June 19, 2024

Early vs. Late Specialization

Children are taking a specific sport.

Sports specialization is when an athlete trains year-round. In this generation, there is an increase in sports specialization among youth. According to NCBI, there has been a 12% increase in people playing sports.

While sports specializing is familiar to elementary and middle school kids, as they discover sports they enjoy specializing in one sport from a young age can negatively affect the kids’ mindset in life. 

One of the adverse effects is that the individual would not develop experience and skills in sports that may help in real life. For example, in most sports, kids learn sportsmanship and leadership skills, but kids don’t constantly get exposed to high amounts of these skills. Another effect is not being able to meet large amounts of people. In different sports, you meet several people that influence you in different ways, but with one sport, you meet a limited number of people. One final effect is versatility in sports and other life skills. After participating in several sports, children develop adaptive skills to different skills that help them in situations in school or work. 

All in all, sports specialization is okay for children if they show an interest in a specific sport from a young age, but it is more beneficial to children to have a versatile background in sports.