Student Athletes Who Specialize Early Are Injured More Often, Study Finds

If you're involved in high school athletics, you know the scene. There's increasing pressure to specialize in a single sport and play it year-round.

The upside? Focusing on one sport can help give kids the edge they need to compete on elite club teams — or travel teams. Many athletes hope to attract the attention of college recruiters, or be offered a sports scholarship. This emphasis on competitive success has become widespread throughout the U.S., according to a consensus statement from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

And, the downside? The "increased emphasis on sports specialization has led to an increase in overuse injuries, overtraining, and burnout, according to a 2016 reportfrom the American Academy of Pediatrics .

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