Youth Specialization Of Sports

opinion Essay
1585 words
1585 words

Olivia Schmitt
Professor Tainsky
Introduction to Sports Management
16 December 2014
Traditional Essay Option #2 A critical issue in sports today is the push for youth specialization in a single sport at a very young age. Activists and many experts in the sports field today argue that this is detrimental to America’s youth and urge parents to deviate away from this myth-based decision. With a society rooted in competitive spirit and edge, parents are encouraging their young children to start with travel teams, olympic development programs, and year-round training for one sport earlier than ever before. Many parents believe that starting their kids out at a young age will result in higher performance and a leg-up on other children. This trend …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that the push for youth specialization in a single sport is detrimental to america's youth and urges parents to deviate from this myth-based decision.
  • Analyzes how the movement towards specialization has stirred up controversy and debate amongst parents and those in the medical and sport professions.
  • Opines that youth sports can be improved through the encouragement of multiple sports participation, which gives kids the opportunity to experiment with a couple of different sports and find one that fits their strengths.
  • Opines that the safety of our youth is equally important to the hyperspecialization controversy.
  • Argues that the nfl should promote a better future of healthier, more well-rounded athletes by supporting the issue of hyperspecialization and advocating against it.
  • Opines that youth sports culture needs to be addressed and spread awareness of the dangers of specialization. they would like to promote their beliefs in local newspapers, magazines, and sports journals.
  • Opines that a policy rooted in education and awareness, along with partnership with the nfl, could lead to social change.
  • Opines that early sport specialization is a bad idea, citing brooke lench and john o'sullivan.

Through multiple-sport participation, a young athlete has the chance to find which activity they enjoy the most, and as a result, have the opportunity to further develop athletically. It is essential that parents understand how the stress of reaching an elite status can emotionally and physically impair a young, developing body. Because this issue has become apparent within the past decade, it is imperative that our society understands the facts and takes action. I believe that with a policy rooted in education and awareness, along with a partnership with the NFL, there is a possibility for social change. Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson, once said, “40 million kids play sports, and most of them are between 7 and 12. By the time they are 13, more than 70 percent of them have stopped playing because it’s not fun anymore. All of a sudden when kids get into junior high, we feel this need to have them become professionals.” It is time that more start to recognize that specialization in one sport at an early age kills our …show more content…

"Early Specialization: Nine Reasons Why It Is a Bad Idea."MomsTEAM., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <>.
O'Sullivan, John. "The Detrimental Effect of Early Sport Specialization | Changing the Game
Project." Changing the Game Project. Changing the Game Project, 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <>.
Reed, Ken. "Youth Sports Specialization Defies Logic." The Huffington Post., 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

Get Access