A growing body of athletes and coaches tout the many advantages they see in kids who have played multiple sports. Meanwhile, medical research and anecdotal evidence increasingly warn of steep consequences to early single–sport specialization. But all of this evidence and data represent a top-down view, looking back at things that have already happened.
At MPower®, we think it’s time to look forward. It’s time to try to use what we know to shape a future of youth sports around playing multiple sports. It’s time to help kids realize the benefits—on and off the field—of building a lifelong love of sport.
Multi-sport kids have “Improved physical and cognitive skills in their primary sport,” and are “up to 30% less likely to be injured”
—Liberty Mutual Insurance: “Benefits of Playing Multiple Sports”
“88% of NCAA Division I athletes participated in 2 to 3 sports as children. 70% did not specialize in one sport until after the age of 12.”
“Participation in competitive youth sports ‘spills over’ to occupationally advantageous traits that persist across a person’s life.”
—Cornell Chronicle: “Sports At Work”
“Data suggest that athletes who had early specialized training withdrew from their sport either due to injury or burnout from the sport”. “Some studies indicate that early specialization is less likely to result in success than participating in several sports as a youth, and then specializing at older ages.”