First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Dominic ScolaFollow

Mentor/s

Dr. Rober and Dr. Loris

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

Over the past twenty years, participation in youth sports has increased dramatically. In the USA about 60 million children from ages 6 to 18 participate in some form of organized athletics. In general playing sports as a child has many positive benefits including learning respect for teammates and others, increased self-esteem, courage to try new things, as well as others. Due to the high levels of participation, youth athletics have become a more competitive environment than ever before. The increased levels of competition have caused more kids to specialize in one sport at an earlier age than in the past in order to gain a competitive edge. This relatively new phenomenon is commonly referred to as early sports specialization (ESS). Due to the increased popularity of this fast-growing trend, it has now become a very controversial topic with limited research. Parents, coaches, and athletes often wrongfully associate ESS with elite athletic performance. They believe that without it, it is impossible for their child or athlete to succeed in their sport and become an elite level athlete. Research has had conflicting evidence regarding the truth of that claim, but research has been able to confirm the various negative effects ESS has on young athletes and their health. Early sports specialization by elementary and middle school-aged athletes in organized sports negatively affects both their physical and mental health.

College and Major available

Exercise Science BS

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

Honors Capstone HN-300-E, Daniel Rober and Michelle Loris

Location

Session G: West Campus West Building W223J

Start Day/Time

4-29-2022 12:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-29-2022 1:00 PM

Students' Information

Dominic Scola- Major: Exercise Science, Honors Student, Graduation Year: 2022

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Apr 29th, 12:00 PM Apr 29th, 1:00 PM

The Effect of Early Sports Specialization on Young Athletes' Physical and Mental Health

Session G: West Campus West Building W223J

Over the past twenty years, participation in youth sports has increased dramatically. In the USA about 60 million children from ages 6 to 18 participate in some form of organized athletics. In general playing sports as a child has many positive benefits including learning respect for teammates and others, increased self-esteem, courage to try new things, as well as others. Due to the high levels of participation, youth athletics have become a more competitive environment than ever before. The increased levels of competition have caused more kids to specialize in one sport at an earlier age than in the past in order to gain a competitive edge. This relatively new phenomenon is commonly referred to as early sports specialization (ESS). Due to the increased popularity of this fast-growing trend, it has now become a very controversial topic with limited research. Parents, coaches, and athletes often wrongfully associate ESS with elite athletic performance. They believe that without it, it is impossible for their child or athlete to succeed in their sport and become an elite level athlete. Research has had conflicting evidence regarding the truth of that claim, but research has been able to confirm the various negative effects ESS has on young athletes and their health. Early sports specialization by elementary and middle school-aged athletes in organized sports negatively affects both their physical and mental health.

 

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