Super Bowl Lesson for the Young Athlete… Avoid Sports Specialization!

Hey CORE family… what’s up? It’s Stephen Dunn. I just wanted to go over something really quick. This is a topic that gets really hot every year on Super Bowl. An article typically comes out the few days after the Super Bowl talking about the starters and how many of them played certain positions or certain sports in high school. How many sports they each played and the topic is sports specialization and many, many people think for their quarter… their kid or for the athlete to be the next, like great quarterback. Or the next great pitcher or the great this or that or the other… They need to specialize in it and do it from the time they’re a young age.

Well the research suggests that that’s not good. It actually ends up causing burnout, which was one major problem. It also causes severe overuse injuries.

So let’s talk about the quarterback for Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes. He’s the spitting example of why you should not specialize in any sport! Why?

Okay, he’s pretty amazing at quarterback, right? Well let’s talk about him, he’s an amazing athlete and by him being an amazing athlete he is pulled from everything he is played from the time he was a young kid. Now when he was in high school… We are talking about Patrick Mahomes the quarterback of Kansas City, when he was in high school he was the quarterback on the football team, he was the starting point guard on the basketball team and he was the starting pitcher on the baseball team.

So the reason I bring that up is but and he was good at all of them… and from the numbers that I read is that he was really good and he probably could have picked any of those sports and went on and made a living playing any of those three sports. But what he did is he chose football and by choosing football he actually chose to be an athlete playing football. So when he watched him play the way he does things it’s just it’s the combination of all those sports and that’s why he’s doing so fantastic.

He’ll throw passes like this, he’ll throw passes at the sidearm. Well that’s his pitching experience in high school. When he’s running the ball he can shake in juke anybody… that’s being a point guard on the basketball team, right? Whenever he also does something that not many people do in football is a no-look pass. Well he’s looking this way but he’s passing that way and in basketball that’s a very common thing as a point guard to have a no-look pass. In football he’s obviously pretty spectacular. So my point is if you have a child, if you have someone that you know and that you care about and they’re really interested in specializing in one sport or if coaches are pushing you to specialize in one sport… all the research suggests that that’s not recommended. Whether again that’s any sport, it doesn’t matter which one, that it’s just not recommended. When I was a kid we couldn’t play sports all year. We played baseball and then football and then basketball. If we wanted to play soccer or track of course those were options and other sports are options too.

We didn’t have the option to play one sport year-round, so that’s my message for today. Really consider it not specializing in one sport, playing all sports and the Super Bowl is a great example every year of that.

So that’s my message for today, if you have any questions or comments hit them below. If got a question for me and want to call the office… 512.215.4227. I’d love to hear your take on this and what you think about the sports specialization in our modern culture in sports.

Apply for a Free consult for you or your athlete in the family with one of our expert Physical Therapist here…