Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2017

Degree Name

MSEd in Physical Education

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Cathy Houston-Wilson

Abstract

There are many contributing factors to sport specialization at an early age whether these are intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, parental influence and amount of practice time. There are positive and negative effects of sports specialization and sports generalization. Therefore, the purpose of this synthesis was to review the literature on sport specialization and the creation of an elite athlete in the realm of soccer. The research shows the need for sport specialization early in soccer is not necessary because it is not necessary to reach peak performance early as compared to a sport such as gymnastics. With the physical developments our body endures an athlete will not reach peak performance in soccer until a later age in life. In an athletes adolescent years it is imperative that we provide choice to our adolescents to select the pathway (recreational or elite) and activities that will keep the athlete motivated and engaged in the sport. The most important factor on the creation is the use of deliberate practice. It was found that the more hours spent in deliberate practice the higher chance of becoming an elite athlete. Further research and education is still needed in order to promote future research.

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