There is a significant amount of research and discussion around whether or not young athletes should begin to specialise in their chosen sport at an early age. The answer to this debate is not so simple, but it is important to carefully consider the facts.
Concerns relating to bodily harm, impaired physical development, maturation, overtraining, boredom and burnout have been widely commented on when discussing young athletes who specialise from an early age. If you are a parent of a young child and you are wondering if you should ‘keep pushing’ your child into the one sport, then consideration must be made in respect to these key areas and the subsequent implications for your child and their social and emotional wellbeing.
Over my many years of teaching, coaching and working with young people, it has become increasingly apparent that many young athletes who are highly pressured, either intrinsically or externally by parents, often burnout before reaching their ultimate goal of playing at the highest level in professional sport. So many young athletes are pushed into their sporting career path at an early age without having the chance to experience the plethora of alternative sporting opportunities available. Many Australian kids are simply pushed into what is perceived to be ‘high money earning’ sports such as AFL, Cricket, Swimming, Basketball, Rugby, Netball, Golf or Tennis. Don’t get me wrong, I love these sports and everything they have to offer! They too, provide significant physical and social development opportunities for young children. But the truth is, far too many young athletes simply do not make it all the way to the top! Additional sports such as Athletics (track and field), Volleyball, Hockey, Badminton, Futsal and Touch (to name a few) have huge participation rates in Australian Schools and provide significant development opportunities for your children to learn about the many facets of social, emotional, physical and sporting success.
Often finding clubs and associations for your child to gain some experience in these additional sports can be challenging, so that’s where a children’s sports camp such as those offered at Kidzphyz can provide a great platform for your child to try these. With so many sports camps on offer, children can easily choose a 3-day clinic in the sport that is right for them, or alternatively they can join a multisport program and try them all. Hopefully they will experience the fun and excitement that all of these sports have to offer.
It can be a difficult decision for parents and children alike to choose which sport and when to specialise. In any case, the key components of all sport should be a balance between fun, enjoyment, engagement, social and physical development. If you want to check out Kidzphyz programs over the coming break check out our sports camps pages at:
AFL Football Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/afl-football/
Basketball Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/basketball/
Rugby Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/rugby/
Tennis Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/tennis/
Volleyball Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/beach-volleyball/
Cricket Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/cricket-camp/
Hockey Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/hockey-camp/
Netball Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/netball-camp/
Soccer Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/soccer-camp/
Multisport Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/tri-sportz-camp/
Dance Camps – http://kidzphyz.com.au/camps/dance/
Yours in Sport
The Kidzphyz Sports Team