Book Trailer The Noble Train

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Money in Kids Sports

The fact that money is now a factor in kids sports is not surprising in our comodified culture where everything is for sale including our politicians (see gridlock). But as a parent there is that ta da moment where you realize money does influence who will  make the team and who wont. My new novel The Pitcher is about a Mexican kid with no money at all and a broken down World Series pitcher who coaches him to make the high school team. On the other side is his nemesis, the kid who has everything and every lesson. The question is then will talent or money win out?

And in real life I was confronted with this as my own son developed a terrific arm but we did not give him the high powered pitching lessons. I had played sports all through high school without one lesson but of course the times have changed. The competion is intense and there are parents who spend thousands so junior can have a leg up. I still remember when we played travel ball and the price tag of about three thousand dollars was batted around at a parent meeting. Was my wife and I the only ones who stared at the people like they had just bought the proverbial Brooklyn Bridge.

But of course then I found out what travel ball was all about and three thousand dollars later we ended up in fields in St Louis and a few other states with a promised trip to Coopers Town. And again we were in the caboose of family Olympic sport spending. We just couldn't compete at the higher end levels of personal trainers and personal lessons. And so when high school came along my son made the team but we found out the real positions were for the few who had logged many hours at Finish Strong camps.

And in my novel I put this maxim to the test. Will talent ultimately win out? Or have we reached a point where cream will not rise to the top...unless it is pushed there by a lot of buoyant greenbacks.

Sometimes a Dream is all you have...The Pitcher

Books by William Hazelgrove