Focusing too much on playing one favorite sport probably isn’t a good idea for kids under 12, researchers report. That’s because specializing in a single sport seems to increase a child’s risk of injury, researchers say.
“Young athletes should participate in one competitive sport per season, and take at least three months off (non-consecutive) from competition per year,” said the study’s leader, Dr. Neeru Jayanthi. He’s a physician with Emory Sports Medicine and an associate professor of orthopaedics and family medicine at Emory University in Atlanta.
For the study, Jayanthi’s team assessed the risk of sports-related injuries among nearly 1,200 young athletes. After tracking their training schedules over the course of three years, the investigators found that nearly 40 percent of the athletes suffered an injury during the study period. The findings also showed that injured athletes began specializing in one sport at an average age younger than 12 years. In