HOME > Youth Coaching > Coaching Resources > Understanding Youth Athletes > Issues with Early Specialisation
Issues with Early Specialisation

‘Sports Specialisation Increases Injury Risk For High School Athletes', Study Finds
Overtraining and specialisation in one sport could potentially lead to injuries. The author encourages athletes to try different sports particularly during their off-season period... Read More
  Talent ID And Management Part 5: Early Vs Late Specialisation
This video discusses the "10,000 hours" theory and how it encourages athletes to specialise early in order to clock in the 10,000 hours... Read More
Study: 30 Out Of 32 NFL First-round Picks Were Multi-sport High School Athletes
This article highlights that majority of the players who have made it to NFL picks used to play either 1 or 2 more sports other than football back in high school... Read More
  Avoiding Youth Sports Burnout: How To Keep Your Kids In The Game
This blogpost discusses the benefits of youth sports participation, the reasons for burnout and solutions on how to prevent it... Read More
Elite Youth Sports: Are They Hurting Our Kids?
The article suggests that young athletes should not limit themselves to just one sport before the age of 12. And how much training makes sense? The research suggests young athletes should not train more hours a week than their age in order to avoid overuse injuries. So, a 10 year old athlete shouldn’t train more than 10 hours a week... Read More
  Study: Current High Schoolers Specialise In One Sport Two Years Earlier Than College, Pro Athletes Did.
This article explains that the younger generation is showing preference towards earlier specialisation than the older generation of athletes. This raises concerns associated with early specialisation such as burnout and overuse injuries... Read More
Doctors: Kids Should Play Multiple Sports
Video on why kids should play multiple sports and what they can get out of it... Read More
  There's An Overuse Injury Epidemic in Youth Sports
This article provides American statistics on the severity of overuse injury... Read More
School Days: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Bastian Schweinsteiger and his story growing up. He was exposed to a wide range of sports such as skiing, basketball and ice hockey and only specialised in football at 14 years old. He credits his current success to the idea of late specialisation... Read More
  The Temptation And Risk Of Being A One-sport, Year-round Athlete
This article talks about volleyball coach Jay Mooney’s belief in early diversification for his students. His first priority is to develop the student into an athlete before actually developing them into volleyball players. Likewise, Hockey Canada believes and encourages their players to go and play other sports during the off season... Read More
Rothman Study Finds Young Athletes Specialising At Still Younger Ages
Study by Rothman Institute reveals that younger youth athletes specialise in a single sport earlier compared to college or professional athletes. It is a concern because it exposes youth athletes to higher risk of injuries... Read More
  Nearly Half Of Today’s High School Athletes Specialise In One Sport
This study presents the fact that 45% of high school athletes specialise two years earlier than current collegiate and professional athletes. In addition, the consensus among professional athletes is that this is not a healthy situation as only 22% of them want their own children to focus on a single sport... Read More
When One Sport Just Isn’t Enough
The author encourages children to pick up more than one sport as it helps to better develop the athlete by preventing burnout, increase stamina, mental toughness etc... Read More
  Want To Play Football At Ohio State Or Clemson? Try Other Sports, Too
This article emphasises the need for a multi-sport exposure. There are positive differences in terms of cross-training, types of coaching, locker room environment, practice environment and challenges. Overall, it develops a much more competitive and well-rounded type of athlete... Read More
Working In Youth Sports: Reflections Of A Trainee Sport Psychologist
This article addresses what sport psychology is and how early it can be introduced to youth athletes. It also explains how sport psychology is useful in helping those who specialise too early and end up suffering from stress or burnout. An important consideration would be the ability to provide every youth sport athlete access to sport psychology... Read More
  Want To Be A Sport Star? Don’t Specialise As A Youngster
Children who become sport stars tend to do fewer hours a week of serious practice in their eventual discipline than those who don’t make it. Conversely, those who knuckle down prematurely are at risk of limiting their motor-skill development. According to a 2015 paper, the researchers have recommended “more opportunities for free, unstructured play” and “periodised strength and conditioning” to promote movement and limit injury... Read More
The Benefit Of Being A Multi-Sport Athlete
The writer talks about the importance of being exposed to multiple sports. He highlights several successful athletes who have turned professional and attributed it to their exposure to multiple sports. They include players like Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Tony Gonzalez, Stephen Curry and Jackie Robinson... Read More
  Benefits Of A Multi-Sport Approach
This video includes interviews with NBA professionals like Stephen Curry and Bradley Beal on their experiences playing a wide range of sports at a younger age before specialising. This has benefited and aided them in turning into successful professional players... Read More
A Few Surprises In The Data Behind Single-Sport And Multisport Athletes
This article makes a comparison between athletes playing one sport and multiple sports. It suggests some considerations before deciding to play one sport or multiple sports... Read More
   The Age Of Single Sport Athlete Endures Despite Detractors Suspicions
This article highlights the increased risk of potential injuries and burnout in single sport athletes. The evidence found 39% and 25% of women and men respectively have sustained greater instances of injuries as compared to athletes who were given the chance to be exposed to multiple sports... Read More

 Burnout, Costs, Time Take Toll on Youth Sports Participation
This article highlights youths dropping out of sports due to long training hours and high training costs. This heavy commitment also strains the athlete’s social circle and family time thus causing a negative impact on the athlete's well being.... Read More


     Back to Coaching Resources  

 The views expressed in blogs, articles or any other content in this website belong exclusively to the authors and do not necessarily represent the positions of NYSI. Links to external websites are meant as resource and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. NYSI cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.