KH 2130 Issues presentation

Child & Youth Sport
Developmentally Appropriate
Specialization & Sport Injuries
Maxamillion Finney
Madison Ray
KH 2130
Age Appropriate Sports For Children
• Ages 5-6 Children develop the capacity to
compare themselves to others in order to
understand their own competence.
• At the age of 7 one should start using
competition as motivation
• Then at age 8 the child starts to participate
in more organized and competitive sports.
Children’s Bill of Rights
Children should have the right:
To participate regardless of ability
To participate at a level commensurate with their
ability level
To have qualified adult leadership
To participate in safe and healthy environments
To share in Leadership and decision making
To play as a child and not as an adult
To receive proper preparation for participation
To have equal opportunity to strive for success
To be trained with dignity
To have fun
How Games Should Go
• All sport games for children should be
modified to fit the developmental status of
the participants
• If a child and youth sport is defined
primarily as a performance ethic rather
than “fun” ethic, many of the positives
outcomes described may not be achieved.
Types of Developmental Benefits
Sport and physical activity offer youth
opportunities to experience challenge, fun, and
enjoyment, while increasing their self-esteem and
decreasing their stress (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975;
Long, 1985; Health Canada, 2003).
Types of Development Cont.
While cardiovascular fitness and weight
control are among the most evident healthbenefits
of physical activity (Health Canada, 2003; Taylor
et al., 1985), skill development, improved muscular
strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and bone
structure are additional benefits (Wankel & Berger,
1990; Coˆte´ & Hay, 2002).
Types of Development Cont.
Youth have opportunities to experience
positive intergroup relations, community
integration, social status, and social mobility, while
Coˆte´ (2002) suggests that sport provides an
arena for the development of social
skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility,
empathy, and self-control.
Types of Development Cont.
• Participation in school sport has been positively
linked to school grades, school attendance,
choice for demanding courses, time spent on
homework, educational aspirations during and
after high school, and college attendance
(Snyder & Spreitzer, 1990; Marsh, 1993; Eccles
& Barber, 1999; Whitley, 1999).
Specialization: A few Facts
• Children and youth did not specialize in a sport
until the college level.
• Even on the college level it was hard to find a
two-sport athlete.
• In high schools, boys played on a team in 2/3 of
the sport season.
• Girls didn’t have this opportunity.
▫ If they did they would also be playing multiple
Sport Specialist
• Now in high school we see the 3 sport athlete.
▫ They train year-round for his/her sport, competes
on the school team and again on a club team
during the off-season.
• To this day we see that a sub-level of sportspecialization is becoming more and more
▫ This is the Early Specialist
Early Specialist
• Athletes such as gymnasts and swimmers train
at an early age year-round for their sport
• Hockey and soccer players get their early
training in sport-specialization clubs.
*****There is without a doubt that advances in
Exercise Science have made year-round strength
and endurance training apart of specialization.
Extra Information
• Not only do young athletes specialize in a single
sport, but in some cases they will specialize in a
single position within that sport.
• The more talented the young athlete, the more
pressure to train year-round and specialize will
be put on.
▫ Some pressure comes from parents and others
who see a college scholarship and eventually and
professional career ahead for the athlete.
Is Specialization Appropriate?
• For those who survive, there’s no doubt that it is
successful in developing talented elite athletes.
• Less is known for those who burn out or suffer
overuse injuries that get them off track.
Is Specialization Appropriate? Cont.
• According to The National Association for Sport
and Physical Education “year-round
specialization in a single sport for boys or girls
under the age of 15 is more often associated with
developmental risks rather than rewards.”
• talks about sport
specialization at an early age may be detrimental
to performance at a larger age rather than lead
to future athletic success.
Is Specialization Appropriate? Cont.
• “Participating in a variety of sports will help a child
develop other athletic skills that they would not develop
if they specialized in one sport too early,” says Jennifer
VanSickle of U of Indianapolis.
• Certain athletic skills that are stressed differently in
every sport:
▫ Speed, balance, mental focus, jumping and reacting.
• Those athletic skills will transfer to the individual child’s
primary activity to everything a child does to become a
better all-around athlete.
Sports Injuries (Children & Youth)
• Data on the degree and nature of injuries in child or
youth sport is difficult to obtain.
▫ Whereas data on injuries in interscholastic sport are
readily available.
• Acute injuries are referred to as “macrotrauma”
▫ Sprains of joint ligaments, strains of muscle tendon
units, contusions involving muscle tendon units and
overlaying soft tissue, fractures of long bones and axial
• These injuries have been estimated to result in 4
million emergency-room visits per year.
Sports Injuries resulting in hospital
• Children for the ages 5-14 account for nearly
40% of all sports related injuries treated in
hospitals each year.
▫ Including 175,000 visits to the hospital emergency
rooms for treatment for concussions.
• Because there are so many of these injuries,
some hospitals open pediatric sport-medicine
Extra Information
• The more serious injuries are the overuse injuries
that sometimes develop when children or youths
specialize in a sport.
• Since the softness of their bones and the relative
tightness of their ligaments and tendons during
growth spurts younger children have more overuse
• What is known as “Little League elbow” is the result
of damage to the growth cartilage of the elbow joint.
▫ Other common overuse injuries occur in the knee and
Injuries Due to Extreme Sports
• Current generation has seen growing
involvement of children and youths in all kinds
of extreme or action sports such as
skateboarding, BMX biking, and in-line skating.
• Activities that are inherently risky but that is the
• Very little data exists on the nature or severity of
injuries in these activities.
Injuries Due to Extreme Sports Cont.
• Some injuries like handlebar injuries in BMX
stunt-biking, are so serious that some
government health units are beginning to release
warnings to media to alert parents of the
potential dangers.
• Handlebar injuries can result in ruptures of the
spleen, liver, kidney, and bowel, sometimes so
severely that organs need to be removed.
• Duquin suggests that what she called “sadoasceticism” has too frequently crept into child
and youth sport.
• Too many adults, coaches, and parents, support
a “no pain, no gain” ethic for practice, training,
and competition.
• Duquin argues that the wisdom of the body and
the wisdom of the childhood are to avoid pain,
which “no pain is sane,” and typically children
quit when they get hurt.
Sado-Asceticism Cont.
• The asceticism she describes as having crept into
organized child and youth sport in recent years
is to redefine pain as discomfort and to
encourage young athletes to work through the
• “Adults may choose to sacrifice their bodies for
the perceptions of truth. In youth sport, the
‘truths’ are those of adults, the sacrificial bodies
are those of children” (Duquin, 1988, p.35)

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