Too Young, Too Specific

Photo Certousy: Fox News

A trend is emerging in youth sports nationally.  Kids are attempting to achieve mastery in a particular sport at increasingly younger ages.  Having drive and ambition regardless of age is fantastic; however, to specify in one discipline too early typically is at the expense of developing broad athletic skills first.  To ignore general athletic development early could potentially lend itself to poor movement patterns and overuse injuries later.  Tommy Johns surgeries for pitchers in the bigs, ACL reconstructions for US women’s national soccer team members, and foot problems for NBA stars like Kevin Durant lend credence to this growing trend.

The suggestion is not to take up as many sports as possible to combat this potential growing overuse epidemic but rather to make sure a good general physical preparedness regime is included as well as the technical skill work for each sport.  At an early age the preparedness work that should include squatting , Pulling, pressing, sprinting and jumping is equally as important as technique for sport.  As the athlete matures, particularly with a good athletic base, the need to supplement technical work with athletic enhancement will lessen to a point in which it merely is just maintenance.  The point of emphasis here is that a lot of the prerequisite mobility, strength and movement pattern work was done early for this scenario to truly take shape.  The problem with the trend in sport and physical culture now is sport year round, preparedness increasingly less.  It is a dangerous proposition for young athletes and something they usually won’t have to contend with immediately but eventually they always will.  Develop early, develop often and make sure the development includes a well rounded approach including physical preparation

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