There seems to be a debate on whether or not keeping your kids to playing one sport will help them reach the next level and eventually earn a college scholarship. That debate appears to be over. That according to a study done by UCLA School of Medicine.
According to the study, most successful athletes participate in many sports at the ages of 6, 8 or 10 years old. The idea is that student athletes who play only one sport, will excel in that sport and therefore have a better chance at future success. But the study shows that it’s actually better for kids to play a variety of sports and learn different skills — not just those obtained in one sport. There is also proof that “children and teens who train intensely in one sport are more prone to overuse injuries than their peers who have varied activities”. Apparently when you play a sport for fun, you are less likely to be injured.
The study was based on 296 student-athletes who were involved in 22 sports. 164 of those students were not into elite sports but played sports for fun. Each of these students actually started playing sports around the same age (before age 10). While playing only one-sport wasn’t a factor, the student’s family history was. Of these athletes, 43% had a parent who played college or pro-sports. 28% had a brother or sister who played college or pro sports.
The bottom line of this study is that pushing your child into one sport only will not make a difference on the outcome of their sports success. Most kids decide to play only one sport by high school anyway. So let your kids enjoy all sports while they are younger. It will actually give them a better chance at success and fewer injuries later in life.
Read more of this study here! It’s really interesting!