Penn State Study Shows Variety Is The Spice of Sporting Life For Young Athletes
A study by the Penn State College of Medicine unearthed that not only isn't early sport specialization a proven method of success to becoming elite in that sport, it is in fact a hindrance in pursuit of such a goal.
Penn State polled professional, NCAA Division I and Division III hockey players about their athletic upbringing and found only 12 percent of the athletes specialized in the sport before they were 12.
The study found that there were physical, mental and social benefits to children who experienced a multi-sport lifestyle. Those who focused on one sport were more susceptible to overuse injuries. Children who played a multitude of sports not only learned different muscle use but if they exceled at one sport but were just ordinary at the other, it opened them up to different social experiences. They'll be asked to fill different roles in the team dynamic in each sport and be more open to dealing with adversity through this varied experience of outcomes.
Check out USA Hockey's story on the study right here.