The NFL Draft: What Did The First Round Tell Us About Sports Specialization?

The NFL draft of 2017 has come and gone and once again, teaching a valuable lesson about youth and high school sports. More specifically, Sports Specialization. Just like the Super Bowl earlier this year, I wrote a blog a few days after talking about how almost 90% of the participating athletes played multiple sports in high school.

Well, here we are in May and the April draft has an even higher percentage of first round picks that played multiple sports in high school. Data was just released and 30 of the 32 players in the first round played multiple sports. Of the first 20 draft picks, they all played multiple sports and only pick #21, a linebacker, and pick #32, an offensive lineman, only played football.

Of the 30 players that played multiple sports, lets look at the numbers more closely…

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  • 14 played 3 sports in high school
  • 22 players ran track
  • 19 played basketball
  • 2 played baseball
  • 1 played lacrosse


So back to the debate of Sports Specialization, if you have a coach asking your kid to specialize in one sport, I would be very cautious and I would say that that person probably does not have your child’s best interest in mind.

All the research is saying that overuse injuries are higher in the kids that play only one sport!

Lets try to give our kids the best chance to do well and play without injuries (and burnout), so play more than one sport!

Call 512-215-4227 if your child is having overuse injuries from sports…

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Stephen Dunn