Early specialization

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“Look – I get it.

It’s about the numbers of participants. Every sport all over the world is in the same position – how to turn around the falling rates of sports participation.

Clubs are failing.

Sporting organizations are under pressure. I get it. But “possessing” kids – thinking of them as “your” kids – i.e. telling them and their parents that they need to give up everything else and just focus on your sport is NOT the way to do it.

A parent wrote to me this morning – and this is a very common message I receive – “My kids play two sports. The coaches in both sports are both trying to get my kids to give up the other sport telling me “they need to focus on one sport if they’re going to be good at it”.

I asked how old the kids are.

Dad’s response, “One is 7 and the other is 9”.

Coaches, Clubs, Sporting Organizations the world over try to get kids and parents to specialize in their sport as early as possible to “keep them” in the sport.

However – the reality is – the harder you try to keep them – the more likely it is you will lose them.

Let them play!

Allow them to fall in love with their sport – and if it’s your sport they fall in love with great. If not – let them go.”

Wayne Goldsmith

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