Participation in youth sports (ages 6–18 years) has increased from 45 million to 60 million people over the past decades, 1 and sport specialization has become a popular topic during this growth. Sports specialization is defined as participating in a single sport at the exclusion of other sports
The Association of Sport Specialization With Youth Ice Hockey Position and Youth Ice Hockey Parents’ Perceptions of Sport Specialization
Madeline Winans, Kevin M. Biese, Grace Rudek, Madison N. Renner, Julie M. Stamm, and David R. Bell
Exploring Early Sport Specialization: Associations With Psychosocial Outcomes
Shelby Waldron, J.D. DeFreese, Brian Pietrosimone, Johna Register-Mihalik, and Nikki Barczak
There is a trend towards sport specialization (high intensity, year-round training in a single sport at the exclusion of other sports) in American youth organized sport, as evident in the increasing number of elite youth competitions including Junior Olympics and Amateur Athletic Union ( Wiersma
Sport Specialization’s Impact on Female Adolescent Athletes’ Lower-Extremity Neuromuscular Control: A Critically Appraised Topic
Sierra Reich, Jeremy Hawkins, Alli Powell, and Michael Reeder
Clinical Scenario Sport specialization among youth athletes is growing in popularity each year as youth sport participation continues to increase. 1 Sport specialization is defined as a combination of playing or training in a specific sport for greater than 8 months per year, playing a sport to
Proceed With Caution: A Teaching Case Study of Youth Sport Specialization
Makenzie A. Schoeff, Katie R. Morey, James E. Johnson, Anya T. Eicher, and Lawrence W. Judge
me? Can I balance playing volleyball and college work? When will I get to be a normal person? Where do I go from here?” Discussion Questions 1. What are the pros/cons of Taylor’s sport specialization? 2. What factors led to Taylor’s burnout? 3. How does Taylor’s experience differ from that of her
Different Perceptions of Parents and Children on Factors Influencing Sport Specialization
Mayrena I. Hernandez, Kevin M. Biese, Dan A. Schaefer, Eric G. Post, David R. Bell, and M. Alison Brooks
scholarships have all led to increasing deliberate practice and competition in youth athletics. This trend has been coined sport specialization. 4 – 8 Sport specialization is commonly defined as year-round participation in a single sport with intense, high-volume training. 9 The consequences of sport
Early Sport Specialization in College Athletes and the Impact on Health-Related Quality of Life: A Critically Appraised Topic
Matthew Burwell, Justin DiSanti, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod
participation. 2 , 3 In addition, other factors can result in negative associations with sport participation, including sport specialization. It is estimated that 30% of youth athletes engage in sport specialization, 4 a practice defined as “year-round intensive training in a sport at the exclusion of other
Early Sport Specialization: A Historical Perspective
Maureen M. Smith
This article provides a historical overview of the practice of early sport specialization, primarily in the United States. Sport specialization as practiced by young athletes has been a common occurrence in several individual sports for more than 60 years. More recently, focusing on one sport has gained traction as common practice for young athletes involved in team sports. Sport specialization as a topic of research inquiry has been examined by various disciplines in kinesiology to determine the efficacy of the practice, the physiological effects, and the advantages and disadvantages, as well as to offer possible solutions to the drawbacks associated with sport specialization. Popular press outlets, including newspapers, books, magazines, and online sources, have also joined the debate over the merits of sport specialization.
Early Sport Specialization from a Pedagogical Perspective
Peter A. Hastie
This paper examines the literature within sport pedagogy that addresses early sport specialization. The paper is presented in two sections. First, research on a number of common sense assumptions about early specialization is examined from a pedagogical perspective: (a) Is limiting youths’ experiences to a single sport the best path to elite status? (b) Do early specializers receive better coaching? (c) Do coaches of early specializers have better sport content knowledge? (d) Do coaches of early specializers have better planning behaviors? (e) Do instructional climates differ between specialized and diversified coaching settings? Second, a research agenda from a pedagogical perspective is proposed for answering the questions posed in the first section, as well as the various assessments and protocols that would allow for these questions to be answered.
Social Psychological and Developmental Perspectives on Early Sport Specialization
Thelma S. Horn
One of the primary dilemmas surrounding the topic of early sport specialization is whether the practice develops talent or creates long-term psychological problems. The purpose of this paper is to discuss this issue using psychosocial and developmental frameworks. This review begins with an overview of several developmentallybased constructs (e.g., biological maturation, perceived competence, body image, self-identity, motivational orientation) that are relevant to the sport domain. These developmental progressions are then used to address some potential implications for children who begin intensive training and competition at an early age. Next, some socioenvironmental factors are explored, with specific links made to the early sport specialization process. Finally, the paper ends with four recommendations for future research on the topic.
Risks and Benefits of Youth Sport Specialization: Perspectives and Recommendations
Lenny D. Wiersma
Of growing concern to sport researchers is the practice of youth sport athletes specializing in sport at a young age. Sport specialization is characterized by year-round training in a single sport at the exclusion of other sport or nonsport activities. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the potential benefits of specialized sport at an early age in light of the potential risks associated with specialized participation. Three areas of consideration are discussed, including motor skill acquisition and performance, potential sociological consequences, and psychological concerns related to high-intensity training of young athletes. Finally, recommendations for further research and practical considerations are suggested for deciding the appropriateness of specialized sport in the training and development of youth sport athletes.