In today’s world of year-round athletics, there are TONS of youth athletes specializing in a sport way too young.
Why is this such a big deal?? They are being active. Playing outside. Meeting new people. Traveling around the state/country. Potentially staying out of trouble.
All good things, right?
But what about the downside of specializing in one sport at a young age?
- Increased chance of burnout
- Increased risk of overuse injuries
- Lack of social life outside of sport
- Missed opportunity to develop as an ATHLETE rather than a baseball player, softball player, volleyball player, etc.
Here are some tips to consider if you are raising a youth that is involved in sports:)
- Start a quality strength and conditioning program! How do you expect to get ahead of your competition if you are doing the exact same thing they are (aka playing ball year round). Use the offseason to build a good base of strength, speed, power, and conditioning!
- Play multiple sports! I remember the most athletic kids in my school were the ones that played 3 or 4 different sports. And guess what.. They were really good at all of them!
- Let them be a kid too! Traveling every weekend to a different tournament is not only a good way to burn them out, but it also increases their risk of injury.
Moral of the story.. Kids should develop athleticism by competing in many different activities which will make them a well-rounded athlete and human being!