Early Sports Specialization

Early sports specialization is a current hot topic in the fitness and strength and conditioning

world. How much do we push a sport for our kids? How much is too much? What goals are we

trying to to have our kids achieve? WHAT SHOULD WE DO???


Well, from a physical therapy perspective, I’ll tell you that I see more kids in physical therapy

than ever. Sports specialization can lead to chronic and overuse injuries because our kids are

playing one sport, using the same muscles, stressing the same structures repetitively, while

developing weakness elsewhere. They’re also not getting any much needed rest or any off

season from their sports. Early sports specialization is not necessary for awesome success in a

sport! In fact, many pro athletes are multi-sport athletes and will attest that their success stems

from the fact that they are well-rounded athletes.


According to New York Rangers performance analyst Adam Virgile and the NCAA, here are three stats parents should consider:


Last year, only 5.8% of high school athletes played at ANY level in the NCAA.

● Only 2% of these athletes will receive ANY type of college athletic scholarship.

● 0.04% of high school athletes were drafted to the pros. That translates to

1/2500.


P.S. Getting drafted does not guarantee that the athlete will play in a single

professional game, minor league game or even make the team.


Having said all of that, the above is simply a share of info to help parents and kids make

informed decisions about their participation in youth sports. Remember this: The number one

reason kids play sports is to have fun.