The Importance Of Early Specialization In Sports

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1.Farrey and Sagas argued against the mentality that early sport immersion and early specialization will lead children to successful careers as athletes. Early specialization was described as children around the age of six choosing only one sport and concentrating only on that specific sport’s performance and practice (Sagas,2013). People in society might presume that specializing children at young ages will help guide them into becoming great athletes, however, “early specialization can have significant negative consequences on the development of an athlete over time” (Sagas, 2013, p.2). Some evidence that Sagas’ (2013) mentioned in his article to dispel the myth of early specialization included multiple studies where it showed children that were early specialized had an increase of dropping out of sports, burnout, social isolation, physiological imbalances, and limited range of motor skills. Farrey also presented evidence that early involvement and early specialization in sports doesn’t lead children to greater success. One argument that Farrey made was that early specialization can cause mental exhaustion and overuse injuries which made the “AAP now formally opposes specialization before a child reaches puberty” (Farrey, 2008, p.58). This evidence proves that overtraining children at young ages will inevitably have negative effects. Farrey also discussed the data that was found from surveying the training patterns of U.S. Olympians. From this data Farrey concluded that “many [U.S. Olympians] played multiple sports as teenagers, dispelling the myth of early specialization” (Farrey, 2008, p.191). Overall, Farrey and Sagas proposed several valid reasons that early immersion and early specialization in sports has negative impacts on children rather than helping them to achieve success. 2. Farrey discusses the major debate between nature versus nurture and how it plays a role in athlete’s performances. People are born with specific traits that can help their performance in specific sports. Farrey explains the importance of genetics’ in sports. One example of where nature surpasses nurture is athletes like Michael Phelps because he has optimal genetic features for swimming with “an extralong torso, extralong
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