Family Magazine

Focus on One Sport Or Play Them All?

By Newsanchormom

Focus on one sport or play them all?How old is your athletic child? How many hours a week does he/she play sports? If the number of hours is larger than the age, you may have a problem. New research shows children who focus on one sport and practice/play more hours a week than their age are more likely to be injured. It makes sense to me. I played a variety of sports in high school and never got injured. But if one of my children is good at a particular sport, I am certainly going to hope they focus on that one sport and get really good at(not that I want them to get injured.) I just take this research as something to keep in mind. I don't think it's a reason to change your behavior.

FROM NBC: If your child plays sports, you'll want to pay attention to our medical
minute tonight. It seems that kids' sports injuries may vary according to whether they concentrate on one sport-- or play the field. Sports injuries are an occupational hazard for youngsters who compete in athletics.
Now a study presented at a meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine provides further support for an interesting distinction. It compared young athletes who came for physicals with those who came for treatment of a sports-related injury.
Researchers found that about sixty percent of the injured athletes specialized in one sport compared to thirty per cent of the athletes in the non-injured group. They define specialization as early, intensive training in one sport-- not just playing one sport recreationally.
The injured athletes also spent about eleven hours per week training for sports-- compared to eight hours per week for uninjured kids. The authors say if the training hours per week are greater than a youngster's age, that could be a risk factor for injury. They add that another possible factor is how intense the training is.

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