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Parenting Elite Athletes

College Athletes Start Playing Their Sport Early, But Specialize Late, Research Shows

Early sports specialization has been increasingly viewed in recent years as increasing an athlete's chances of achieving elite status, but has raised significant concerns, both as to whether it actually accomplishes that objective, and whether it carries with it an increased risk for sports-related injuries. A quartet of research papers presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics' October 2015 National Conference and Exhibition explored various aspects of the sports specializaton issue.

Camp Lessons...One Student Athlete's Journey


Meet Allie, an incoming junior, high school and club soccer player and client of The College Program.  This summer Allie had the privilege to attend two soccer camps back-to-back in Colorado.  We interviewed Allie about her experience, how she prepared herself for these camps, what she learned during the camps and what she is going to do with this knowledge moving forward.
how she prepared herself for these camps, what she learned during the camps and what she is going to do with this knowledge moving forward.

SmartTeams Short Talk: Best Predictor of Whether A Child Will Play College Sports Is Parent Or Sibling Who Played College or Pro

Loyola of Chicago's Dr. Neeru Jayanthi says three studies of college athletes shows that the best predictor of whether a youth athlete will play sports in college is genetics: whether they have a first degree relative (i.e. parent or sibling) who played college or professional sports.

SmartTeams Talk Short: Don't Drink Kool-Aid On Perceived Benefits Of Early Sport Specialization, Warns Jayanthi

A leading researcher on sport specialization says data shows that there is only one sport, gymnastics, in which early intensive training/specialization before the age of 12 is necessary for success at the elite level.

SmartTeams™ Talk: Dr. Neeru Jayanthi Explores The Myths And Dangers Of Sports Specialization

A pediatric sports medicine expert asks parents not to buy into the idea that sport specialization will increase their chances of playing sports in college, to listen to the data linking specialization and increased risk of serious overuse injury, and recommends that kids not play sports more hours per week than their age.

SmartTeams™ Talk: NCAA's Hainline Sees Overspecialization and Overuse Injuries As Signs of Broken Youth Sports Model

In a powerful SmartTeams Talk, the NCAA's Chief Medical Officer discusses two major NCAA-funded research studies on sport-related concussions and its efforts to address mental health issues among college athletes, and sees in the trend toward sports specialization and the overuse injury epidemic clear signs of a broken youth sports system.

Destined to Play…

Are you Destined to Play?
Student Athletes 
Back to School..How important is this upcoming school year for you?
Let’s Check your Progress
Are you doing what is necessary to play at the next level?

Should Kids Play Multiple Sports or Focus On One Year-Round?

Parents often have a hard time understanding the extent and breadth of youth sports that their kids are involved with. As the child progresses the parents get advice from other parents, coaches and sport organizations. At some point most parents’ start questioning the information and seek answers elsewhere.

One of the most common questions is: Should my child play one sport year-round?

This seems like a simple question but the answers are often times conflicting so it depends on who is asked. Sometimes it is hard to get an informed answer from someone who makes a living on training and coaching kids in sports.

The question of whether multiple sports or a single sport is the right path for a youth athlete is a tough one to answer, but parents shouldn't expect an honest answer from someone who makes a living on training and coaching kids in sports.

The College Program…Creating a Social Change

Seeing your future now…Live From The End
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