Playing different sports is better for our kids

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The word is out
Multi-sport is best

When kids specialize early in one sport they miss out on important skills and many get injured, burnout, or quit. That’s why top athletes and sports experts say the same thing:

Let kids play as many sports as possible

Want to be a sport star? Don’t specialize as a youngster

Specializing early increases burnout and reduces chances of success.

Why specializing in one sport is a bad idea

There are many reasons why parents should make sure their kids don’t specialize too early.

Playing one sport year-round isn’t smart, even for kids who want to go pro

88 percent of college athletes played more than one sport when they were kids.

Consensus Statement on Early Sport Specialization by medical experts

Experts agree kids go further when they play different sports.

Here are the facts


88 per cent of college athletes come from a multi-sport background. — American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

For most sports, there is no evidence that intense training and specialization before age 13 or 14 are necessary to achieve elite status. — Sports Health Journal

Diversified sports training during early and middle adolescence may be a more effective strategy in ultimately developing elite-level skills. — American Medical Society for Sports Medicine


Around 70 per cent of kids stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because, “it’s just not fun anymore”. — Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan University

Children who specialized early in a single sport led to higher rates of adult physical inactivity. Those who commit to one sport at a young age are often the first to quit. — Ohio State University study

An athlete who specializes early or plays on an ultra-competitive select team is at increased risk of burnout or quitting sports as a result of chronic stress, repetitive strain and a decrease in intrinsic motivation and enjoyment during their training sessions. — American Medical Society for Sports Medicine


Athletes who specialized were 70 to 93 per cent more likely to be injured than children who played multiple sports. — Study by Dr. Neeru Jayanthi of Loyola University, et al

Intense and repeated training in one sport at a young age has been associated with higher rates of injury, which ultimately has an effect on the length of a sport career. — International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Early sport specialization has been identified as damaging for the future physical and mental health of the athlete. — Consensus Statement American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Early Sport

Playing more sports will make you better at your own sport
#changeitup #multisport

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Check your knowledge

Do you know why kids drop out of sports? Do you know when kids should specialize? Take a minute to check your knowledge of the facts about children’s sport and activity.