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Keith Van Horn: Don't Buy Into Early Sports Specialization

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Keith Van Horn (@Coach_Keith44) played in the NBA for 10 years, participating in two NBA Finals and finishing his career with an average of nearly 16 points and seven rebounds per game. Earlier, he was a Consensus First Team All-America and 1997 ESPN National Performer of the Year at University of Utah.

Keith, a member of PCA's National Advisory Board, currently serves as Executive Director for Colorado Premier Basketball Club, which he founded based on many PCA principles. Keith is passionate about improving our youth sports culture and writes about his experiences and opinions in his blog, Layups and Rebounds. The following summarizes one of Keith's posts.

He recounts an experience in which his daughter tried out and made one of the top 5th grade teams in the state, and the coach demanded she specialize in basketball. The coaches reasoning? "All the best players are now specializing in 5th or 6th grade. She will fall behind. She won't get a college scholarship." At first, Keith writes, he was all in, believing such focus would make her the best she could be.

Digging deeper, he realized he didn't know the facts: that kids who play multiple sports almost always end up being happier, better athletes. In youth sports, he writes, more isn't always better, sometimes it's just more.

To read this excerpt in more detail on Keith Van Horn's blog Layups and Rebounds, click the link below.

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