I wanted to share a post that was written by my friend/mentor Mike Boyle on his blog StrengthCoachblog.com. Mike has been posting really good content in regards to his thoughts against year-round specialization in youth sports. I think it’s important to help spread the message all over North America- including here in Southern California.
It just seems that the more that I read what Mike has been sharing along with the fact that I continually speak to professional players about what additional sports they played as youths- the more I am convinced. A multi-sport approach as a kid is beneficial in the long run when/if they decide to specialize on 1 sport. For the record, I have spoken to only a few hockey players who didn’t play any other sports. Most “put the bag away” at the end of their hockey seasons.
Personally, in the past I have been guilty of putting my oldest son through the the concept of year-round hockey. Whether it was spring selects or in-house hockey, more games were being played after a 7-month season. (Yes- 7 months at age 8). This spring/summer, after a few weeks off, he will be playing lacrosse while also still skating 1-2 times per week in non-competitive situations and competing in 2 weekend tournaments in May. Probably not a complete off-season, but a drastic change from the past.
Check out Mike’s article here- Be Careful With Advice from Armchair Experts