Why You Shouldn’t Specialize In One Sport Too Soon
Before I get to the meat and potatoes of today’s post I first wanted to thank everyone one who came out to CrossFit 714 in Anaheim, CA for mine and Dean’s workshop. We had 30 trainers and coaches from all over the Western portion of the country attend (even from Utah and Hawaii) and I think it was a massive success. I mean, no one asked for a refund or screamed “YOU HATE DIPS AND KIPPING PULL-UPS!?!?!? YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE TONY GENTILCORE!!!”
And let me just say that the traffic in LA is NO JOKE! I read about how much of a nightmare it is and how it’s the worst thing ever, and honestly, having lived in Boston for eight years – where traffic isn’t exactly a cake walk – I always thought to myself “how bad can it really be?”
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “Traffic? What traffic? We’ll be there in ten minutes!” and 10 being “I’d rather walk on broken glass.” traffic in LA is the equivalent of Graham’s Number in sucktitude.
I made it back, I had a day to recover and catch up on some sleep, and now it’s back to business as usual.
I’m about five minutes away from heading out to the facility, but I wanted to share an article I had published on Stack.com recently.
It deals with a topic we have to teeter-totter with a lot at Cressey Sports Performance and it’s also a question I receive often in various places I speak:
Should a young athlete specialize in one sport, and if so, how early?
Truth be told: I’m not a fan of athlete’s specializing before a certain age. I feel it causes more harm than good and handicaps more athletes than it helps from developing their full spectrum of athleticism.
Too, nothing makes me cringe more – outside of maybe a botched rendition of the National Anthem – than when I ask a 13 year old kid what sports (s)he plays and their response is “x sport” and nothing else.
Adding to that point, we’ve also had parents with children as young as 7-8 years old contact us for our services, and while it’s always a compliment, we always tactfully say no.
As Mike Boyle has stated in the past, “your kid doesn’t need a strength coach, he needs a bike.”
Nevertheless I had a few more things to say on the topic and I hope you take a few minutes to check it out as I feel it’s a very important message.