November 28, 2004

Constructing a Team Phenom.: Attention kids of parents with deep pockets - IMG Academies offer programs in soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis and golf with an annual cost of as much as $70,000. "The threshold for admission is not talent but money."

posted by gspm to culture at 01:56 PM - 9 comments

(jeepers, that should read Teen phenom.)

posted by gspm at 08:20 PM on November 28, 2004

I hate links that require a registration.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:06 PM on November 28, 2004

don't bug me about it.

posted by gspm at 07:12 AM on November 29, 2004

That was a grat read, gspm. Disturbing as all hell too. Thanks.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:34 AM on November 29, 2004

Americans are great at jumping in at the deep end. The once-a-kid part of me reads about IMG and sees heaven. The adult part of me wonders what led us to this sad state of affairs.

posted by rocketman at 12:07 PM on November 29, 2004

I pity those kids.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:57 PM on November 29, 2004

They go to a place like that to make it to the majors only to then be struck out by a Latin American baseball player who grew up playing the game with rocks and sticks...

posted by chris2sy at 01:21 PM on November 29, 2004

Is there any data on whether this kind of stuff works very well? I know it has been the norm in tennis (since Nick Bolletieri started this kind of thing) and women's gymnastics, sports where peak performance comes at young ages and therefore athletes have to sacrfice normal lives in order to succeed in them at the highest levels. Having grown up in the NY/NJ/CT area, I had the opportunity to play with, against or see many world class athletes at the high school level. Among them, Mo Vaughn, Steve Young, Craig Heyward, and a handfull of guys who played college football, hockey or made it a few levels in minor league baseball before crapping out. Almost to a man, ALL of those guys were multi-sport athletes. I have serious doubts that spending tens of thousands of dollars and depriving the kid of a normal life will do nothing to develop that kid into a world class athlete. At worst, it will burn him out, remove him from normal social interaction, and subject him to an inferior academic education, which will be a handicap, regardless of at what point he decides he no longer wants to play the sport. I'm not intending to moralize, just indicate that my sense is that these parents and kids are being suckered. Besides, all the high priced, focused and individualized training in the world will never substitute for real talent and real desire.

posted by paolomigli at 04:33 PM on November 29, 2004

Excuse me, but if I had $70,000, I'd spend it on my child's acadamic pursuits.

posted by Nyssia at 01:57 PM on November 30, 2004

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