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Linda Flanagan is a freelance journalist, researcher, and former cross-country and track coach. A founding board member of the NYC chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance and 2020-21 Advisory Group member for the Aspen Institute’s Reimagining Sports initiative, her writing on sports has appeared in The Atlantic, Runner’s World, and NPR’s education site Mind/Shift, where she is a regular contributor. Previously Flanagan was a national security analyst at the National Security Program, Harvard University. She is also a mother of three and lifelong athlete.

Linda and John discuss her new book Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports, and Why it Matters. We cover how sport has become a business, how much pressure is on parents to do more and more at younger ages, how the fact that sports help kids get into and pay for college is driving much of the mania, and so much more. She has compiled the latest research on the economic and social impacts of sport, as well as research post-COVID. It is a really fun conversation.


You can grab Take Back the game here.

You can connect with Linda @LindaFlanagan2

This week’s podcast is brought to you by our friends at Sprocket Sports.  Sprocket Sports is a new software platform for youth sports clubs.  Yeah, there are a lot of these systems out there, but Sprocket provides the full enchilada. They give you all the cool front-end stuff to make your club look good– like websites and marketing tools – AND all the back-end transactions and services to run your business better so you can focus on what really matters – your players and your teams. 

Sprocket is built for those clubs looking to thrive, not just survive, in the competitive world of youth sports clubs.  So if you’ve been looking for a true business partner – not just another app – check them out today at

Become a Podcast Champion! This weeks podcast is also sponsored by our Patreon Podcast Champions. Help Support the Podcast and get FREE access to our most popular online courses, a $300 value. If you love the podcast, we would love for you to become a Podcast Champion, ( for as little as a cup of coffee per month (OK, its a Venti Mocha), to help us up the ante and provide even better interviews, better sound, and an overall enhanced experience. Plus, as a $10 per month Podcast Super-Champion, you will have access to never before released and bonus material, including:

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Thank you for all your support these past four years, and a special big thank you to all of you who become part of our inner circle, our patrons, who will enable us to take our podcast to the next level.


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