A friend of mine has a favorite saying that begins: “It’s the easiest thing in the world to notice what’s wrong with something.” It’s true with most anything: work, school, home, friends, enemies, family, an old car, a new car, politics, our favorite sports teams, **ahem** a blog post…
This friend finishes the thought with: “…Anyone can complain about problems, but it takes real leadership to find solutions.”
There is plenty of very necessary talk about the downfalls of early sports specialization; but the accompanying support for participation in multiple sports is usually only talked about in terms of results, or hindsight. For instance: “[Mr./Ms. Pro All-Star athlete] in [sport A] developed skills by also playing [sports B, C, and D] as a kid.” Or something like: “research shows that playing multiple sports is associated with [benefits X, Y, and Z] in kids.”
…But that’s all looking backwards at stuff that already happened. Where is the part that tells us what we should do looking forward? Where are the paths to these results? By contrast, the paths to single-sport specialization are all around us: “Join our year-round [sport A] travel team, and your elementary-age kid will develop superhero skills!”
Thankfully the reality-check, multi-sport message that’s out there right now is that many superhero athletes actually played lots of different sports as kids. Now all we need are multi-sport paths for kids and families that are just as easy to follow as the single-sport specialization paths.
“Back when we were kids: if you were a reasonably good athlete, you could probably kick a soccer ball for the very first time in 7th or 8th grade and...
Technical skills vs. “Back when we were kids…”
October 30, 2015
We did it: our 8yo son is about to start playing for a soccer team that requires a 10-month commitment. It’s exactly 180–degrees opposite of...
August 12, 2015
For the first time, we ran a 4-day “Sports IQ Camp” over Winter Break, and a dozen incredible kids participated! The initial idea was to teach them ho...