Single-sport focus not good for children
(HealthDay)—Parents should try to keep their children from focusing on a single sport for as long as possible to reduce their risk for injuries and other problems, the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) says.
In new recommendations, the group also says that young athletes should get at least two days of rest each week and that they should not play a single sport for more than eight months a year, The New York Times reported Friday.
As a guideline, the NATA says the number of hours children should spend in sports training each week should match their age.
"Single-sports specialization is bordering on an epidemic in terms of the risks it can pose, for physical injuries as well as the potential for negative psychological effects," said Tory Lindley, president of the NATA, The Times reported. "There is a myth that it takes a single-sport specialization to succeed. In fact, we're learning from research and anecdotal evidence that there is actually an opportunity for athleticism to improve if you expose the body to different sports and different movements."
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