Sport Specialization Putting Young Athletes at Risk

Excelling at your sport of choice? Gunning for a college scholarship? You may want to listen up.

A new study has just reaffirmed risks related to one-sport athletes’ training and routines. According to a team of researchers at Brown University, sport specialization or long-term training for one sport is associated with longer hours of exercise and over-use-based injuries.1

In other words, because one-sport athletes repeat the same motions day after day, they are more prone to injuring body parts overworked by a one-sport routine. According to these findings, one sport athletes also tend to exercise more often and more intensely than those who practice multiple sports.

The study, which analyzed a pool of more than ten thousand teens, found that sport specialization puts young athletes at risk for injuries such as stress fractures, tendinitis, and ACL tears.

As a result, these researchers advocate for days of recovery, conditioning, and even yoga mixed into one-sport athletes’ routines in order to balance out days of vigorous training.

You already know how important rest days are, but they may be even more helpful if you’re a one sport athlete with a repetitive routine. If that’s you, be sure to balance playing your sport of choice with days of light cardio or yoga.

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2019-09-26 15:02:40By Ian Roden


  1. Alison E. Field, Frances A. Tepolt, Daniel S. Yang, Mininder S. Kocher. Injury Risk Associated With Sports Specialization and Activity Volume in YouthOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2019; 7 (9): 232596711987012 DOI: 10.1177/2325967119870124

Ian Roden

Ian Roden

Writer and expert

A Fordham University graduate, Ian majored in communications and media studies with a focus in journalism and a minor in anthropology during his time at college. Here, he wrote for the university newspaper ranked top ten in the nation.

A competitive athlete for most of his life, Ian has spent almost a decade working as an ocean rescue lifeguard in New Jersey. Within that role, he has competed in endurance sports competitions against other lifeguards for the last 8 years.

As a lifelong surfer, Ian spends most of his spare time in the ocean regardless of the time of year. He also enjoys distance running, photography, and frequently spending entirely too much money on concert tickets.

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