addition to Joey, the Texas Bombers also introduced two star players, one from California and the other from Mexico. Their coach Lale Eskivir won the World University Championships in 1999. He let his son participate in the team he led, not ashamed of other players. “I know how to choose potential players,” Eskivir said. “My son is very good. I hope that good players can influence him subtly, and training in my team can also help your son grow into a talent. We are all We got the desired result, so it is a win-win situation. We have spent money and time, and of course we have to pay back.”
  Of course, in addition to booking air tickets, signing for others and the upcoming leagues, they will also look to the future. . On a weekend in Louisiana, Joe Eris put his shorts in a backpack for his son. “Sometimes, I try to make a good relationship with my son, and my wife always reminds me that in the eyes of my son, I am just a fat man in red overalls, running around in order to distribute gifts to others.”