Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

The Relationship between Youth Sport Specialization and Involvement in Sport and Physical Activity in Young Adulthood

1 Comment

 As a graduating undergraduate in RSS, an article I would recommend reading is:

Russell, W. D., & Limle, A. N. (2013). The relationship between youth sport specialization and involvement in sport and physical activity in young adulthood. Journal of Sport Behavior, 36(1), 82-98. 

I chose this article because I believe that it is an important study as to how early sport specialization affects involvement in recreation and sport in young adults. This study indicated that when a child specializes early, they grow up without complete motor skill development, as well as psychological development.

When a child specializes early, as they grow up, there could be less intrinsic motivation to participate. During our younger years, there are trophies for participation, most valuable player, and least penalized player. Once participants hit young adulthood, unless your involved in high performance athletics, those awards become few and far between. Therefore as the desire for extrinsic rewards grows and the time for receiving them passes, the likelihood of maintain participation in the sports diminishes.

Recreation and sport is meant as a positive influence; it often keeps children and adolescents out of situations that could be harmful to their development. It also instills a sense of commitment and hard work that a developing child requires to maintain a lasting involvement and enjoyment of sport, as well as the many skills and traits that can be developed and utilized throughout their lives

One thought on “The Relationship between Youth Sport Specialization and Involvement in Sport and Physical Activity in Young Adulthood

  1. Although early specialization has far many negative implications, it is necessary to note that some sports require the commitment to be successful. For example, gymnastics and figure skating. Nevertheless, it is time for youth organizations to limit the opportunity to participate in a specific sport year round. This is consistent with the advice of Wiersma (2000) who had suggested that youth sport organizations need to restrict hours of training.

    Wiersma, L. D. (2000). Risks and benefits of youth sport specialization: Perspectives and recommendations. Pediatric Exercise Science, 12, 13–22.


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