Kids are playing one sport at an early age


Image courtesy Pixabay via creative commons. Football players on the field.

Kids as young as pre-teens are specializing in one sport, because parents and kids are worried about falling behind and not being able to play at the next level. They want their kids to excel at one sport and train year round, because they feel it gives their kid the best chance to get college scholarships and go pro. It also would take up a lot of time to participate in multiple sports.  But there are some disadvantages to playing one sport and a lot of advantages to playing multiple sports. Some Doctors are saying that being a multi sport athlete would be beneficial.

Kids who play multiple sports have less overuse injuries. Growing bodies become overstressed and that can lead to serious injuries like acl tears and Tommy johns. Playing one sport leads to repeating the same movements and only using certain muscles.When talking about kids specializing Doctor Nirav Pandya said, We looked at first round NBA draft picks and saw how many of them played single sports in high school versus multiple sports, and how did that impact their career. What we actually found was the NBA players who played multiple sports, played in more games, were less likely to be injured,” Pandya said that playing multiple sports will make you better off on the court and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

Clemson football’s head coach Dabo swinney said, “I think sometimes you see some of these kids specialize so early,” and, “I just think that the cross-training, the different types of coaching, the different types of locker rooms, the different environments that you practice in, the different challenges-I think it develops a much more competitive, well rounded type person.” More than half of Clemson’s team played multiple sports in high school. He loves having multisport athletes on his team. It helps his athletes different skills, and it helps their footwork, coordination, and ability to use different body parts.

Burnout is the response to stress of continued demands in a sport or activity leading to less enjoyment and a lack of interest. Multi sport athletes are less likely to burnout, because multiple sports keeps kids interested and engaged.

Battlefield Swimmer, Runner, and Sophomore Wesley Calzada said, “It makes you more social. Having things to relate to with people are great. You don’t get bored, if you play one sport you constantly end up disliking it.” But he also said, “I only get one hour of free time,” and, “They sometimes have the meets and practices at the same time so you have to choose.” Wesley said that his swimming helped him gain endurance which made him an even better long distance runner.

Multiple sports can help many athletes improve their physical abilities, and their social skills which could make them a better friend or teammate. The cost is time. One sport is already very time consuming but specializing in one sport could cause injuries and become boring for kids.