Youth Sports Congress session weighs in on sports specialization

Youth Sports Congress session weighs in on sports specialization


Each year the Youth Sports Congress tackles the most pressing issues faced by youth sports administrators. The 2015 Youth Sports Congress in New Orleans, La. will be no different.

The first day of sessions will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19, and address the hot topic of specialization in youth sports. Dr. Rick Albrecht, author of Coaching Myths: Fifteen Wrong Ideas in Youth Sports, will lead the session, Sports Specialization: Training One-Trick Ponies.

While sports specialization is recognized as one of the main concerns in youth sports today, and is linked to overuse injuries and sports burnout for young athletes, it remains a prevalent route for parents and athletes looking for an advantage to earn a college scholarship or to even make it to the pros.

Albrecht’s discussion will help youth sports administrators promote safe sports environments and encourage skill development of youth athletes in spite of the popularity of single-sports specialization.

Attendees of this session will learn how to:

  • Identify the potential physical, psychological and social costs of children specializing in a single sport.
  • Evaluate whether or not these physical, psychological and social costs of single-sport specialization outweigh its benefits.
  • Identify the ways in which participation in a variety of sports can ultimately enhance sport performance – in all sports.
  • Appreciate the true likelihood of a child “getting to the next level” or financially profiting from sport participation.

Albrecht is a professor of Sport Leadership and Movement Science at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and was appointed to the five-member task force responsible for establishing the current NASPE National Standards for Sport Coaches.

Albrecht will lead an additional session that day, Our Role in Creating Great Youth Sports Programs. This dynamic session will explore the roles of youth sports leaders using concepts set forth in the book Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. This session explores scientifically sound, yet frequently overlooked, ways youth sport coaches and administrators can enhance the sport experiences of their young athletes by employing simple techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective in improving motivation and performance.

Also offered on Thursday is the session Practical Solutions for Youth Sports in the Information Era.

Youth sports programs collect a wide variety of sensitive data – including personal, financial and health related info about the participants, volunteers and parents. This interactive session will include real scenarios and examine ethical and legal issues that arise as organizations collect, maintain and utilize participant information.

Youth Sports Congress attendees also gain access to several of the great Athletic Business Conference events, including the keynote sessions, welcome reception and the Expo. This year’s Congress will take place in New Orleans, La. Nov. 18-21.

Learn more about the Youth Sports Congress or register today!

Congress Youth Sports Congress Professional Development Specialization Administrators

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