Specialization In Youth Sports

Topsail Football Pirates

Its summer break or vacation for the youth athletes of our area. While many of the kids enjoy the beach and family vacations, many are currently very active in sports. At high school and middle school level the Hampstead Post 167 Jr. and Sr. American Legion baseball teams completing this summer. The youth baseball and softball leagues are busy with district and state all-star tournaments and teams competing for an opportunity to play in the World Series in their age group. The high school student athletes also are very busy with summer workouts and conditioning in preparation for the 2019-20 school sports season. On a given day you may see just about every sport involved in summer workout activity.   The fall sports season gets officially underway in just a few weeks. These teams have a sense of urgency to be prepared and in condition for the start of the season.

As a youth sports and high school coach for over 40 years I will be offering my opinion and views on topics involving youth sports each week in the column.  I want to make it clear that my comments and opinions are my own and not of any school district team or organization. There is much discussion in the media these days concerning youth sports specialization as well as in high school. The topic of kids at early ages putting full focus on one sport and not participating in other sports activities. I have personally seen young kids get burned out with a sport they play year all year and become uninterested before the reach middle school. I think that kids at a young age should participate in multiple sports or activities.

They have plenty of time to decide what they like best. When student athletes reach the high school level, I also recommend playing multiple sports. The only exception is the athlete that is a legit Division 1 prospect and is getting recruited by division 1 college coaches before their junior year.  With that said, several college coaches have made statements that they prefer the multi-sport high school athlete. It’s a decision parents have to make as their kids get involved in sports participation. Allowing your kid to play sports is a great decision on its own.  Commitment, dedication and life lessons are only a few of benefits of being involved in sports.