Teens Playing More Than One Sport Less Likely to Have Overuse Injuries

Research By Christopher DiCesare

Post Date: November 5, 2019 | Publish Date: Oct. 23, 2019

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Children in the United States may not be realizing the positive effects of organized sport, according to a new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Avoid over-specialization. That’s the takeaway from a study led by scientists at Cincinnati Children’s who tracked injuries among more than 1,100 girls who played various levels of basketball, soccer and volleyball.

A single-minded focus on one sport from an early age “may hinder motor development and lead to compromised hip and knee coordination during dynamic landing and jumping activities, which can lead to increased chance of potentially life-altering injuries,” says lead author Christopher DiCesare, PhD, a biomechanist in the Division of Sports Medicine here.

The study was published Oct. 23 in the Journal of Athletic Training.

In many ways, the findings also dovetail with recent recommendations for sports participation from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“If we offer children a variety of sports for all skill levels, they are more likely to try new activities and stick with the ones they enjoy,” says Kelsey Logan, MD, FAAP, Director, Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the clinical report by the AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness. “The interest should start with the child, not the parent.”

Read More About the Latest Study at US News and World Report

Read a Media Release from the Journal of Athletic Training

Publication Information

Original Title:Sport Specialization and Coordination Differences in Multisport Adolescent Female Basketball, Soccer, and Volleyball Athletes
Published in:Journal of Athletic Training
Publish date:Oct. 23, 2019

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The Research Horizons blog features news and insights about the latest discoveries and innovations developed by the scientists of Cincinnati Children's. This blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.