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Does single-sport focus increase athlete injuries? 5 things to know Featured

Written by  Adam Schrag | Thursday, 23 March 2017 19:39
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Researchers at Philadelphia-based The Rothman Institute presented a study at the AAOS Annual Meeting showing a correlation exists between a single-sport specialization and sports-related injuries in high school, collegiate and professional athletes.

Here's what you need to know:

 

1. Researchers surveyed a combined 3,090 high school, collegiate and professional
athletes.

 

2. Collegiate athletes reported the highest rates of single sport specialization during childhood/adolescence:

 

  • 46.3 percent of high school athletes specialized in a single sport during childhood/adolescence
  • 67.7 percent of collegiate athletes specialized in a single sport during childhood/adolescence
  • 45.9 of professional athletes specialized in a single sport during childhood/adolescence

 

3. High school (39.9 percent) and collegiate athletes (42.1 percent) suffered higher rates of sport-related injuries than professional athletes (25.4 percent).

 

4. Most athletes believe single-sport specialization improves play:

 

  • 79.7 percent of high school athletes agreed
  • 80.6 percent of collegiate athletes agreed
  • 61.7 percent of professional athletes agreed but only 22.3 percent said they would want their children specializing in one sport during childhood and adolescence.

 

5. Although athletes don't need to specialize in a single sport early on in their career to become professional athletes, some high school athletes are doing so regardless. The rise in high school athletes specializing in one sport coincides with higher incidences of sports injuries among high school-aged athletes.

 

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