Meg and Dr. G welcome award-winning sport sociologist Dr. Jay Coakley, Professor Emeritus (i.e., retired with achievement) at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Dr. Coakley is the author of the textbook Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies, which is thought to be the most widely used sport sociology book in the world. Jay provides insight on the top social issues in sports and how this changes the industry for all types of sport workers, and American culture as a whole. Dr. Coakley explains some of the systemic and community-based programs that are affected by socioeconomic status and implicit biases He calls attention to lifelong fitness and physical literacy, parents as “creators” of athletes, and fun vs. winning in sports. Coakley also provides wisdom on sports sociology, access to sport, and where parents fit into the sport industry. We often hear that sport builds character, but does it also build developmentally challenged athletes? Coakley shares a lot of great insight and tips on how to develop youth in sport and the role coaches, parents, and leagues or clubs can play in youth development. To emphasize his point, he tells an anecdote that Olympic champion Simone Biles had never done a load of wash by age 20 and how sport impeded some aspects of her development. No big deal perhaps for an Olympic champion, but what about the 99.9% of other youth that need to learn numerous life skills?
AS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW
Dr. Coakley’s book, now in its 12th edition:
For Jay Coakley’s full collection of books:
Website for Project Play:
Dr. Van Rheenen, on sport economic exploitation:
Van Rheenen, D. (2013). Exploitation in college sports: Race, revenue, and educational reward. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 48(5), 550–571. https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690212450218
To read about free range kids clubs:
To read books by Earl Woods:
For Patrick Mahomes’ career stats:
Simone Biles’ book:
Chris Evert and her outstanding tennis career:
Martina Navratilova herself shares her thoughts on specialization and why it’s a bad idea:
For coverage on Richard Williams’ induction into the hall of fame:
For more on Prolympic sports from Dr. Jay Coakley himself:
Coakley, J. (2021). Sociology of Sport: Growth, Diversification, and Marginalization, 1981–2021. Kinesiology Review, 1(aop), 1-9.
For more on the benefits of spontaneous play in child activity:
Clark, K. (2020). Play-based early childhood curriculum and early literacy success link.
Explore the two works cited below to learn more about physical literacy:
Telford, R. M., Olive, L. S., Keegan, R. J., Keegan, S., Barnett, L. M., & Telford, R. D. (2021). Student outcomes of the physical education and physical literacy (PEPL) approach: a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a multicomponent intervention to improve physical literacy in primary schools. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 26(1), 97-110.
Cornish, K., Fox, G., Fyfe, T., Koopmans, E., Pousette, A., & Pelletier, C. A. (2020). Understanding physical literacy in the context of health: a rapid scoping review. BMC public health, 20(1), 1-19.
For more reasons on why college coaches might actually prefer multi-sport athletes more:
Russell, W. (2021). An Examination of Sport Motivation, Motivational Climate, and Athlete Burnout within the Developmental Model of Sport Participation. Journal of Amateur Sport, 7(1).
Salin, K., Huhtiniemi, M., Watt, A., Mononen, K., & Jaakkola, T. (2021). Contrasts in fitness, motor competence and physical activity among children involved in single or multiple sports. Biomedical Human Kinetics, 13(1).
For more information on why multi-sport clubs are a good idea:
For more on how sport specialization limits social skills and other aspects of development:
Normand, J. M., Wolfe, A., & Peak, K. (2017). A review of early sport specialization in relation to the development of a young athlete. International journal of kinesiology and sports science, 5(2), 37-42.
Curious about the generational shift in youth athlete and informal play? Read the work cited below.
Kimiecik, J. C. (2016). Play Ball? Reflections on My Father's Youth Baseball Experiences and Why They Matter. American Journal of Play, 8(3), 379-395.
For more on the nature of pay to play programs:
Curington, R. J. (2020). The Importance of NCAA Student-Athletes' Financial Literacy and Mental Health in Anticipation of the Historic Fair Pay to Play Act. DePaul J. Sports L., 16, i.
Hartman, B. (2018). Money Matters: An Investigation of the Effects of Pay-To-Play Systems on Youth Soccer Diversity (Doctoral dissertation).
For more on youth sport entrepreneurs:
Dorsch, T. E., Smith, A. L., Blazo, J. A., Coakley, J., Côté, J., Wagstaff, C. R., ... & King, M. Q. (2020). Toward an integrated understanding of the youth sport system. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 1-15.
For more on parent involvement within sport:
Knight, C. J., Rouquette, O. Y., & Furusa, M. G. (2020). The role of parents in promoting the welfare of children involved in sport. In Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare (pp. 303-313). Routledge.