Dr. DeGiorgio on Sports Specialization

“It’s astounding the amount of pressure put on young children to specialize. The most common reason for specialization is to become an elite level athlete, and/or get a college scholarship.  Ironically, most elite athletes, including 88% of collegiate athletes played multiple sports as teenagers,” Dr. DeGiorgio notes.
According to research by the National Alliance for Sports, 70% of children leave organized sports by the age 13 (http://www.amssm.org/Content/pdf%20files/2014_OverUse_Injuries-Burnout.pdf).

One of the main reasons children are leaving sports at such an early age is due to overuse injuries.
Dr. DeGiorgio says, “Multi-sport athletes are recognized as being more competitive, better leaders and overall more athletic. This push to make younger children specialize in a single sport is not only more likely to make them unhappy, but also exposes them to more injuries. Single sport athletes are reportedly 93% more likely to be injured than their multi-sport counterpart due to overuse injuries.

Part of the problem is most parents have their children focus solely on one sport." Dr. DeGiorgio notes: “The sports community needs to place more emphasis on encouraging young athletes to be well rounded. In essence, this provides them with the foundation not only to be healthy and successful in sports, but most importantly in life.”


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