Athlete Academy: Don’t Over Specialize – Creating Movement-Scared Adults

The last few weeks I’ve written about two reasons that over specialization can harm kids: it can hamper your child's performance, and it can lead to burning out. The third and final reason over specialization can be detrimental to a child is the damage it could potentially cause to them as an adult. I talked in my last article about the mental aspect of overspecialization and the effects it can have if the child has bad experiences or experiences serious disappointment to the point of wanting to quit. The even more dangerous possibility is a mental block causing kids to dislike exercise, or at the very least, to equate exercise to disappointment and anxiety and want avoid it entirely.

This is assuming that kids only experience the general types of issues. They’re parents are not forcing them to do something they no longer enjoy, they aren’t trying to live through them, or even worse, berating their own kids or other kids for not playing well or living up to the ridiculous standard they have set. I have witnessed this in the past and it is a very frightening and distressing sight to see. One surefire way to turn a child off from exercise is to have them experience it in a negative light. Most kids are resilient and often aren’t pushed to that extreme, but ones that are and start to see exercise as nothing but stress, anger, and disappointment will become adults that hate exercise. 

We all know that diet is important for body composition and overall health. But an adult that hates exercise because it has had nothing but negative impact as a child, will never be as healthy or live as full a life as they could otherwise because they will be missing the exercise piece of the health puzzle.

-Coach Adam

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