October 10, 2014
- On July 15 (“Misspent Money”), the Chicago Tribune’s William Hageman was the reporter and Utah State University provided the research. The message was that sports specialization is a serious waste of family resources.
- On July 18 (“Specialization Risks”), the renowned David Epstein was the writer and Loyola University of Chicago provided the work. The message was that serious health risks make specialization counterproductive to successful sports careers.
- On Sept. 5 (“More Than a Myth”), I reported that the Lansing State Journal picked a three-sport male and four-sport female as its 2013-14 high school athletes of the year – practical proof that the reports of the death of the multi-sport athlete are greatly exaggerated.
Last month, Athletic Business recalled its August 2013 interview with the often quoted Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon and injury consultant and author of “Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them for Athletes, Parents and Coaches – Based on My Life in Sports Medicine.” In this interview, Dr. Andrews reiterated his earlier statements (some quoted in earlier postings here) that there is a “dramatic increase in overuse injuries ... due in large part to kids participating in one sport all year ...”
Athletic Business editor-in-chief Dennis Van Milligen added in his September 2014 editorial:
“Parents are ‘investing’ outrageous amounts of money into their children’s athletic development, because the fear is that they will not reach the level they need to without specialization, a notion constantly disproved.”
For multiple reasons, the multiple-sport experience is best. We must strive continually to make that experience possible for most of our student-athletes.