Kids are happier and healthier playing multiple sports

Youth Sports Stats

Dangers of Sports Specializations

Sports specialization is practicing the same sport year-round to achieve a competitive goal or earn a scholarship. Sports specialization increases the wear and tear of a specific muscle, ligament and skeletal group and can lead to serious injuries down the road. This is known as Sports Specialization Injuries, or SSI. Studies have shown students who play the same sport repeatedly are more likely to obtain an injury during their playing season versus students who practice multiple sports year-round.

Benefits of Multi-Sports Participation

Multi-sport participation uses different sets of body parts thereby allowing more time to heal and develop different muscles groups. Young athletes perform better since they have less injuries. Multi-sports athletes also have a lower burnout rate. Burnout is common for athletes who specialize too early, with constant practices, competitions, and training. Students begin to lose passion for the sport they are specializing in.

Tips to Healthy Sport Parenting

  • Avoid over training
  • The amount of time your child should be practicing organized sports per week should be less than their age
  • Encourage more free time with friends and less scheduled time with organized teams
  • Be cautious with paid individual coaching and training until children are older
  • Discuss with your child’s pediatrician prior to making decisions with organized sports, as every child develops differently
  • Make sure your children have an off season to allow them to rest physically as well as psychologically
  • If children specialize in sports they should not begin until they are at least 14-15 years old, or until child is through puberty

How Chiropractic Can help Prevent Sports Injuries

A chiropractor assists young athletes by providing alignment to the spine and extremities (including arms and legs), and completes body mechanic evaluations including gait analysis to help assess muscular patterns and development. By continually keeping an athlete’s body in his or her healthiest form, he or she will train more efficiently and effectively year-round.

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Resources

The Michigan High School Athletic Association. (2018). Second Half | Stories Behind the Scores: The Inherent Risk of Sport Specialization. Retrieved from https://secondhalf.mhsaa.com/All-News/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/7207/The-Inherent-Risk-of-Sport-Specialization

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention. (2018). How Parents Can Help Young Athletes Avoid Overuse Injuries in School Sports. Retrieved from https://injury.research.chop.edu/blog/posts/how-parents-can-help-young-athletes-avoid-overuse-injuries-school-sports#.XKTviOtKjUI

National Athletic Association: At Your Own Risk. (2019). Information for Parents. Retrieved from https://www.atyourownrisk.org/parents/

National University of Health Sciences. (2018). 4 Ways Chiropractic Medicine Can Provide Lasting Benefits for Young Athletes. Retrieved from https://blog.nuhs.edu/the-future-of-integrative-health/4-ways-chiropractic-medicine-can-provide-lasting-benefits-for-young-athletes

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