AOSSM Early Sport Specialization Consensus Statement

Robert F. LaPrade, Julie Agel, Joseph Baker, Joel S. Brenner, Frank A. Cordasco, Jean Côté, Lars Engebretsen, Brian T. Feeley, Daniel Gould, Brian Hainline, Timothy Hewett, Neeru Jayanthi, Mininder S. Kocher, Gregory D. Myer, Carl W. Nissen, Marc J. Philippon, Matthew T. Provencher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Early sport specialization is not a requirement for success at the highest levels of competition and is believed to be unhealthy physically and mentally for young athletes. It also discourages unstructured free play, which has many benefits. Purpose: To review the available evidence on early sports specialization and identify areas where scientific data are lacking. Study Design: Think tank, roundtable discussion. Results: The primary outcome of this think tank was that there is no evidence that young children will benefit from early sport specialization in the majority of sports. They are subject to overuse injury and burnout from concentrated activity. Early multisport participation will not deter young athletes from long-term competitive athletic success. Conclusion: Youth advocates, parents, clinicians, and coaches need to work together with the sport governing bodies to ensure healthy environments for play and competition that do not create long-term health issues yet support athletic competition at the highest level desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2016

Keywords

  • consensus
  • early sports specialization
  • youth sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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    LaPrade, R. F., Agel, J., Baker, J., Brenner, J. S., Cordasco, F. A., Côté, J., Engebretsen, L., Feeley, B. T., Gould, D., Hainline, B., Hewett, T., Jayanthi, N., Kocher, M. S., Myer, G. D., Nissen, C. W., Philippon, M. J., & Provencher, M. T. (2016). AOSSM Early Sport Specialization Consensus Statement. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 4(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967116644241