The Detrimental Effect of Early Sport Specialization

Our society is rushing toward specialization in all areas, especially youth sports.  We see it in the college and professional ranks, that it is rare to have a two-sport individual.  Those aspiring to play sports at those higher levels therefore feel the downward pressure of conformity.  Kids who aren’t even teenagers are giving their entire life focus to just one sport to the detriment of trying or doing well in any other sport.  We aren’t even talking about how such single-minded focus at such a young age leads to the deep loss of so many other worthy opportunities and pursuits that feed the heart and mind and are far more likely to result in a fulfilling life of meaningful work.  When so few of our children will play NCAA and professional level sports, but they will spend a life-time in creative problem solving and critical thinking in their professions, why don’t we give kids more opportunities for having fun as they prepare for the rest of their lives instead of creating false dreams and broken bodies when they are so young?

In addition to advocating multi-sport, why not advocate multi-experience?  Science, math, music, language, sport, travel, history, computer science, art, etc.  There is so much to experience in life.  We become less human when we cut ourselves off from the broad vibrancy of human experience and narrow ourselves into tiny niches of activity.

About Taylor Halverson

I love learning. I love connecting. I love interdisciplinarity.
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