Beat Blog 3: Trends in HS Sports
A trend in high school, and youth sports, is the question of specialization. More plainly put, it is the decision of whether particpating in one sport all year is more beneficial than playing multiple sports over the course of the year.
Although the aim of only partipicating in a single sport is to enhance the athlete’s abilities, it does come with consequences.
The same muscles get over used, there are constant injuries, and some parts of the body don’t heal correctly because they never get a break.
By being a multi-sport athlete different types of muscles are used while others get breaks. It also prevents athletes from getting “burned out” by one sport and not wanting to do anything at all.
Some schools, like Prince Avenue Christian, in Bogart, Georgia, offers an incentive for three-sport athletes. They only have to pay the athletic fee for two sports, the third is free.
This is to encourage students not to be single sport athletes but to stay active year round.
Another trend in high school athletics is overall sport pariticpation.
In a study from 1991–2013 the numbers have stayed relatively consistent from years 8th to 12th grade. The biggest fluxuations are no more than four percentage points.
This means that kids are playing sports throughout their high school careers and sticking with them. According to this study, kids who participate in sports provides a positive correlation with higher levels of self-esteem and academic success.
Also, last year was the 26th consecutive year, 2014–15, that particpation in high school sports has rose.
This study also showed another trend, declines and rises in sports played by boys and girls.
Ironically America’s sport for boys, football, had one of the largest declines. Whereas boys soccer registered it’s largest gain. Other boys sports that increased were baseball and basketball. Another sport that declined in addition to football was wrestling.
On the girls side track and field has remained the no. 1 ranked sport for girls. Volleyball has taken second ahead of basketball. Sports that saw a rise in participation this year were competitive spirit squads and cross country.