Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCSF

UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

AOSSM Early Sport Specialization Consensus Statement.

  • Author(s): LaPrade, Robert F
  • Agel, Julie
  • Baker, Joseph
  • Brenner, Joel S
  • Cordasco, Frank A
  • Côté, Jean
  • Engebretsen, Lars
  • Feeley, Brian T
  • Gould, Daniel
  • Hainline, Brian
  • Hewett, Timothy
  • Jayanthi, Neeru
  • Kocher, Mininder S
  • Myer, Gregory D
  • Nissen, Carl W
  • Philippon, Marc J
  • Provencher, Matthew T
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Early sport specialization is not a requirement for success at the highest levels of competition and is believed to be unhealthy physically and mentally for young athletes. It also discourages unstructured free play, which has many benefits.

Purpose

To review the available evidence on early sports specialization and identify areas where scientific data are lacking.

Study design

Think tank, roundtable discussion.

Results

The primary outcome of this think tank was that there is no evidence that young children will benefit from early sport specialization in the majority of sports. They are subject to overuse injury and burnout from concentrated activity. Early multisport participation will not deter young athletes from long-term competitive athletic success.

Conclusion

Youth advocates, parents, clinicians, and coaches need to work together with the sport governing bodies to ensure healthy environments for play and competition that do not create long-term health issues yet support athletic competition at the highest level desired.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View