A Youth Sports Utopia
About The Future of Youth Sports Report
Following publication of our first two reports on the future of sports, our team had the privilege of hosting a sports conference and presenting at others, collaborating on launch events, and speaking on panels from Sand Hill Road to Davos.
During a panel at the 2018 DLA Piper Global Technology Summit, a revelation hit us: for every major sports-related topic, the need to solve the problems facing youth sports was inescapable. When framing a question or comment about the future of sports, moderators, fellow panelists and audience members alike incorporated their own youth sports experience, that of their own children or a friend’s kids. From the growth prospects of the professional sports fanbase to addressing the tech-fueled wealth gap pulling our society apart, the paths to positive future outcomes invariably started with structural change at the youth level.
The focus of our next effort became clear. On the drive from Sand Hill Road back to San Francisco, we outlined what was to become this report: The Future of Youth Sports.
This report, though similar in breadth and depth to our previous works, took longer. In part, because we talked with more people. In larger part, because COVID-19 dramatically changed the landscape. But perhaps even more importantly, because of a sense of weighty responsibility. Nearly all of us, as adults, feel the impact of our own youth sports experiences. Sports, experienced as participants, fans or parents, is a major factor in shaping our social identity. Our approach to youth sports is a direct reflection of our values as a people.
In our analysis and predictions on the topics that follow, we felt an obligation to go a step further—outlining both best-case and worst-case scenarios—so that we can all understand what’s at stake, and begin working toward a youth sports utopia.