Specialization

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.

Michael Goldenberg: Year-Round Play And Pressure To Play In Pain Lead To Overuse Injuries

In recognition of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month, MomsTeam is again asking our friends in the medical, health, fitness, nutrition and athletic training communities to write blogs answering two questions: first, how or why did they get into their field, and second, how have they made a difference in the life of a youth athlete in the past year.  Michael Goldenberg Athletic Director Lawrenceville School

Today, we hear from Michael Goldenberg, Athletic Director of and Athletic Trainer at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

By Michael S. Goldenberg, MS, ATC 

A longtime athletic trainer at one of the nation's leading prep schools attributes the epidemic of overuse injuries in high school sports to early specialization, the intense pressure kids are under in today's youth sports to continue playing in pain, and the lack of proper medical care at the pre-high school level.

Early Sport Specialization: Some Benefits, But Many Drawbacks

The trend towards early specialization in youth sports seems to be accelerating, despite strong evidence that it is not necessary to achieve elite athlete status. To separate fact from fiction, here are answers to three of the most frequently asked questions about early sport specialization.

Early Sport Specialization: Does It Lead To Long-Term Problems?

Sports specialization, including year-round sport-specific training, participation on multiple teams in the same sport and focused participation in a single sport, leads to long-term problems.

Delay Sport Specialization Until Late Adolescence, Experts Say

While some degree of sport specialization is required to achieve elite status, for most sports, intense training in a single sport to the exclusion of others should be delayed until late adolescence to maximize chances of success while minimizing risk for injury and burnout, recommends a new study.

US Soccer's High School Ban: A Question of Integrity?

US Soccer's new rule banning players on its Development Academy teams from playing high school soccer is designed to strengthen our national teams, but, says one veteran interscholastic sports administrator, the move raises questions about the integrity of the sport's national governing body.

Doug Casa (Exertional Heat Stroke Expert): Sees Early Sport Specialization As Parents' Biggest Mistake

Being the father of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. At MomsTEAM we think sports dads deserve to be honored, not just on the third Sunday in June, but for an entire month. So we have designated June as National Sports Dads Month and invited some veteran sports dads to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions (the same ones we asked sports moms in May).

The nation's pre-eminent expert on exertional heat stroke, heat illnesses and preventing sudden death in sport thinks the biggest mistake that parents make is having their child specialize in one sport at a very young age because having young children develop a wide variety of skill sets gives them the best opportunity for long-term physical development.

Development Academies: Elite or Elitist?

The United States Soccer Federation's (USSF) recent mandate that ‘elite' soccer players who play for Development Academy teams will not be allowed to play for their high school soccer teams after this season simply frosts me. I've read volumes in the last few weeks, from Soccer America's initial news article and the seemingly unending comments from readers and the soccer experati to The New York Times piece this past Sunday by Sam Borden, that really brought "Soccer's New Way" into the collective consciousness across America.

The United States Soccer Federation's (USSF) recent mandate that elite soccer players who play for Development Academy teams will not be allowed to play for their high school soccer teams after this season is wrong and misleading.

Kids Who Delay Sports Specialization More Coordinated and Physically Fit, Study Finds

Boys participating in more than one sport before age 12 are more physically fit and have better gross motor coordination than those who specialize in a single sport early, says a new study.  Whether the reason is because they play multiple sports or because the best athletes choose not to specialize early is unclear.

Don't Specialize Too Early, Says Ruggiero

Four time Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero played sports beside ice hockey until she got to college.  She urges parents to resist the increasing pressure on their child to specialize too early.
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