Reader Survey: Club sport coaches to blame for sport specialization

March 19, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
In February, Coach and Athletic Director asked readers who they believe is responsible for encouraging single-sport specialization among young athletes. Here are the results of the survey along with some of their comments.

“It’s the attitude. If they can’t be the star player then they won’t play.”

Feb15Survey• “It’s the strength coaches.”

• “People who advise them to specialize in order to get scholarships.”

• “Unspoken pressure to be the next great athlete at that sport.”

• “Communication between the athlete and the coaches involved.”

• “The athletes and especially the parents believing that their child will fall behind in skills and development to athletes who do one (or two) sports year-round. Unfortunately, this can lead to over-use injuries by using the same muscles/ligaments/tendons without proper time to rest/heal that body part.”

• “I believe that kids put pressure on themselves. They develop a goal to ‘make it’ in a specific sport and then feel that other sports are going to derail the progress toward that goal. I believe kids try to specialize in a sport they want to play at the next level. There are high school coaches who put bugs in kids’ ears to stay in their sport to improve their skills and opportunities. There are parents who feel they need a break in their own schedules and encourage their kids to limit their amount of participation. To me, we need to continue educating our young people on the benefits of participating and competing year round in multiple sports.”

• “It’s a vicious cycle. Other kids specializing, kids feel they are ‘getting behind.'”

• “Both club and high school coaches, particularly soccer, basketball and football want to ‘own’ their kids year round.” 

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