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  • Playing to Win

  • Written by: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (142 ratings)

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Playing to Win

Written by: Michael Lewis
Narrated by: Michael Lewis
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Publisher's Summary

When New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis got involved in his kids’ local softball league, it all seemed so wholesome and simple. Ten years later, his family looked back to find that they had spent thousands of dollars - not to mention hours - and traveled thousands of miles in the service of a single sport.

All over America, families are investing blood, sweat, tears, and retirement savings in their children’s sports careers, all with the ultimate goal of…what exactly? A college scholarship? A professional contract? Simply the taste of victory?

Through the lens of the highly competitive world of girls’ softball, Lewis reveals the youth sports industrial complex that has arisen to aggressively monetize after-school pastimes. The major players aren’t the ones on the field - they’re the ones stripping the pockets of unwitting parents to the tune of billions of dollars a year, creating an arms race of amateur athletics and enabling the Varsity Blues scandal. So what’s in it for the parents - or, for that matter, the kids themselves? This from-the-bleachers portrait of our national obsession with youth sports explores the consequences of high-stakes play for families, communities, and the kids in the game.

©2019 Michael Lewis (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

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What listeners say about Playing to Win

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Fantastic

Of all the people this story could happen too. You get a world class story with world class writing. I was glued to it. Highly recommended.

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Girl softball? Yes please!

Nobody writes about sports and money better than M. Lewis! This short book is no exception. And when the author reads the book to you, you can't ask for more!

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A loving father and his child

A wonderful story from a thoughtful and loving father told in a way only Michael Lewis can. I was inspired by it a few weeks ago when I first heard it and now it resounds in the bottom of my soul. I have kids those ages and saw myself in it only with the caveat that I’m no Michael Lewis. This story ends beautifully but unfortunately it’s no longer. When I heard the news I felt as though it was family or a close friend. Thank you Michael for sharing the wonders of parenting Dixie with me, I am sure there is meaning in all this hard as it may be to endure. If anyone can find out what it is, is you.

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Well worth the listen

A fantastic listen. It is sad knowing the finality of the situation but the author does such a terrific job and the journey is great.

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What all parents of child atheletes should read

From the writing and research to the reading, this book is fantastic! As a Canadian who grew up playing sports as a kid, I was appalled at how much league fees are in the US. Parents are both the victim and the problem as it turns out. Very enlightening!!!

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Michael Lewis hits it out of the park again!

Exposing the youth industrial sports complex for what it really is. Well done Michael Lewis!

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  • 2022-05-24

Phenomenal

Another masterful examination of a hidden subculture quietly rooting itself deep into our everyday lives.

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Very relevant

Very relevant of the daily parenting and their expensive involvement in their kids competitive sport activities.

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