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    The Danger of Kids Specializing in One Sport

    The Danger of Kids Specializing in One Sport


    The trend towards early specialization in sports appears to be driven more by folklore, myths and half-truths by adults more intent on winning than acting in the best long-term interests of children, than actual cold, hard evidence

    There are three main reasons for this: parents are looking for an edge, parents believe that more is better, and parents think it is a matter of competitive survival.

    Here are 9 reasons against early specialization:

    • Interferes with healthy child development
    • Stress associated with over-involvement and expectations of parents and significant others
    • Doesn’t guarantee future athletic success
    • Hurts rather than helps skill development
    • Leads to overdue injuries

    • Promotes adult values and interests
    • Increases chances the child will suffer burnout and quit sports
    • Reduces the chance that children will stay active in sports as adults

    In today’s world, specializing may be necessary if you want to get a college scholarship, but don’t start specializing until mid-adolescence or later.  When children are young, there are many benefits to trying many sports, which will help you find out which one they enjoy the most or are most natural at doing. Specializing can come later, once you and your child have narrowed down what fits them and their talents best.

    If your child is specializing in a sport, try to limit their participationg to 3-4 days/week and not a full, around-the-clock schedule all 12 months of the year. Every athlete needs time off and time away from the sport.