Recreation and Sport Studies

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

Coming to terms with early sports specialization & athletic injuries- Summary

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

Nylan, J. (2014). Coming to terms with early sports specialization & athletic injuries. Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44(16), 389-391.

I believe this topic is relevant to RSS graduates and also to parents, coaches and children participating in sport. Most children at some point in their lives decide to take one sport more seriously then others. This is inevitable however at what age and how dramatic they specialize can have a major impact not only on the athletic career of the child but also their overall wellbeing. Early specialization research has shown many negative implications for children.“Specialized sport training is prevalent with athlete burnout and directly interacts with the regular demands of growing up [physical growth, biological maturation, psychobehavioural development]” (Nylan, 2014). At what costs will parents, coaches stop influencing children to specialize early in chase of athletic scholarships or becoming a professional athlete. Youth sport at its purest form should be fun and by minimizing the influence of adult stakeholders in a child’s decision on when to specialize will bring back “play” and keep children interested in sport for life. I believe early specialization has far to many negative implications opposed to the alternative, diversification. Fortunately research shows, “performance expertise can also be reached through sport diversification” (Nylan, 2014).

Nylan, J. (2014). Coming to terms with early sports specialization & athletic injuries. Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44(16), 389-391.

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