Youth Sport Participation of Professional Baseball Players

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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The youth athletic backgrounds of professional baseball players were assessed to determine whether there was early specialization in baseball, and to determine the influence of both their high school baseball coaches and parents on their baseball careers. Players were also asked to comment on the ideal activities for aspiring young baseball players. Questionnaires were administered to 152 players from six teams in the Northwest Rookie League. Players were generally multisport athletes during high school. Specialization by playing position appeared to be delayed until the professional level, with most players playing several defensive positions during their elementary, junior high, and high school years. Players generally concurred with the advice they had received from their high school baseball coaches, that young, talented baseball players should practice and train for baseball on a year-round basis and should also participate in other school sports.

Grant M. Hill is with the Department of Physical Education, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA 98119.

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