The Downsides of Specializing Early

Currently, hyper-competitive sports start at an early age.  Subsequently more and more young athletes are feeling the pressure to specialize and choose one sport to focus their energy. It may seem like it is beneficial for a young athlete to focus on honing their skills at just one sport early on.  However, this is more than likely not always the case.

While there are some positives to focusing on one sport.  There are many more advantages to competing in multiple sports that can prove invaluable to young athletes:

Firstly, Train Your Body

One of the advantages of young athletes playing multiple sports is utilizing the different movements required in each sport and teaching your body to move in different ways. For example, running track can work on speed.  A sport like football that has more cutting movements can help improve agility and footwork movements. On a similar note, the throwing motion of a baseball is completely different than the throwing motion of a football.

Secondly, Teamwork

Competing in multiple sports can also teach you different types of teamwork and leadership that are cultivated among each environment.  Different team sports can provide various approaches to teamwork.  Baseball is characterized with a thinking of “one pitch at a time.” This can be completely different than a “big picture” sport like soccer, where there is constant action and minimal breaks to gather yourself.

Thirdly, Activate Different Muscle Groups

The training and work put in the weight room for each sport can also be very different.   Some sports target and activate some of the muscles in a different way than they usually may be worked. Lifting for basketball, for example, is oftentimes more focused on low-weight/high-rep exercises, verses a more mass-oriented sport such as football. Endurance sports, such as cross-country, can also benefit any athlete, and provide more competition while staying in shape.

As you are considering different sports and training approaches, it is important to not only pride yourself on becoming a skilled and disciplined athlete, but a balanced athlete! Check out Team Cura’s Skills Beyond Drills℠ training program.  It provides athletes the opportunity to engage with another training opportunity for communication, professionalism and social media presence. Coaches look for those skills in balanced on and off the field athletes.

Here’s additional articles:

Student Athletes Who Specialize Early Are Injured More Often, Study Finds

Are kids specializing in sports too early?

Connect with us and share your multi-sport or specialization experineces.