Wilton Youth Council, Wilton Public Schools and Thrive with a Guide are hosting a talk about “Youth Sports in America: Where We Are, How We Got Here, and Why It Matters.”
Linda Flanagan, author of Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania are Ruining Kids Sports — and Why It Matters, will discuss her book, including time for audience questions, on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Wilton High School Little Theater.
Flanagan wins praise from experts on youth sports and children’s health, including Tom Farrey, founder of Aspen Institute’s “Project Play” and author of Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children.
“Linda Flanagan is a treasure — among the very few writers who understand our youth sport ecosystem and how to improve it. Take Back The Game is both [a] fun read and must-read for anyone who believes in the power of sports to build lives and communities,” Farrey said.
Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow and founder of the Free-Range Kids movement, also recommends Flanagan’s book. “If you’ve been wondering how youth sports came to dominate your child’s life — and your own — here is the answer, written with clarity. In this well-researched, passionate book, mom/coach/athlete Flanagan digs to find out how something so wonderful went so sour, and how to bring back the best part of sports for our kids,” Skenazy said of Flanagan’s book.
Flanagan is a freelance journalist, researcher, and former cross-country and track coach. A graduate of Lehigh University, Flanagan holds master’s degrees from Oxford University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and was an analyst for the National Security Program at Harvard University. She is a founding board member of the New York City chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance and a 2020–21 advisory group member for the Aspen Institute’s Reimagining School Sports initiative. Her writing on sports has appeared in The Atlantic and Runner’s World, and on NPR’s education site MindShift, where she is a regular contributor. A mother of three and a lifelong athlete, Flanagan lives in New Jersey.
Parents with children in pre-K to 12th grade and high school students are invited to attend this conversation with Flanagan, and the booksigning to follow. Register online; the first 50 registrants will receive a free copy of Flanagan’s book. For questions about the program or to submit a question in advance, email Wilton Youth Council.