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A 2017 research study of 3,090 high school, college, and professional athletes published in the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine showed that college and professional success were not necessarily related to early specialization. Actually,
"Our results showed that current high school athletes specialized an average of two years earlier than current college and professional athletes," study lead author Patrick S. Buckley said in a press release. "The results of our study suggest this specialization at a very young age does not increase the likelihood that an athlete will achieve elite status within their sport."
Perhaps more meaningful is that of the more than 1,000 professional athletes surveyed, only 22% said that they would like their child to specialize at an early age.
Other research confirms this belief. A Canadian study, Developmental Model of Sport Participation, found that multi-athletes are on an equal footing with the athletic elite in post-skeletal maturation sports (ages 12-14 for girls; 14-17 years for boys) to those who used to specialize. In addition, young multisport people have longer careers and are more likely to participate in athletics into adulthood than those who specialize.
Then there is the injury factor. Doctors at Boston Children's Hospital examined more than 12,000 adolescent athletes with a history of injuries and found that early specialization posed a higher risk of injury for boys in sports such as baseball and gymnastics, and for girls in running, soccer, swimming, volleyball, and gymnastics.