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The idea behind the E3 sports academy is to let children explore multiple athletic movements and sports skills across a multitude of sports.  We have reviewed data and scientific evidence conducted by researchers about the importance of children not "specializing" in a single sport prior to their adolescent years. 

"Sport specialization is defined as year round training in a single sport, excluding other sports. There are trends today that suggest many young athletes are beginning sport specialization prior to high school. Many young athletes are turning toward sport specialization with a goal of achieving elite success. Recent suggestions and recommendations advise athletes to avoid sport specialization before adolescence. These recommendations to avoid sport specialization are aimed at keeping young athletes healthy and preventing injuries.

Growing athletes benefit from the development of all the components of neuromuscular control such as endurance, power, strength, agility, speed, flexibility and stability. Underdevelopment of any of these areas can lead to deficits or asymmetries within the athlete, which may place them at increased risk of injury during future sport participation.

In addition to allowing for better development of the musculoskeletal system, participation in multiple sports can avoid overuse of any one muscle group. If we use the example of the baseball and soccer athlete again, participation in both sports can allow “rest” for certain muscles groups when involved in the other sport (ex: the shoulder and arm used to throw in baseball get a break when playing soccer). This rest can help to avoid overuse injuries in a young athlete." (By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP for Athletico Physical Therapy)

 "It's time to put the myths to bed. In reality, kids only stand to gain from playing multiple sports. Here’s why:

1. Specializing actually leads to greater chance of injuries.

Instead of sharpening their overall athleticism in a well-rounded way, specialized athletes are repeating the same movements with the same sets of muscles every day of the week. This has led to a dramatic rise in the need for Tommy John surgery and reconstructive surgery of elbow ligaments—to cite just two examples.

2. Sports skills and athletic movements transfer.

Jumping for a basketball works the same muscles swimmers use to push off the starting blocks and develop a strong kick. A full 87 percent of 2015 NFL draft picks were multi-sport athletes, and the average number of multi-sport athletes in the NFL hovers around 70 percent. It’s not surprising when you consider that quickness, running, jumping, agility, throwing and countless other moves are all transferable skills.

3. Multi-sport athletes learn to compete.

Each sport requires its own unique levels of focus and resiliency. Some games, like baseball, are more drawn out and require long-term attention punctuated with quick action. Other sports are all about pacing and endurance. The broader the exposure young athletes get to these different conditions, the better. Resiliency and focus, too, are transferable skills.

4. Multi-sport athletes have a greater sports I.Q.

They develop a feel for any game they are playing. Ever heard about football players taking ballet classes? This helps not just to transfer athletic movements, but also to enhance their appreciation for different types of movements. Thanks to cross-training, multi-sport athletes are overall more creative and less mechanical in their approach.

5. Burnout becomes less frequent in multi-sport athletes.

It doesn’t take long for kids to fizzle from going to five must-do showcase events and traveling every weekend in the summer. Ultimately, they stop enjoying the process. The balance and variety that comes from playing multiple sports offers keeps young athletes alert, engaged and, literally, on their toes.

6. Multi-sport athletes are better teammates.

They’ve got lots of experience at it! They’re used to interacting with a variety of teammates and coaches within different contexts. This is priceless training for athletics of all sorts and life.

Remember, too: grit, tenacity and the will to compete are traits that transfer across all sports. In applying the essential lessons from one sport to others, kids are better athletes overall. Cultivating these while building character is the true purpose of youth sports, which above all serves as a metaphor for life.

Rob Bell, Ph.D., is a sport psychology coach and owner of DRB & Associates, where he works with athletes, coaches and teams, including at Notre Dame University, on achieving peak performance. He is the author of “Don’t ‘Should’ On Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness,” co-authored with Bill Parisi.

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