16 Feb National Athletic Trainers’ Association Urges Parents to Postpone Specializing in One Sport as Long as Possible

National Athletic Trainers’ Association Urges Parents to Postpone Specializing in One Sport as Long as Possible

Camp Susquehannock has long supported the benefits of multi-sport diversification. However, for the past few decades the positive effects of multi-sport training have been overshadowed by a myth that single-sport specialization will pave the road to college scholarships and professional athletics. That tide is starting to change!

An article by Roni Caryn Rabin of The New York Times revealed some key points recently released by The National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

According to a leading organization of athletic trainers, too many children are risking injuries, even lifelong health problems, because they practice too intensively in a single sport, and parents should set limits on their participation. New recommendations issued by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association urge parents to ensure that children and adolescents postpone specializing in one sport for as long as possible.

“Single-sports specialization is bordering on epidemic in terms of the risks it can pose, for physical injuries as well as the potential for negative psychological effects.”
-Tory Lindley, President N.A.T.A.

The advice arrives amid growing concern about a rise in athletic injuries among children engaging in tough training exercises. These regimens also can exact a psychological toll, increasing the risk that children and adolescents will burn out and quit sports altogether, the trainers’ group said.

“There is a myth that it takes a single-sport specialization to succeed. In fact, we’re learning from research and anecdotal evidence that there is actually an opportunity for athleticism to improve if you expose the body to different sports and different movements.”
-Tory Lindley, President N.A.T.A

As educators, parents and coaches it is our responsibility to help children grow, develop and mature in a safe, fun environment. It has now become apparent that children who spend too much time in one-sport specialization may be at risk for serious injury and possible lifelong health issues. Let’s use multi-sport diversification as a tool to develop confident, gritty, healthy and athletic young children!

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