Early Sport Specialization Not Recommended
Early age sports specialization is common because many believe it leads to athletic success, but a U.S. expert says it can have the opposite effect. Parents and coaches contribute to the problem when they pressure children to specialize and encourage year-round training, according to says Jennifer VanSickle of the University of Indianapolis.
“Participating in a variety of sports will help a child develop other athletic skills that they would not develop if they specialized in one sport too early,” said VanSickle. “Athletic skills such as speed, balance, mental focus, jumping and reacting are all stressed differently in different sports.”
Early sports specialization can lead to problems including physical and psychological burnout, the loss of the diverse social contacts from different sports, a loss of transferable athletic skills, a greater risk of overuse and repetitive stress injuries, higher levels of pre-competitive anxiety and difficulty coping with athletic failure.
By United Press International.