The multi-sport advantage

Experts agree that physical literacy provides the foundation for achievement in sport, and also for success in life.

In fact, even children with an aptitude  — and love — for a sport should not specialize in it until they are well into their teens. This will help prevent over-use injuries and reduce the risk of burnout, and practice in each sport improves ability in every other activity.

As a national initiative about physical literacy, Active for Life has information, advice, and resources for parents who want to raise active and successful children.

Here are some key articles about the multi-sport advantage.

Top 5 reasons kids play sports

Study after study comes up with the same result. Kids play sports for the fun of it. And not having fun is one of the major reasons 70 percent of kids quit playing sports by the time they’re 13.

If you’re raising a child athlete, think long-term

Athlete and sport specialization is a hot topic in long term athlete development for parents who want to pressure their children to become superstar professional athletes, but they should look at late specialization, sport sampling and early diversification rather than early specialization in sport.

Specialization: What does it really mean?

Early and premature sport specialization creates the danger that children will get overuse injuries and burnout; thus parents need to start by understanding what specialization means.

6 tips for teaching parents about LTAD

Here’s what you need to know to educate parents so that their kids can develop full potential in sports.

Video shows what happens when “play” becomes “practice”

A video produced at the University of Oregon and featuring Bev Smith highlights the dangers of sport specialization for kids, and calls for more stories to be told of the multi-sport athletes who are successful.

How playing multiple sports is good for your kids

Kids benefit from participating in as many different sports and physical activities as possible while they are learning movement and sport skills.

Can you guess the one thing that most elite athletes have in common?

Coaches, elite athletes, sport scientists, and medical professionals all weigh in on the merits of the multi-sport approach to sport training.

Specializing in sport could fast track your kids to the hospital, not the major leagues

To help minimize the possibility of repetitive sports injury, sign your kids up for different activities that will allow them to perform a variety of movement skills.

Jordan Spieth versus Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth represent two entirely different strategies towards professional golfing, and contrast the difference between early specialization and multi-sport training.

Why specializing early in one sport is a bad idea

Athlete and sport specialization is a hot topic in long term athlete development for parents who want to pressure their children to become superstar professional athletes, but they should look at late specialization, sport sampling and early diversification rather than early specialization in sport.

Size matters when it comes to playing fields for kids

Kids need rinks and playing fields that are age-appropriate. To an 8-year old child, 50 yards feels like 100. So when children play in an adult-sized space, they’re playing on a surface that’s at least twice as big as what they can handle.

Raising a happy, healthy, successful kidRaising a happy, healthy, successful kid

Raising happy, healthy and successful kids is something all parents want to do. Acquiring solid cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills is important for proper development.


3 Comments

  1. Jim Grove
    Jim Grove May 10, 2016 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Hi Charlene,
    You should talk with your family doctor to assess and monitor your son’s ongoing physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Depending on how many months premature your son was, there could be little or no effect on his development. The key is to monitor the key developmental markers as he grows to see if any are late, and your family doctor is the best person to talk to.
    best regards,
    Jim

  2. Charlene May 7, 2016 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Hi there

    my child was born premature. I’m not sure when to get him engaged in sport activities.
    what would you recommend.
    advice required please.

    kind regards
    Charlene

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