Sports Specialization and Intensive Training in Young Athletes

Pediatrics. 2016 Sep;138(3):e20162148. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2148.


Sports specialization is becoming the norm in youth sports for a variety of reasons. When sports specialization occurs too early, detrimental effects may occur, both physically and psychologically. If the timing is correct and sports specialization is performed under the correct conditions, the athlete may be successful in reaching specific goals. Young athletes who train intensively, whether specialized or not, can also be at risk of adverse effects on the mind and body. The purpose of this clinical report is to assist pediatricians in counseling their young athlete patients and their parents regarding sports specialization and intensive training. This report supports the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report "Overuse Injuries, Overtraining, and Burnout in Child and Adolescent Athletes."

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Physical Conditioning, Human*
  • Rest
  • Specialization*
  • Sports*