An Analysis of Single Sport Specialization in Youth Athletics
MetadataShow full item record
Almost everyone at some point in their lives has tried to play sports. Sports can contribute to so many great qualities and characteristics of our development. Playing sports is the perfect way for children to make friends, stay active, and feel a sense of achievement. One of the fastest growing industries in the world right now is youth sports and all the elements that go along with it. Coaches, parents, and kids themselves, all dream of these young athletes one day being a professional athlete. This is not an easy road to go down, and only about “0.2% to 0.5% of high school athletes ever succeed in making it to the professional level” (D’Hemecourt 206). This incredibly small statistic seems to have no effect on the intense revolutionization of youth sports today. Early single sport specialization has become a rising issue in youth sports. It is the argument of whether a young athlete should play just one sport year round at a young age or if they would benefit more from playing multiple sports year round. There are several benefits and consequences to both options. This issue has and is being studied in depth to try to determine what the best option is for long term success in young athletes. It is an issue that is still not fully understood but through analysis of previous studies and research the argument seems to be beginning to shift. The potential consequences and benefits of each option need to be weighed and decided upon if the risk of single sport specialization is really greater than the reward. Three main aspects should go into this decision of whether a child should play one or multiple sports year round. Through social, psychological, and physical factors involved in making the decision to specialize in a single sport or not, the conclusion is clear that a child can benefit more from playing multiple sports.