15 Sports Myths and Why They’re Wrong

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The authors apply sharp economic analysis to bust some of the most widespread urban legends about college and professional athletics.

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Each chapter takes apart a common misconception, showing how the assumptions behind it fail to add up. Fort and Winfree reveal how these myths perpetuate themselves and, ultimately, how they serve a handful of powerful parties--such as franchise owners, reporters, and players--at the expense of the larger community of sports fans.

ISBN: Characteristics: viii, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm. Alternative Title: Fifteen sports myths and why they're wrong. Contents: Revenue sports pay for nonrevenue sports An arms race drives college sports spending Athletic departments are a drag on the university budget Conference revenue sharing levels the football field and basketball court Pay-for-play will bankrupt college athletic departments Title IX compliance must come at the cost of men's participation The FBS playoff will be better than the BCS Owners and general managers are inept Owners lose money on their sports teams Player salary demands increase ticket prices Failure to act on the issue of competitive balance is hurting some sports leagues Player drafts and revenue sharing will improve competitive balance Owners should be more vigilant in policing performance-enhancing drugs Everybody loses when labor-management relations go south Major League Baseball should emulate the National Football League.

Summary: The authors apply sharp economic analysis to bust some of the most widespread urban legends about college and professional athletics. From the critics.

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High-level sport performance experts such as Tony Strudwick from Manchester United FC , football coaches such as Urban Meyer, and others stress the importance of multi-sport backgrounds to develop overall athleticism, decrease injury rates, and increase internal motivation. Talent development programs in professional and college sports are no longer looking at simply what level an athlete plays at, but what got him or her there.


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Given the choice, they want upside over current performance. Quite the contrary.

Kids like winning. They understand they need to try and score, and prevent the other team from scoring.

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3 Myths that are Destroying the Youth Sports Experience for our Kids

They understand they need to try their best. What they do not understand is how winning could be more important than simply being out there playing. And what they will never understand, especially prior to high school age, is that the result of this game is more important than getting the opportunity to play. I love competitive sports, and I hate participation trophies.


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I have coached competitive athletes my whole life, many of whom went on the become college and pro players. This myth does not produce better, more competitive athletes. It turns youth sports to an outcome focused enterprise, and puts way too much pressure to not make mistakes and try new things on young athletes trying to learn a sport.

1. Cycle lanes increase congestion (and thus pollution)

It produces bitter athletes who quit, and excludes far too many potentially top performers because of birth month and developmental age. The downward creep of select teams is pervasive, and again, quite convincing at first glance. If I get the best players, exclude others, coach them and only play them in outcome focused events against other top players they will develop faster, right?

15 Sports Myths and Why They re Wrong [NEWS]

How could this be bad? Its wrong because if you are all about winning and cuts prior to puberty, you are selecting the kids who are very likely born within months of your calendar cutoff for your age group, and are physically advanced compared to their peers.

You are potentially cutting the top player at age 18 because he is young, and has not yet physically matured. You are selecting early maturing kids, not identifying talent. You are focusing on outcomes, not the process of getting better. Prior to age 12 is a time for kid to sample many sports, not be forced into choosing one. It is a time to develop as many players as possible, not a select few. Kids must learn to love with the game, play for fun, own the experience, and develop the intrinsic motivation to improve.

15 Sports Myths and Why They're Wrong

That is the path to long term success. When winning is the priority prior to high school, then you are choosing short term success over long term development. Youth sports is an investment in many things, such as character development, athletic improvement, and becoming a healthy, well rounded human being.

Two Sports Myths breakdown these tall tales just in time for the MLB All-Star Game and will leave you wondering what other myths will be on the chopping block later this fall. He is internationally recognized as an authority on sports economics and business. Fort is co-author of Pay Dirt and Hard Ball.