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Archive » 2014 » 4 » | Archive » 2014 » 4 » Archive » Medical field » Fields » Pediatrics » Archive » Medical field » Fields » Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine »

The Characteristics of Competitive Youth Sport and Different Health Risks

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

The aim of this article is to present some characteristics of the competitive youth sport and to point out some negative aspects that represent possible health hazards to children and adolescents participating in this sport. The­ results ­of ­studies ­as ­well ­as­ sport ­praxis show ­that ­talent ­recognition ­is ­a ­complex ­and­ demanding ­process.­ Nowadays,­ making predictions ­about­ competitive­ performance ­in­ adulthood­ on­ the ­basis­ of­ results­ achieved in­ childhood ­or ­in ­early ­adolescence ­is ­still­ highly­ unreliable. The­ results ­also ­show­ that early­ involvement­ in ­a ­specialized­ process­ of ­sports­ training ­(e.g. sport­ schools)­ is­ not ­a­ guarantee ­for­ sport­ successfulness ­later­ in ­adulthood.­ Quite­ the ­contrary,­ early ­specialization in ­childhood ­suppresses ­long-term­ athletic­ development­ of­ children­ and­ endangers ­their health.­ The­ models ­based­ on ­postponed­ specialization,­ long-term­ and­ systematic­ work­ with youth­ and­ with­ humane­ pedagogical­ approach­ are­ those ­that­ lead ­towards­ athletes’­ successful­ development ­and­ creativity ­in­ sport.­ On the basis of a systematic approach to this topic, some concrete suggestions can be made and some procedures for practical operation and the improvement of this important segment of sport in Slovenia can be recommended: Children participating in sport should not undergo too demanding specialized sports training oriented only to one sport; young athletes can be trained only by educated coaches with necessary skills and strong character; young athletes should have regular medical check-ups done by qualified paediatricians; coaches, members of club boards and national sports associations as well as parents and young athletes should be educated on regular basis.

Authors:
Škof Branko

Keywords:
competitive youth sport, early specialization, health risks

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2014; 53 (4): 565–83.

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