Jan 25, 2016
NCAA study finds many athletes regret specialization

Among the findings in this year’s NCAA GOALS study was that many college student-athletes regret specializing in a single sport when they were younger.

Results from the 2015 GOALS Study of the Student-Athlete Experience were revealed at this year’s NCAA Convention. This is the third time in the last 10 years the NCAA has conducted the survey, which studies the experiences and well-being of current student-athletes.

Part of the study examined youth sports experiences among NCAA student-athletes. It found many athletes — especially those in hockey and soccer — began specializing before the age of 12.

The survey concluded that “student-athletes in many sports played that sport year-round growing up and participated in the sport on both club and high school teams. Many NCAA athletes think youth in their sport play in too many contests and a number of them (especially men) wish they had spent more time sampling other sports when they were young.”

In men’s basketball, less than half of athletes at all levels specialized before they were 12 years old — 49% in Division I; 39% in Division II; and 35% in Division III. The study found slightly higher numbers on the women’s side — 55% in Division I; 43% in Division II; and 37% in Division III.

In Division I, soccer (68%) and tennis (66%) led the way with the most athletes who began specializing by the age of 12. Track (9%) was at the bottom, followed by lacrosse (12%) and football (29%).

It would have been insightful to read the actual comments from student-athletes about specialization, but they weren’t included in the results. The study touches other topics such as on-campus support, the time commitments of athletics and expectations of themselves and family members.

Click here to see the complete survey.

NCAA study finds many athletes regret specialization

By Kevin Hoffman, Editorial Director

Sharing Block: Winning Hoops Sharing Block

Among the findings in this year’s NCAA GOALS study was that many college student-athletes regret specializing in a single sport when they were younger.

Results from the 2015 GOALS Study of the Student-Athlete Experience were revealed at this year’s NCAA Convention. This is the third time in the last 10 years the NCAA has conducted the survey, which studies the experiences and well-being of current student-athletes.

Part of the study examined youth sports experiences among NCAA student-athletes. It found many athletes — especially those in hockey and soccer — began specializing before the age of 12.

The survey concluded that “student-athletes in many sports played that sport year-round growing up and participated in the sport on both club and high school teams. Many NCAA athletes think youth in their sport play in too many contests and a number of them (especially men) wish they had spent more time sampling other sports when they were young.”

In men’s basketball, less than half of athletes at all levels specialized before they were 12 years old — 49% in Division I; 39% in Division II; and 35% in Division III. The study found slightly higher numbers on the women’s side — 55% in Division I; 43% in Division II; and 37% in Division III.

In Division I, soccer (68%) and tennis (66%) led the way with the most athletes who began specializing by the age of 12. Track (9%) was at the bottom, followed by lacrosse (12%) and football (29%).

It would have been insightful to read the actual comments from student-athletes about specialization, but they weren’t included in the results. The study touches other topics such as on-campus support, the time commitments of athletics and expectations of themselves and family members.

Click here to see the complete survey.






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