The SGG special series on youth sports continues with a look at sport specialization and injuries.
David Bell is a professor in Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a leading expert on injuries in youth sports. In this re-edit as part of the special SGG series on youth sports, we discussed:
1. What should parents and youth coaches know about sport
2. The impacts of physical activity in youth and young adulthood years.
3. Why more and more kids are dropping out of sports at younger ages.
4. The definition of youth sport specialization. What “highly specialized” means.
5. What does puberty have to do with specialization? What should parents know…
6. Why there are higher rates of specialization among young female athletes.
7. The importance of the triad between coach, parent, and athlete in creating healthy sporting experience.
8. Recommendations: delaying specialization as long as possible; play on one team at a time; don’t play a single sport more than eight months per year – especially before puberty; play a sport no more hours per week than your age; and take two days off per week.
9. What can college-level coaches and leaders do to help foster a healthy pipeline?
10. Previous injury predicts future risk.