NBA recommends that athletes don't specialize until 14 years-old
The NBA has proven to be the most forward-thinking entity of all the major American sports and they've upped the ante once again. Yesterday, the NBA announced that athletes shouldn't specialize in a single sport until they're at least 14 years-old, according to experts. Not only is this a very specific (and helpful!) suggestion for many families out there that might believe their son is the next Michael Jordan, but it stands as a, finally, qualified opinion on the subject.
Jessica Layton of CBS New York continued:
The NBA announced new youth sports guidelines which include: delay specializing in one sports until the child turns at least 14; limit the amount of days and time they are competing at the sports; and let your child rest at least one day a week, followed by an extended break at least once a year.
Those on board with the NBA's beliefs include the ever-wonderful YMCA and the two stress that it's important to let children try many different sports and activities. The NBA came to these conclusions after discussions with physicians, coaches, and parents for their experiences. As an organization, the NBA stopped letting high schoolers declare for the draft in 2005, meaning that those youngsters would have plenty of time to decide whether or not basketball was the right choice.
Other than a few particular cases -- LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett all come to mind -- a majority of high schoolers flamed out professionally without the college experience to back them up. It's not the perfect comparison, but the NBA is basically asking athletes to slow down once again: consider your options, try everything, and then commit to basketball. Best of all? The NBA believes that non-specialization will help those athletes avoid injury. If we're working towards eliminating injury and burnout, then consider CoachUp a fan of the findings as well!
NBA Issues New Youth Sport Guidelines -- Jessica Layton