ERIC Number: EJ1012700
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 23
Specialization in Youth Sport: What Coaches Should Tell Parents
Bodey, Kimberly J.; Judge, Lawrence W.; Hoover, Jonathan V.
Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, v26 n1 p3-7 2013
We live in the age of the performance ethic. Youth sport, a highly visible and valued activity in communities across the nation, is a proving ground for children and parents alike. Fun sometimes equates to being a better athlete. The sport experience is assessed in terms of enhanced technical skill development and competitive ranking (Coakley, 2009). Athletes are challenged to show their potential early because opportunities to gain access to the "pipeline" become more elusive with time. Parents are called to prove their worth because "good parents" invest to guarantee their children's future. Sure enough, sooner or later, the coach comes face to face with the question, "Should my child specialize?" The wise coach knows this is a difficult question. Yet, the coach is in a unique position to share insight and help parents reflect on a variety of related factors. Therefore, the aim of this article is to provide coaches with talking points when parents ask for advice. The article defines sport specialization; examines physiological, psychological, and social considerations, and family disruption and financial considerations; and gives recommendations for each.
Descriptors: Specialization, Coaching (Performance), Athletic Coaches, Parent Education, Decision Making, Performance Factors, Physical Education, Athletics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A