Upper Hand Sales Director Weighs in on New NBA Guidelines
Every kid grows up wanting to be the best at their respective sport. Sports are starting to impact kids at a younger and younger age due, in part, to the increase in television and media coverage. With the increase in publicity, superstars in sports have been created and every kid aspires to be like their favorite athlete. Basketball, Football, Soccer, Baseball, or any other sport a young athlete might play, all have recognizable athletes across the globe.
The fascination with athletic superstars is causing more specialization for kids and parents alike thinking the only way for them to make it to the top is by specializing in their favorite sport, starting at an extremely young age.
Specialization for youth can actually lead to the opposite of the intended goal. The NBA and USA Basketball released new guidelines in October, that included the effects of specialization, encouraging youth and parents not to go this route before age 14. Studies have found that participation in a single sport can cause overuse injuries and burnout over time.
The world of sports is growing everyday and athletes make the news for things they do on and off the field. I have seen many friends and colleagues throughout my life that decided to focus solely on one sport and saw the negative effects it caused. Many of them grew tired of what they were doing or just felt as though it wasn’t as fun anymore. It can also be a social inhibitor for many. From a kids perspective, overloaded schedules and increased participation year round can take away from time to just be a kid and hang out with friends. While partipicating in multiple sports, allow changes in schedules and practice routines that can benefit young athletes.
As I said before, every kid wants to be the best and we have all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect,” but who is to say what kind of practice benefits you the most. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with two older brothers who played different sports than I did. I was always encouraged to play in any sport I wanted as long as I gave my best.
Each sport provides many different benefits, some of which are specific to that particular sport. Whether it be life lessons, physical exercise or problem solving, sports in general are an area of specialization. To only play one sport can cause a young athlete to miss those valuable benefits that could help them succeed at an even higher level, than they will as a one-sided athlete. As a part of the Upper Hand team, I am proud that our goal is to provide a sports software platform for coaches and trainers to reach the youth and give them the opportunity to gain those valuable lessons in each sport!