Date of Award
MSEd in Physical Education
Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education
The purpose of this synthesis project was to explore whether sport specialization is worth the potential risks. Another purpose was to explore the myths and realities of sport specialization. A comprehensive literature review took place that included 17 data based peer-reviewed articles published between 2003-2019. Results indicated that sport sampling is the best way to achieve future success in sport, not sport early specialization (Hastie, 2015). Athletes who specialize in one sport are more likely to have a lower extremity injury occur compared to athletes who sport sample (McGuine, Post, Hetzel, Brooks, Trigsted & Bell, 2017). Another factor to consider is that while athletes may be choosing to specialize to obtain collegiate scholarships, athletes who played multiple sports actually received athletic scholarships more often compared to their specializing counterparts (Ginsburg, Danforth, Ceranoglu, Durant, Robin, Smith, Kamin, Babcock, Masek, 2014). It is critical that athletes, parents/guardians, coaches and others who influence the decision to specialize or sport sample know the true risks involved when making the decision.
Dueppengiesser, Justin, "Is sport specialization worth the risk? Myths vs. reality" (2019). Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Physical Education Synthesis Projects. 65.