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Deciding Whether Your Child Should Specialize In A Single Sport

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This resource is from a case study in PCA Founder Jim Thompson’s book, Positive Sports Parenting.

After practice, your child’s coach tells you your child has great potential and should specialize, eschewing other sports to train year-round on a club team. The coach says your child can be a standout in high school (and possibly beyond) and will be best served by specializing in this sport. As a Second-Goal Parent®, what should you do?

As I speak to parents around the country, I am more often asked about the pressure they feel to have their child specialize in one sport than about any other issue. Often the question is asked in a way that suggests parents feel they have no choice but to acquiesce to the pressure, or their child will fall behind. In assessing whether to have your child specialize or not, your objective should be to determine what makes most sense in the long run for your child’s athletic and personal development and for your family, since club sports generally are expensive and require substantial time commitments, including travel.

Here are some thoughts about the decision to specialize (or not):

  • Consider the right age for specialization (or not)
  • Multiple sports help shape your child into a great athlete
  • Understand coaches' potential conflicts of interest when considering their opinions
  • Beware of the dangers of specialization
  • Include your child in the decision
  • It’s up to you, no one can advocate on behalf of your child as effectively as you.

Read the full response, including explanations in the considerations listed above, by downloading the book excerpt found below.

To purchase the entire Positive Sports Parenting book, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive parent workshops, click here.

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  • Type: PDF Document
  • Size: 326 KB
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