Sports Specialization or Play More Sports?

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“Think conventional wisdom says sports specialization is the best route to college opportunity? You might want to reconsider.

Local college and high school coaches, along with a former scout-turned-manager of the Springfield Cardinals, say multi-sport athletes benefit in a number of ways — right down to learning how to be a good teammate in a sport that’s not their No. 1.

They aren’t alone.

Changing the Game Project tackles the issue of specialization. It is the effort of former soccer player and coach, Oregon-based John O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan also recently published a book titled “Changing the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, High-Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”

Among the project’s research is early burnout and a line to this nugget: Specialization in youth sports may lead to reduced motor skill development, as your athletes focus on the motor skill needed for their sport but ignore the motor skills developed by playing a variety of sports.”

Read Full Article via the News-Leader


Patrick Carver