Many believe that encouraging your child to specialize in one sport is the best way to develop them into successful athletes. But, scientific research now suggests that “sport specialization” can actually be detrimental to both the mental and physical health of children. Instead, experts are encouraging parents to include their children in multi-sport participation to best help develop physical and athletic ability.
Risks of Sport Specialization:
1. Children who focus on one sport contribute to 50% of overuse injuries in youth athletes.
2. Children who focus on one athletic specialty may have reduced fine motor skill development.
3. Children who specialize in one sport at an early age are the most likely to experience burnout due to a lack of motivation and enjoyment and an increase in overall stress.
Benefits of Multi-Sport Participation:
1. Children who practice a wide range of activities develop better fine motor skills.
2. Multi-sport participation exposes children to a wide range of critical thinking situations,which in turn helps them to become more creative athletes.
3. Children who participate in many different activities are more exposed to a variety of situations which helps to diversify their social skills.
Multi-sport participation is just plain FUN! It fosters a love of sports in kids that helps keep them active.Since 1999, JumpBunch has worked with parents and schools to introduce children to a multitude of sports and fitness in fun ways. Our program offers more than 70 different activities ranging from soccer, to jump rope, to yoga. All of our activities are age appropriate and promote the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Today, more than 50,000 kids enjoy a weekly JumpBunch class across the world. We’re encouraged by this recent report to work even harder to do our part to diversify children’s activities and help to develop successful, and life long athletes.