American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release May 10, 2017

Delaying Sports Specialization Can Lead to Success in Professional Athletics

San Diego, CA – Sarah Black, BA presented a research abstract about “Early Pediatric Sports Specialization in Professional Ice Hockey Players” on Wednesday, May 10, at the 26th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in San Diego, CA.

Sports specialization is intense year-round training in a single sport. While many view early sports specialization as a necessity for future sport-specific success, others argue that such practices can lead to overuse injuries, social isolation and burnout. 

A cross-sectional survey of professional hockey players detailed their sports participation history and demonstrated a majority of these professional athletes had athletically diverse upbringings. In fact, a majority began to hone their sport-specific skills after the defined “early” sports specialization age of 13 years. These findings suggest early specialization may not be the norm in professionals, and specialization later in one’s athletic career can lead to athletic success professionally.     

Sarah Black is an integral member of the sports medicine team at the Penn State College of Medicine. 

With more than 1,800 sports medicine physicians attending from throughout the United States and around the world, the Annual Meeting explores current decisions, controversies as well as best practices related to Medicine in Motion that defines the clinical practice of sports medicine.

About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: The conference features lectures and research addressing the most challenging topics in sports medicine today including overhead athlete care, military medicine, sports performance training, youth sports, professional athlete care, leg pain, mental health in athletes, current sports medicine topics and much more.

About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of more than 3,300 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

© The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
Leawood, KS 66211
Phone: 913.327.1415

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