Pre-adolescent athletes who specialize in a single sport have higher injury rates than their more well-rounded counterparts, according to the research findings from the Loyola University Health System.
The results of the study, which included 154 athletes, match earlier guidlines from the American Academy of pediatrics.
Led by R. Neeru Jayanthi, the study examined the training regimens of 85 young athletes who were treated for sports-related injuries and 69 youths who had no injuries, but sought physicals through Loyola's medical services.
The study found that 60.4% of the injured athletes specialized in a single sport, meaning they spent roughly 75% working on that skill set and sacrificed other sports to concentrate on one.
"We should be cautious about intense specialization in one sport before and during adolescense," Jayanthi said. "Parents should consider enrolling their children in multiple sports."
The report was presented earlier this week at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in Salt Lake City.