Sport Specialization Causes Injury

Guys and Gals if you want to learn all that it takes to build champion athletes, Zach Even-Esh and I are getting together for two dual certifications this year. Check them out at ⇒ Mash and Even-Esh Unite

March 17th and 18th at the Mash Compound in Clemmons, NC

June 10th and 11th at Underground Strength and Conditioning in Manasquan, NJ

Sport Specialization Causes Injury

A few days ago someone posted an article on Facebook that once again confirmed what good strength and conditioning coaches have been saying for years. If you have your children specializing in one sport, they are 70% more likely to succumb to injury.

Here’s a link to the article: ⇒ Specialization Causes Injury

It’s a crazy battle for parents to fight, so I get that. Sports like soccer and baseball almost require that the athlete play more often to perfect skills and for the exposure. However, the injury rate of sports like soccer and baseball are through the roof especially for females.

Here’s the thing. If you play any sport all year long, you are at higher risk because of muscle overuse. Soccer is nothing but running, decelerating, and running some more. Deceleration and cutting side to side are movements that require the body to absorb high amounts of force. The knees, ankles, and hips need to be stabilized for such movements. If you do these movements over and over without some form of stability work, your risk of injury will increase. If you drive a car more, you have a higher chance that it will break down especially if you don’t take care of it. The same goes for baseball, volleyball, tennis, and swimming.

Now I know that some of you are trying to earn scholarships, so I get it. Here’s my advice:

1. Don’t start specializing before High School. If your child excels and enjoys one sport, let them play a season, get them a skills coach, but let them play other sports. There are too many studies out confirming that multiple sports at an early age are the best way to develop athleticism. By the way no one is recruiting your 8-year-old, I promise.

2. Pick your poison wisely! Ask multiple D1 Athletes that compete in your favorite sport what route they took to get there. I see a lot of parents getting taken by travel squads in hopes that they will get their children exposure. If your child is a great athlete, you shouldn’t have to pay extraordinary amounts for travel teams. Cade Carney is the starting running back at Wake Forest University. He started as a true freshman. I coached him from 7th grade on, and he never paid a dive for these special camps and teams. All of his teams and combines were free because he was a real prospect.

There are a lot of frauds out there trying to take your money by praying on your hopes and dreams. Don’t let them! I suggest informing yourself, so that you know what direction to take.

Soccer is a little different. The travel teams are getting recruited more than the high school teams. I suggest maybe foregoing the high school team if your son or daughter is truly a prospect. It’s a thought.

3. Make time for a strength coach- Find someone that understands the body and let them stabilize your child. A little strengthening can go a long ways for preventing injuries especially non-contact injuries. They should also be able to teach basic sprinting mechanics and deceleration mechanics. Good mechanics can also trim down the chance of injury.

4. Be honest with yourself and your child- I see so many parents that are trying to force their children to play college sports. Here’s the biggest thing. If your child doesn’t want it, it’s not going to happen. That’s just a fact. Also not every child is going to play D1. Actually the majority of all children playing high school sports aren’t going to play D1. Don’t force your children to play year round sports, when they don’t have a chance of playing at the next level.

Why would you want to increase their chances of injury if you don’t really need to? Find a college coach and ask them their honest opinion. They will normally give you the cold hard truth. Now they might just tell you things that need to improve, and that’s a great thing. However they might tell you that there is no chance. That’s cool too! There is a lot to gain from playing sports in high school other than a college scholarship. They will learn teamwork, discipline, perseverance, hard work, and much more.

5. Find teams that show a history of caring about their athlete’s health. There are a lot of teams out there that have strength coaches and athletic trainers to help offset the overuse. There are coaches that will rest players when they notice recovery issues. These are the teams that you want your young athletes on.

I know some of you aren’t going to agree with me. That’s fine. However I want you to know one important fact. If an athlete is truly good enough with the right character, they are going to play at the next level no matter what you do. It happens all the time. An athlete will decide to play football or basketball their senior year and bam they get a scholarship. It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s life man.

Go out there and find a good athletic performance coach. They will teach your child functional movement, sprint mechanics, and deceleration mechanics. They will strengthen your young athlete in a balanced way. They will teach your children to move their own bodies through space. They will help give them the athleticism that they are missing from concentrating on one sport.

Now go out there and play!


Coach Travis Mash

Guys and Gals if you want to learn all that it takes to build champion athletes, Zach Even-Esh and I are getting together for two dual certifications this year. Check them out at ⇒ Mash and Even-Esh Unite

March 17th and 18th at the Mash Compound in Clemmons, NC

June 10th and 11th at Underground Strength and Conditioning in Manasquan, NJ

Here’s what to expect:

• 1) Athlete Warm Ups & Assessments / Large Group Training
• 2) Bodyweight & Jump Training for Athletes (Sport + Strength Athletes)
• 3) Quick Lifts & Assistance Work for Sport & Strength Athletes (Barbell / Dumbbells)
• 4) Program Design for Athletes from Youth to D1 to Olympic Hopefuls
• 5. Snatch basics and teaching progressions
• 6. Clean basics and teaching progressions
• 7. Squat Programming and Tricks
• 8. Deadlift Programming and Tricks
• 9. Controlling and demanding the respect of groups
• 10. The business of Private Coaching


• This will certify you as an official Underground Strength Coach
• This will certify you for the Mash Mafia Learn 2 Lift Cert

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