Sports Specialization, Part II: Alternative Solutions to Early Sport Specialization in Youth Athletes
Sports health | 31 Oct 2015
GD Myer, N Jayanthi, JP DiFiori, AD Faigenbaum, AW Kiefer, D Logerstedt and LJ Micheli
Many coaches, parents, and children believe that the best way to develop elite athletes is for them to participate in only 1 sport from an early age and to play it year-round. However, emerging evidence to the contrary indicates that efforts to specialize in 1 sport may reduce opportunities for all children to participate in a diverse year-round sports season and can lead to lost development of lifetime sports skills. Early sports specialization may also reduce motor skill development and ongoing participation in games and sports as a lifestyle choice. The purpose of this review is to employ the current literature to provide evidence-based alternative strategies that may help to optimize opportunities for all aspiring young athletes to maximize their health, fitness, and sports performance.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com