3 Reasons Kids Should Not Focus On One Sport

EVENT: Sports Nutrition Workshop Series  
 
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
 
TIME: Tuesdays at 6:30pm on February 14, March 14 and April 4, 2017
           
            If your children are involved in athletics, you are probably familiar with the pressure to have your child specialize in one sport.  Maybe you want to see them succeed in high school athletics, or earn a college scholarship.  While that goal is worthwhile, it is important to keep in mind that it is not necessary, or even helpful, to have young children specialize in one sport in order to succeed. 
 
            1) Consider the evidence.  Focusing on one sport early one does not guarantee success in that sport later on, and it may even be damaging.  According to a 2016 study from the University of Texas, kids who begin specializing in a single sport as young as seven are more likely to get hurt than kids who play multiple sports.
 
            2) Reduce Injury.  One important reason to consider varying your children’s routine is the risk of repetitive stress injuries.  Using the same muscles over and over again for repetitive movements, such as throwing a ball or swinging a bat, can lead to muscle strains and tears, stress fractures and growth plate injuries.  A 2015 Loyola University Chicago study found that children who specialized in one sport were 73 to 90 percent more likely to sustain injuries compared to children who played multiple sports.  Especially given how intense sports training has become, children who only play one sport can be at risk for overuse injuries. 
 
            3) Encourage a healthy attitude. It’s also important to remember the real reasons behind why you wanted your children to play sports in the first place.  It probably was not to make your kids into Olympic athletes!  Exposing children to a variety of sports and activities teaches them important life lessons and establishes healthy habits for life.  The extreme pressure and risk of burnout simply may not be worth having a young child specialize in one activity.  Even if your child is the next Michael Jordan, remember, Michael Jordan played baseball and basketball growing up. 
 
            A good guideline to follow is to have younger children play their main sport for as many hours a week as they are old.  For example, a ten year old should practice 10 hours a week.  Also incorporate one day of rest a week.  Encouraging your children to try new sports and activities is important.  Being able to adapt to change makes life a lot easier as an adult- why not establish and encourage a love for the unknown in your kids? 
 
Come Check out our first Sports Nutrition Workshop on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 6:30pm!!