Experts talk about children specializing in one sport

Is your child really into just one sport? Do you wonder, as a parent, when it will be the right time for your youth athlete to specialize in one sport?

Jim Delaney is the director of recruiting for Recruit Look, a company that helps high school athletes get noticed by college scouts. He has a definite opinion on kids specializing in one sport too early.

“Physically, they are not building different muscle groups by not playing multiple sports. It doesn’t mean they have to play three at one time in one week, but sports are designed to be seasonally based,” Delaney said.

Think of baseball. It’s a spring sport that even the pros don’t play year round. “I think a kid needs to continue to develop all around,” Tampa Catholic High School baseball coach Ty Griffin said.

Griffin told 8 On Your Side parents shouldn’t pigeonhole a child too soon. “Once you get to the high school level,and around your 10th grade season, I think now you need to look at not what’s my favorite sport. I think that’s where parents go wrong … It’s not what you really enjoy doing It’s what’s going to give you the opportunity to reach your ultimate goal.”

Delaney believes children should consider specializing at age 12 or 13. “Basically, when does puberty hit? And that’s a little bit different for everybody,” he said.

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