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Sampling Vs. Specializing In Sports

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One of the most frequently asked questions in youth sports these days is, "When should athletes specialize?" In this video, Missy Wright -- an assistant professor at California State University - East Bay and a former collegiate tennis player and coach suggests sampling sports rather than specializing until about age 13.

Sampling through age 12 contributes to better development of gross motor skills, provides a wider variety of opportunities to experience different social-emotional structures and helps youth athletes home in on the sport they love most, so that they can specialize effectively. At any age, Wright advocates for the youth athlete driving the decision of when to specialize and in which sport.