What is it about?
Early specialization is often blamed for burnout and dropout from youth sport. However, in our sample of youth swimmers, we found no relationship between markers of early specialization and burnout or dropout. In fact, some aspects of specialized training were associated with increased intentions to continue swimming. The social environment in which training takes place may have a greater impact on burnout and dropout than characteristics of the training itself.
Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash
Why is it important?
There has been much debate over the costs/benefits of early specialization as compared to early diversification (sampling multiple sports at a young age). There is a good case for monitoring the training volume of young athletes, (especially when they are focused on one sport), in order to prevent overuse injuries. However, there is less evidence regarding the relationship between early specialization and psychological or behavioural outcomes, like burnout and dropout. This study adds key evidence to the debate.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Markers of Early Specialization and Their Relationships With Burnout and Dropout in Swimming, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, March 2019, Human Kinetics, DOI: 10.1123/jsep.2018-0305.
You can read the full text:
Markers of Early Specialization and Their Relationships With Burnout and Dropout in Swimming
Free full-text version of the article (preprint).
Pathways from youth to masters swimming: Exploring long-term influences of youth swimming experiences.
This is another of our swimming-related publications (free full-text version).
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