Recreation and Sport Studies

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

A case of early sports specialization in an adolescent athlete

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As a graduating undergraduate in RSS, an article I would recommend is….

Ferguson, B., & Stern, P. J. (2014). A case of early sports specialization in an adolescent athlete. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 58(4), 377-383.

There are many claims for and against early sports specialization, yet too few research studies to completely write off its value. The points against this method do however outweigh the positives presented in the debate. I am not blind in understanding that sport is a cutthroat world where minimal discrepancies can either make or break your future at the elite level. As such there are potential scenarios where early sport specialization is necessary in order to be elite. However, Ferguson and Stern argue that understanding when to specialize and the ability to focus on training at the correct time in an athlete’s life is imperative to promote long-term success for the individual. Therefore the implementation of a sport specific approach of training which takes into consideration all facets of the athlete and their sports characteristics is a more viable option for the sports world to undertake when developing future elite sports stars.


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