In recent years, sports specialization has become a hot topic amongst both parents of young athletes and medical professionals. There are a lot of questions swirling around early specialization: When should my child begin to focus on just one sport year-round? Are there injury risks associated with specialization? Does specializing in one sport provide a significant benefit for their skill development?
While answers to these questions aren’t always straightforward, in a recent study Dr. Mininder Kocher, an orthopedic surgeon and associate director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine Division, found some compelling evidence of the risks of early sports specialization.
Taylor is an ambitious, three-sport, high-school senior, who plays on Wayland High School’s soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. In addition to mastering shooting the ball, defending the hoop and cradling the lacrosse stick, Taylor is learning about the science of injury prevention.
Taylor tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the fall of 2013. Six months after surgery to repair her torn ACL, Taylor came to The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention. Her evaluation showed she hadn’t built enough strength to return to play. But Taylor was eager to get back on the field and pushed herself to return to play.
It wasn’t long before she suffered a partial ACL tear in the same knee, and then, one year after her first ACL injury, she completely tore the same ACL.
Since then, Taylor has embraced injury prevention.
See how she fits these five sports recovery tips into her daily training.