A new research suggests that teen girls who play multiple sports have a lower risk of injury than those who concentrate on just one.
It included over 1,100 girls playing basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Most of them were students of middle and high school; some were college students.
Teenagers who are too early on specializing in sports such as basketball, football and volleyball may find that a single-minded focus “may hinder motor development and lead to compromised hip and knee coordination during dynamic landing and jumping activities that may lead to increased chances of life-altering injuries,” said lead author Christopher DiCesare. He is a biomechanist at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio’s Sports Medicine Department.
The study also found that there was a higher rate of hip and knee injuries and an increased risk of knee pain among girls focused on a single sport. Researchers said playing multiple sports may improve the coordination of young ladies, and those who specialize may not fully develop patterns of neuromuscular coordination that may reduce the risk of injury.
Due to uneven growth in bone mineral and muscle and connective tissue strength before and during puberty, the study published Oct. 23 in the Journal of Athletic Training concluded that young athletes may be less able than older athletes to handle the physical stresses associated with focusing on one sport.
“Through recognizing the impact of sport specialization on coordination and the potential for injury, there is the potential to make better decisions about when specializing safely in a sport might be acceptable,” DiCesare said in a press statement.
More than 30 million young people are involved in individual or team sports, and many have been pushed to specialize by growing focus on success.


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